Of all of the frustrations coming from Russell Wilson and those around him about the Seahawks this offseason, there was one aspect of his frustration he made directly clear himself.
He’s tired of getting hit.
“I’m frustrated at getting hit too much,” Wilson said in February. “I’m frustrated with that. At the end of the day, man, you want to win, you know.”
Wilson is a person that normally goes out of his way to talk about how great the 10th wide receiver and third-string center are during his press conferences throughout the season. Ask a question about DK Metcalf and he could name check every receiver on the roster and practice squad and say how great everybody is doing. So when Wilson makes a direct complaint about getting hit, it’s notable.
The clear implication from Wilson is that he wanted more from his offensive line moving forward.
“You never want to get hit,” he continued. “That’s just, that’s the reality of playing this position. Ask any quarterback who wants to play this game, and I think, at the same time, it’s part of the job and everything else. I think that the reality is is that I’ve definitely been hit, been sacked, I don’t know, almost 400 times. And so we’ve got to get better. I’ve got to find ways to get better, too.”
So what have the Seahawks done this offseason? They’ve brought back everyone on their offensive line except for Mike Iupati, who is retiring after 11 years in the league. Seattle made a trade to acquire Gabe Jackson from the Las Vegas Raiders last week to essentially replace Iupati in the team’s presumptive starting lineup. They have re-signed center Ethan Pocic, backup guard Jordan Simmons and backup tackle Cedric Ogbuehi. Duane Brown returns at left tackle, Damien Lewis at guard and Brandon Shell at right tackle.
Seattle’s offensive line was far from a disaster last year. The addition of Shell along with the play of then-rookie Lewis at right guard gave the Seahawks one of their most competent units in years. It wasn’t perfect. Injuries to Shell, Pocic, Ogbuehi and Jamarco Jones left the group short-handed late in the season. Wilson also had some self-inflicted problems by holding the ball too long at times as well.
The Seahawks seemingly didn’t feel like there was a need for wholesale changes up front given their decisions this offseason. They’re returning 4/5ths of their starters from last season with Jackson slotting into the group at one of the guard spots.
Will the addition of Jackson at guard be enough to quell Wilson’s frustrations? Can Shane Waldron’s scheme as new offensive coordinator maximize the output of the group as a whole with the plays they decide to run? Will the Seahawks add more to the group in the draft with one of their three remaining selections for this year?
Those are some of the questions that still don’t have answers.