Dear Seahawk Fan,
Yesterday’s game against the pitiful Detroit Lions was the game for you. Russell Wilson finally looked like vintage Russ, Rashaad Penny looked like vintage Shaun Alexander, and DK Metcalf looked happy (finally).
True, the defense didn’t dominate an inferior opponent like many of us would have enjoyed to see. They surrendered yards, and points, and they failed to generate a sack, but they managed to snag three interceptions which lead to Seahawk points, and that was fun.
Who knows what is in store for this Seahawks team once this season meets it’s conclusion next week. Reports are starting to swirl from Adam Schefter that it is a league wide belief that Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll will not continue their working relationship together in 2022. There is also some chatter from Jason La Confora that John Schneider and Pete Carroll are not seeing eye to eye on this roster needing an overhaul (John apparently wants a rebuild and Pete doesn’t).
We cannot know what will come out of all of this, but I suspect that Jody Allen is taking a very measured look at the bigger picture, and she is preparing to act in the best spirit of her brother, Paul. I suspect there could be some big changes brewing shortly. Paul Allen was never shy about acting swiftly whenever he felt it was needed, and I don’t anticipate Jody will be any different, if she feels all is not well.
With that in mind, I will say that if this was the last Seattle home game coached by Pete Carroll, the Seattle Seahawks dominated by playing it almost perfect Pete Ball, especially on offense. This was so fitting that I almost wonder if Hollywood had scripted this game.
The Seahawks ran for a pornographic about of 265 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. That opened up the opportunity for play action to function, and, oh, guess what? Russell Wilson is still really, really good at play action, as he hit on 20 of his 29 passes for 236 yards and four touchdown passes and zero INTs.
For as great as it was to see Penny run like an All Pro, it was better for me to see Russ throw like this. It was also bittersweet.
I’m not going to pretend to know everything that is going on inside Russ’s head, but I feel very confident in saying that I believe that he believes that Pete Carroll is holding him back, and if Pete is going to remain in Seattle, then Russ feels he needs to be somewhere else in 2022. Personally, I think this is misguided (if true), and I wish Russ had someone in his corner telling him that.
I think Pete Ball fits Russ like a glove and this game showed us why. If Russ is in an offense that is dedicated to the run, Russell Wilson is absolutely one of the very best quarterbacks in this league. Having a run game allows him to take advantage of what he does on an elite level, which is play action, throwing on the run, throwing intermediate to deep down field, and doing it all by being efficient with the football.
This, in my opinion, is what Russell Wilson best gives any offense. Like, this is what a solid football coach would do with him. In legal terms, this is the conclusion a reasonable mind would make.
But if you put him in a system that is throw first, that doesn’t stress the importance of the run enough, defenses know how to get after him, and he is a much different quarterback (which isn’t very good). We saw that a lot this year, and the second half of last year when Seattle continued to favor the passing numbers over the run (and Schotty was driving Pete Carroll nuts with it all).
Russ needs to be in an offense that features the run. It’s that simple.
Furthermore, if he is dealt this off-season, I believe the team that acquires him will eventually reach that conclusion with him. The New York Giants might try an up tempo, Andy Reid style offense with him, but I suspect that in two years further down the road, they will run an offense with Russ that would make Pete Carroll proud.
Ditto if Seattle moves on from Pete, and keeps Russ with a new coach. I think it would take Doug Pederson one season with Russ to see what he needs to do the following year, if the plan in 2022 is to let Russ cook.
I wish that Russ would see all of this, but I don’t think he wants to, and I don’t think anyone around him will tell him that. I think that he surrounds himself only by those who will tell him everything that he wants to hear, and mainly that is Pete is holding him back. I think that’s unfortunate for many parties.
As for Pete, I wouldn’t hold my breath his future is certain in Seattle in all of this, either. If Jody Allen does believe this team needs a rebuild, and Pete doesn’t see it that way, I can see this being Pete’s last home game, as well. We will see soon enough.
What I do know is that this game was vintage Pete Carroll football, and even if it was against an inferior team, that was fun to watch. The Seattle Seahawks dominated at the line of scrimmage with their run game, and they took the run away on defense. They took the ball away, and they scored a lot of points off of those turnovers. This is all Pete’s core philosophy as a coach, and say what you want to about how he manages times outs, I think that philosophy is a pretty sound one, even in today’s analytic inspired game.
If Pete Carroll is afforded the opportunity to stay, I think every effort needs to go into the off-season to return back to this style of play. Get more Jake Curhans opening up holes for running backs, and less Cedrick Ogbuehi reclamation projects. Go get a tough SOB center like Max Unger was, and an interior pass rusher to be a disrupting force like Michael Bennett was.
If Russell Wilson must go, go get a quarterback who would be happy and capable being a quality game manager in a system that has been proven time and time again. Let him rack up the efficient numbers and enjoy winning football. I’m sure Derek Carr would love to see himself routinely in the post season after years of missing the opportunity with the Raiders.
If Pete must go, and Russ stays, then someone needs to tell Russ that the run game is his very best friend, and is going to preserve his playing career so that he can achieve those lofty legacy goals. Otherwise, whoever that next head coach is will be dealing with all the same media leaked nonsense from Russ’s agent to Colin Cowherd as Pete has been dealt (“It’s never Russ’s fault, it’s always the coach and the GM, yada, yada, yada, yada.. blah, blah, blah.”).
Russ is a good quarterback who can be great with a run game, and Pete Carroll is a good coach who can be great for Russ. That’s what I see coming out of this one. Prove me wrong. I seriously doubt you will.
That’s the fitting irony that I see, and where this all goes next is anyone’s guess.
I just know this. I enjoyed watching this game. If this was to be the final home game for Pete or Russ, or both, it was Hollywood fitting. Which was nice.