Next Seattle offensive coordinator will likely cater to Russell Wilson

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When the tip arrived at PFT HQ last night and I passed it along to our overnight staffer, Curtis Crabtree, for pursuit and possible confirmation, I didn’t think much of it. The Seahawks offense has struggled, and at a time when plenty of big changes will be coming on the field, why not make a pretty big change on the sideline?

But then, after Curtis chased down the news and reported it at PFT, the significance became more clear, as evidenced in this follow-up item regarding the question of whether the locker room will react kindly to the development — especially in the wake of receiver Doug Baldwin‘s comments from last week that the failures of the offense aren’t about playcalling but execution.

The core question: Could it be that, when quarterback Russell Wilson is improvising, he’s actually freelancing?

A source with knowledge of the dynamics in Seattle reacted to the item in a way that confirms the suspicion that Baldwin was indeed referring to the quarterback, and the challenge the Seahawks now face between picking a coordinator who will coach Wilson hard and a coordinator who will cater to Wilson. The source predicts it will be the latter, which means that the shift will continue away from the Legion of Boom and toward Russell Wilson’s One-Man Band.

So who will it be? With former Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula, who constructed an offense around franchise quarterback Cam Newton, now available, maybe he’ll emerge as a viable candidate in Seattle. If the goal will be to embrace Wilson’s talents and to try to build an attack that harnesses them as part of the plan and not part of the breakdown, the Seahawks could do a lot worse than hire a guy who has done just that in Carolina.

34 responses to “Next Seattle offensive coordinator will likely cater to Russell Wilson

  1. If Shula’s so great, why did Rivera just let him go? And if you don’t think Cam’s freelancing quite often, you’re watching different games than I’m watching.

  2. They really need to get away from having Wilson supplying 80% of their offense.

    He’s going to get injured sooner or later.

  3. The football world has been pretty clear that the only QB in the NFL that needs to be catered to is Andrew Luck. Apparently Luck is so good he can only win if the conditions are absolutely prefect. Great Oline. Great receivers and a great RB. Oh and he has to have a great defense too. Anything short of that Indy is just wasting the best player in a generations career.

  4. I disagree, this move is about no running game. Carroll been already saying they have to get back to the running game. Baldwin was referring to Cable. So please stop trying to make this about Baldwin/Wilson. Wilson has to “Freelance” because average D-Linemen are in the backfield on every play including running plays tackling the RB for 3-4 yard losses. Many times this season 2-3 linemen were literally tacking the RB where he was handed the ball. This would be the execution Baldwin was talking about. Wilson has nothing to do with the horrid line play.

  5. I’m not sure how the Hawks can blame poor offensive performance on the offensive coordinator given the state of their O-line the last couple years.

  6. It would be a smart move to play to his strengths. Bevell wasn’t able to, and our offensive production showed. Too many terrible play calls from Bevell cost him his job. Here’s to hoping new blood at the OC position helps the Hawks and creates an exciting offense again.

  7. Well, Wilson didn’t have much of a choice other than to start “freelancing” because plays would break down almost immediately. Later he probably was a bit shellshocked and would start improvising and abandoning the play a bit earlier than needed, but a lot of this starts with Bevell and Cable.
    Cable for once again putting a sub par and inexperienced offensive line on the field that couldn’t protect the qb and allow a play to develop and Bevell who would call plays as if the line was comprised of Probowl linemen.

  8. If Indy has a great O-line, why did Chandler Jones beat Anthony Costanzo on every single passing play this year? That was not a fair fight. I know Jones had a great year, but that was like watching an overweight bulldog trying to stop a Doberman.

  9. Every successful qb in the NFL runs a “structured” offense and operates within the boundaries of that offense. If a qb consistently “freelances,” he is saying he is smarter and more capable of being the coach than the coach is. That is a certain recipe for failure. The other 52 players on the team know what the game plan is. IF Wilson decides to “do it his way,” they know it and, losing, blame the qb 100% for the loss, consequently, destroying the locker room.

  10. Wilson will be exposed under another oc who won’t call a sandlot game based on Wilson freelancing. They will actually practice real plays not scramble drills. Poor 12’s don’t understand how bad this is for them. I love it!

  11. Why do they even need an offensive coordinator if Wilson is going to do whatever he wants anyway. In that case the offensive coordinator will be nothing but a figurehead. What coach is going to want to take a job where the QB does whatever he wants? Why not just name Wilson as the offensive coordinator and end the charade?

  12. Pete’s not rolling over to make the QB happy, that’s not how he’s wired. Pete has 2-3 years left, he ultra competitive, he’s only focused on a balanced offense that can win.

    Russell knows he has work to do and he wants to be challenged….whoever they bring in…it’s a needed change

  13. Russell Wilson has had plenty of weapons in his career. Beast mode in his prime, solid group of receivers and tight ends, Doug Baldwin, Percy Harvin, Kearse, Golden Tate, Wilson, Graham, and a great defense that makes stops to give the ball back to the offense. Even when Seattle’s offense played horribly, the defense kept them in games. Funny how the defense is now aging and Seattle misses the playoffs.

  14. Designing an offense around a mobile quarterback is one minor leg injury away from returning to Step 1. I still think the best use of Wilson’s talent is to design a conventional offense and use his mobility as “Plan B” if the play breaks down.

  15. @Seahawks0621 says:

    Pete’s not rolling over to make the QB happy, that’s not how he’s wired. Pete has 2-3 years left, he ultra competitive, he’s only focused on a balanced offense that can win.
    Thanks for explaining why he traded one of the best o-lineman for a spotty tight-end, allowed Lynch to go without having a suitable replacement and started an undrafted basketball player at LT for 2 straight seasons. He’s all about defense, which is why most of their cap money is tied up with defensive players. He got lucky with Wilson.

  16. Wilson has to freelance because the play is over the moment the ball is snapped and the offensive line crumples like a tin can. That’s not really Bevell’s “fault” either but as the O coordinator it’s ultimately his responsibility if the line doesn’t perform. Yeah there is an O line coach but bevell is the man at the top of the offense.

  17. smarter than you says:
    January 10, 2018 at 12:06 pm
    The most overrated QB in all of football, bar none.


    How can you say that? Wilson is a very talented QB. Without him, the Seahawks would be lucky to win 2-3 games a season.

  18. Breaking news: Seattle hires one of those old vibrating football games as offensive coordinator. “Yeah, we’ll just vibrate around without direction and hope someone some one comes open” said Pete Carroll

  19. @patsfan4lifesbchamps says:

    Russell Wilson has had plenty of weapons in his career. Beast mode in his prime, solid group of receivers and tight ends, Doug Baldwin, Percy Harvin, Kearse, Golden Tate, Wilson, Graham, and a great defense that makes stops to give the ball back to the offense. Even when Seattle’s offense played horribly, the defense kept them in games. Funny how the defense is now aging and Seattle misses the playoffs.
    Percy Harvin was an offensive weapon once every 4 weeks which is how often he played. Kearse and Tate were so good Seattle decided it was better to let them go than to pay them.

  20. Wilson is the reason they won most of their games this season. The offensive line has not shown they are capable of consistently blocking at an NFL level. Schneider and Carroll have been rather cavalier in constructing that group, employing low level draft picks whoever they could find on the free agent market. They gambled in an attempt at managing the salary cap and this is the year it all blew up in their faces. They can shuffle the coaching staff all they want, but until they bring in better O linemen, this offense will remain inconsistent and reliant on Wilsons improvisations. Well, until he gets hurt, then they’re just screwed.

  21. Apparently, the Wilson critics stopped watching the NFL before he came in the league. He owns every record since he came in. he’s on track to break every meaningful record held by a QB, before he dons the gold jacket.

    You can’t admit you quit watching,(cause Trump told you to) then make crazy proclamations, that don’t align with the facts. That’s #stablegenius type stuff. Wilson is unique, possessing skills no other QB can claim, thus far. Only Aaron Rodgers comes close. Deshaun Watson has a chance, but no one else. The kid can do what Cam does and what Brady does.

    You sound silly trying to blame him for taking flight after his OL springs the usual leaks. Bevell should have been gone years ago. The change is warranted.

  22. freelancing is not bad. Aaron Rodgers does it a lot. Aaron Rodgers is known to scramble both for yards and for more time. Even Tom Brady moves around the pocket to buy time to allow receivers to get open. Many teams have made mistakes in the past forcing mobile quarterbacks to stay inside the pocket instead of allowing them to scramble as they see fit. If Seattle limits Russell Wilson’s improvisations, I have no problem with that because I am not a 12th.

    Many people have said it before. The game is won or lost at the line of scrimmage. This season, Seattle simply did not have a good O line or a good D line. If their D line was so good, they would not have traded for Sheldon Richardson.

  23. Usually either the center or the QB will call the protection package when they get to the ball – based upon the read.

    When a line performs poorly, sometimes it’s the players but often it was a poor read by C or QB.

    Wilson can’t read a D. He doesn’t see things he should.

    He’s talented but he’s also a huge part of the problem. Calls the wrong pro package, immediately bails and tries to be the hero.

  24. Maybe if Bevell had actually created and run an offense based on the players skill sets then this whole discussion would be moot. Jimmy Graham couldn’t block at all, half the time didn’t even try but still there he was on every play tight inside not spread out where he could get a release.

    Virtually every play all season started with about 2 seconds on the clock because he couldn’t get the play in quickly. The poor offensive linemen had to stand there in ready stance while the defense they played could move freely and figure out what was coming based on the formation. Wilson had almost no time to read the defense because the clock was running out.

    If you look at their successful series they almost always were not in a hurry up but at least they were snapping the ball with 10 to 12 seconds on the clock. And in the full hurry up they were great which is why RW has so many 4th quarter comebacks.

  25. OKay first off Baldwin was not talking about Wilson, I know this for a fact, he was talking about Cable. 2nd the reality is they have said many times that Wilsons freelancing is part of their game plan. 3rd Wilson was hit, hurried or pressured in under 2 seconds more than any other QB in the league so there is your problem.

  26. Consider this: back in late December we all became aware of Wilson’s insanely high 4th quarter passer rating of 133.1 on the season. He blew away an NFL record of 4th quarter TD passes. The next-highest 4th quarter passer rating was Drew Brees, at 116.7.

    Because of the first three quarters of each game, Wilson’s overall passer rating for the season was dragged down to 95.4.

    It would stand to reason that Wilson was the “good soldier” and ran the plays exactly as called by the OC during the first three quarters…and when the coaches realized that they stood a good chance of losing, they let Wilson play like Russell Freakin’ Wilson.

    So it actually might not be such a bad idea to hire an OC that caters to Wilson.

  27. So many of you can’t see that Seattle has had the worst OL in pro football for several years. That’s not an improv by Wilson, that improv was set in place by the GM. No OL equals advantage defense.

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