INDIANAPOLIS – Russell Wilson made headlines during Super Bowl week when he told Mike Florio and Chris Simms about his desires to run more up-tempo offense in 2020.
“I mean we’ve always been really good at two-minute [offense],” the Seahawks QB said on PFT Live in Miami. “We’ve always been really good in those end-of-the-half (situations), those not always hurry-up situations, but those up-tempo situations (and) moments. And the reality is this: I think the defense gets tired, first thing.”
Wilson also referenced Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs' high-powered offense as the gold standard of a team trying to score as many points as possible. The comments came on the heels of Seattle's disappointing playoff defeat to the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Round despite a furious second-half comeback.
Wilson apparently shared those exact sentiments with Pete Carroll as well. Carroll met with reporters at the NFL Combine on Tuesday and mentioned the conversation without divulging too many details.
“We’ve been talking about that for years. We’ve been in and out of tempo throughout, and so you’ll see what happens,” Carroll said.
He later added ambiguously: “There’s a lot of really cool things happening on offense.”
In Carroll’s view, Wilson is playing the “best he’s ever been” and given he came out healthy at the end of the season, it provides the QB with another opportunity to take a step forward heading into 2020. Wilson is coming off of a season in which he was a legit MVP candidate for most of the year while accumulating 4,110 passing yards, 31 touchdowns and a career-low five interceptions.
Carroll anticipates Wilson benefitting from the return of TE Will Dissly (Achilles, anticipated back for Week 1) and RB Rashaad Penny (knee, expected back early in the 2020 regular season) as well as the addition of TE Greg Olsen.
Both Schneider and Carroll referenced Wilson’s connection with Olsen and how the two hatched the plan to join forces in Seattle.
“(Olsen) was a really important get for us to be solid at the tight end spot,” Carroll said. “That’s another step in solidifying a 6-5-plus target to catch the football, run routes, understands the game, which really compliments Russell’s mentality.”
Carroll knows there’s plenty of accountability that falls on the shoulders of the coaching staff as well. He opted for continuity on his staff, keeping most of the group intact including all three coordinators. The benefit of having such little turnover is the chance to thoroughly self-scout what went right and what went awry in 2019.
He referred to the last few months as an opportunity to make tweaks and be the “master scientists” working to make comprehensive improvements. That process will continue in the weeks and months remaining in the offseason.
“It’s a really exciting time for us because it’s really the creative time of it,” Carroll said. “It’s an assessment of our players, who we can add, how we can fit things together, how we can take advantage of things we learned last year, things we don’t want to do – it’s just on going.”
The biggest issue with the Seahawks offense was its inconsistency early in games. Seattle scored a combined three first half points in Week 17 against the 49ers and in the Divisional Round against the Packers, both games the Seahawks lost narrowly in the final minutes.
Is more up-tempo the answer? It’s likely not that simple, but it could be part of the solution. Regardless, Carroll understands that improvement is paramount.
“It should be better. There’s no question that everybody feels like that, and so I’m looking forward to that,” he said.