by Doyal D. Bolin, Seahawks FTFN writer
Russell Wilson, who is entering his 10th NFL season, has always been a very simple man to the outside world. He ends all of his pressers and interviews with “go hawks”, he usually points the success of his team towards teammates and coaches, and he never speaks out too much about issues the Seahawks have. Until he did on The Dan Patrick Show just over a week ago. For the first time, we actually felt compelled to seriously listen to him. The fact that his comments sparked a good amount of backlash is telling, as some believed that he should’ve kept his feelings in-house. I completely disagree. Wilson is the Seahawks franchise QB and is going to be a hall of famer. He deserves and has earned the right to voice his opinion because everything that happens from here on out will fall back on his legacy. With all of that being said, he does deserve some blame, even if it isn’t as much as the Seahawks organization. Let’s hand out some blame pie.
The Seahawks’ Piece of The Pie
The organization deserves all the credit for the 2012-2014 super bowl roster that they created. Ever since then, the front office hasn’t been able to catch the same fire. Once the Legion of Boom was disbanded, the Seahawks turned into Wilson’s team. The only thing is that they’ve had a recurring identity problem, which seems to come back and haunt this franchise each and every year. Pete Carroll loves to establish the run so much that it comes at Wilson’s expense, and the team. He loves the run, run, pass strategy. It can be extremely effective because defenders might load the box or creep up towards the line of scrimmage, and then you can throw it over the top. It might have helped us win a super bowl 8 years ago, but it is simply outdated. That strategy has lost them countless playoff games. You can’t wait until the fourth quarter to put your foot on the gas. They need to be more creative, end of discussion. Last year was the first time that they actually ran the offense around Wilson, mostly because the fans were applying pressure on the coaching staff with the infamous “Let Russ Cook” slogan. It worked beautifully for the first half of the season, but something happened to the Seahawks in the second half. What was at first a historically bad defense turned into a formidable one, but the offense couldn’t produce like it was supposed to. A big part of that regression is the offensive line, and let’s be real, the offensive line has been the Achilles’ heel of this franchise for years now. For some reason, the front office resorts to acquiring cheap linemen when they have one of the best QBs in the NFL. It just doesn’t make sense to bargain when it comes to protecting your franchise player, it’s completely counterintuitive. Wilson has taken 394 sacks (146 in the last three years) since he was drafted, by far the most in the NFL. He hasn’t even had an offensive line that ranked in the top half of the league (top 16), according to Pro Football Focus. In five of his nine seasons, the line ranked 30th or 32nd. Since 2016, the Seahawks rank dead last in o-line spending percentage at 13.8% (league average is 18.53%), according to ESPN’s Brady Henderson.
Wilson’s Piece of The Pie
Just like the Seahawks are a perennial playoff team, Wilson is a perennial MVP candidate. Although, in what has unfortunately become a trend, he tends to regress in the second half of the season. Some of this is due to lack of protection but he also runs himself into trouble. Just last year, he was responsible for 14 of his 47 sacks which is the second most in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. Due to his playmaking ability, holding the ball too long has always been a problem of his. Many dual-threat quarterbacks have this problem. To be fair, his receivers had much trouble getting open when they started facing some of the better defenses in the second half of the season.
Furthermore, Wilson threw for a career high 13 INTs this past year, seven of those occurring over just a four-game span. They lost three games during that time, and his usual efficiency never came back after that. When Wilson voiced his opinions on the Dan Patrick Show, it is important to note that he also stated he needed to be better. Hopefully both sides understand that they aren’t perfect, and that these things can be fixed. They have until 2024 which is when his contract is up. I don’t see Russell being traded for anything; it just doesn’t make sense. The Seahawks would take a large cap hit and on top of that, he has a no-trade clause in his contract.
by Doyald Bolin, Seahawks FTFN writer