National Football League

Tipping Point

January 20

There might be a storm brewing in Seattle — and not the kind Seahawks fans are used to.

The Seahawks' 2020 season fell short of expectations, as the team lost to the Los Angeles Rams in the wild-card round, and quarterback Russell Wilson was left still in search of his second Super Bowl title.

Wilson burned bright at the beginning of the regular season, leading the franchise to an unblemished 5-0 start, and despite some struggles, the Seahawks finished as the winners of the NFC West with a 12-4 record.

Wilson led the MVP discussion early in the season, in the days of "Let Russ Cook," boasting a 71 completion percentage, 2,541 pass yards, 28 passing touchdowns and eight interceptions through the first eight games.

In addition, Wilson hit franchise-high marks, setting Seahawks single-season records for completions (384) and passing touchdowns (40).

He was one of just three quarterbacks with 40 passing touchdowns this season, joining Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, who are both still in the mix for the Lombardi Trophy.

However, Wilson cooled off to finish the season. In Games 9-17, including the playoff game, he registered a 63.9 completion percentage, 1,845 passing yards, 14 passing touchdowns and six interceptions.

After the inconsistency in the offense, the franchise decided to part ways with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer this offseason.

Wilson has worked with two coordinators during his nine-year career with the franchise – Darrell Bevell from 2012 to '18 and Schotteneheimer from 2018 to '20.

Wilson's passing game excelled under Schottenheimer, as he saw his passer rating increase from an average of 98.8, fifth in the league, to 107.2, good for third.

In addition, Wilson passed for 106 touchdowns in three seasons with Schottenheimer, second in the NFL in that span, compared to 161 TDs during his six-year stretch with Bevell.

Wilson shared with reporters last week that he was not part of the decision to part ways with Schottenheimer, but he said he trusts head coach Pete Carroll's desire for a fresh start. 

Carroll is known for his run-heavy offense, in which the quarterback functions more as a game manager. That was how Seattle won the Super Bowl in 2014 with the Legion of Boom.

But that strategy required a generational running back in Marshawn Lynch and an all-time defense. Right now, the franchise has a generational talent in its quarterback, and FOX Sports analyst Brandon Marshall is worried that the club is not recognizing that.

"How do you say Russell Wilson is a top-five quarterback, but then you're saying, 'Oh, the best way for us to win is to hand the ball off'? ... I don't know any top-five quarterback ... in the history of our game that just handed the ball off."

Wilson understands the gravity of the situation, as he has voiced his desire to be involved in the hiring of Seattle's third playcaller in five seasons. He told reporters that he has had conversations with Carroll and GM John Schneider about what they want in an OC.

"I think it’s vital, it’s critical, super significant that I’m a part of that process," he said.

The search for a new playcaller has already begun, as the Seahawks expressed interest in Kansas City Chiefs quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka and Los Angeles Chargers offensive coordinator Shane Steichen.

Also, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Seahawks spoke with former New York Jets head coach Adam Gase about the opening.

Gase finished with a 9-23 record in two seasons with the Jets, including an 0-12 start en route to a 2-14 finish in 2020.

Under Gase's eye, the franchise sat last in total offense in both 2019 and 2020, registering fewer than 280 yards of offense per game each season.

The Seahawks' interest in Gase has Colin Cowherd scratching his head.

"Like, come on, Seattle, what message does that send to your players? ... How did this story leak? Why would it leak? Makes no sense to me at all."

Wilson has been adamant in his belief that he and Carroll must be in agreement about the offense, and the OC choice will shine a light on whether that is the case.

If not, storm clouds might be gathering in 12th Man Nation.


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