After getting off to a 4-5 start this season, the Seahawks turned over more of their offense to quarterback Russell Wilson and saw the quarterback take off on the best stretch of his career.
Wilson finished the season with 24 touchdowns and one interception in the final seven games of the regular season before running into rougher sledding in the postseason. Wilson was able to get back on track in the second half against Carolina on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to erase the 31-0 hole he helped to dig and that means it is time to flip the page to the offseason for the Seahawks.
During an appearance on ESPN 710 in Seattle Monday, coach Pete Carroll outlined what he has planned for Wilson in the months before the Seahawks get back on the field. Carroll said that getting a contract extension “was really important” for Wilson’s ability to focus on football and that the quarterback is now ready for the next steps that “the great ones” take in their careers.
“We’re going to really learn football this offseason,” Carroll said. “We’re going to go much deeper into different areas than what he’s had to focus at. He was asking, ‘How do you want to do that?’ So we already set up a little schedule of how we’ll do our stuff. I want to take him to the other side of the football and I want him to understand it to the lengths that will start him really owning the whole football game. I want to accelerate the process for Russell; now he’s ready. He can command what we’re doing on offense. He’ll get better at all that stuff, too. But we need to just get him a better understanding of everything that’s going on in the game.”
Carroll talked about doing the same thing with safety Earl Thomas, but there are limits to how much a safety can impact a game. Quarterbacks are in a different position, obviously, and Wilson’s play while the team went 6-1 in the final seven weeks illustrates how much of an impact he can have. With the team looking ready to move away from Marshawn Lynch and the offensive style that they favored for the last few years, handing more responsibility to Wilson is both the natural way to go and the way the Seahawks appear to be heading.