Russell Wilson had a monster season in 2019 – maybe his best ever. He posted 4,110 yards, 31 touchdowns and just five interceptions while being named to his sixth Pro Bowl.
He did all that on just 516 pass attempts, which ranked tied for 12th in the NFL. Over the last four years, Wilson ranks 13th in combined pass attempts in quarters 1-3 and third in pass attempts (stat via ESPN’s Brady Henderson). Thus, the “Let Russ Cook” campaign continues to crescendo under the belief that the Seahawks could get more out of their franchise QB.
Even Wilson himself hopes Seattle will adopt a more aggressive philosophy offensively early in games.
“Let’s treat every quarter like the fourth quarter,” Wilson said just last week.
Pete Carroll was asked on Saturday about the notion that his desire for balance between the run and pass games is holding Wilson back. Will he finally let Russ cook in 2020?
In classic Carroll fashion, Seattle’s head coach dished out some sarcasm in his response.
“We’re just going to hammer the rock,” Carroll said after the Seahawks mock game while cracking a wry smile. “That’s all we’re doing around here – hammering the rock.”
He then paused as if that was the end of his response before giving the question a more sincere answer.
“Of course I’ve given it some thought,” Carroll said. “You guys keep asking about it. I’ve got to figure out how to answer the question when you ask it.
“Russ is the best he’s ever been. He’s as far along as he’s ever been. He’s got a fantastic group of guys for learning and growing together with.”
Carroll mentioned the stable presence of Tyler Lockett and David Moore. He raved about Greg Olsen and continued his way down the depth chart in the passing game.
“We’re really excited about Phillip Dorsett and what he adds,” Carroll said. “We’re looking for the emergence of John Ursua as he’s coming up.
“It’s a really good group (Wilson is) working with, and he knows he’s got a running game. Carlos Hyde has just accentuated that, too.”
Carroll is right. Wilson is surrounded by a loaded group of skill players, maybe even the best he’s ever had. That acknowledgement by Carroll indicates, at the very least, that Seattle’s coaching staff is fully aware of the criticisms lobbed their way. They’re also privy to Wilson’s comments, of course.
So maybe this is the year we see a pivot in the Seahawks long-standing identity on offense, but we won’t know for sure until the season begins on Sept. 13 against the Falcons.
“Russ is going to do everything he can, and we’re going to give him every opportunity to kick butt,” Carroll said. “You’re going to have to wait and see what that all means.”