Russell Wilson, like the rest of us, didn’t find out about the news his Seahawks parted ways Brian Schottenheimer until Tuesday. He confirmed he wasn’t part of that decision when he met with reporters for an exit interview on Thursday afternoon.
“Unfortunately, I get paid a decent amount but Coach makes those decisions,” Wilson joked.
The Seahawks star QB made it clear that he’ll miss Schottenheimer, a logical sentiment given their success together over the last three seasons, but added that he trusts Carroll’s decision to want a fresh start at offensive coordinator.
But while Wilson wasn’t privy to Pete Carroll’s “philosophical differences” with Schottenheimer, he expects to be in lock step with his head coach in regard to hiring Seattle’s next offensive coordinator. Wilson said conversations with Carroll and GM John Schneider have already begun in regard to qualities they’ll look for in the new OC.
Wilson expressed his confidence that the final outcome of their collective search will be someone who all three feel good about. It's also evident that he understands the gravity of making the right choice.
“Going into the 10th year in my career, it’s a critical time,” Wilson said. “The next 10 years are super critical for everybody involved, the whole organization including myself as a player and the legacy that I want to leave. It’s vital, it’s critical, it’s super significant that I’m a part of that process. Coach and I have definitely been talking about it.
“As a quarterback, it’s imperative to my career, too, and how far I want to go as a player. That’s something I’m really dedicated to having those conversations and communicate all that. I’m super excited about being in the mix. Hopefully we can find the right person.”
Wilson kept things mostly vague in terms of which traits he’ll be looking for in his next OC. He touched on the obvious, yet mandatory qualities of being a leader of men and excellent teacher. Wilson also used the word “innovator” at one point.
“Someone who is extremely passionate about the game and creative as well,” Wilson said. “Someone who knows how to find every guy’s strength, every guy in that huddle, including myself. That’s such an incredible part to this game. What’s important is for us to be one of the most explosive offenses in football, for us to be able to throw the ball extremely well and for us to be able to run the ball as well. For us to have the up-tempo game.”
On Monday, Carroll made headlines with his comments about wanting to run the football more often and more effectively in 2021. Wilson shared that he’s spoken to his head coach about that philosophy and feels like the two are on the same page.
“We have to do everything extremely well,” he said. “Think about it, if you really want to be a great offense, the best in the league, the best in the world, we have to be able to be able to throw it down the field. We have to have great concepts in the middle of the field and to get the ball out quick. We want our screen game to be great. We want to be able to run the ball extremely well. We want to be up-tempo and be able to change the pace.”
This all comes back to Seattle’s ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl. Most good vibes from the 12-4 season that included an NFC West Championship were squashed with the 30-20 loss to the Rams in the Wild Card Round. For as much regular season success as the Seahawks have enjoyed, they’re yet to return to the NFC Championship Game since 2014.
Seattle’s new offensive coordinator will be instrumental in whether or not the team is able to end that drought in the near future.
“We can't settle for anything less than winning it all,” Wilson said.