The core of the friction between the Seahawks and Russell Wilson was simple. They didn’t let Russ cook.
More specifically, the offense didn’t run through Wilson. The offense wasn’t built around him. Coach Pete Carroll wanted to win with suffocating defense and a ground-and-pound running game. Wilson’s skills became more necessity (especially when the Seahawks were trailing in the second half) than luxury.
In Denver, Wilson finally gets his wish. He’ll be the centerpiece of the attack, the same way Patrick Mahomes is in Kansas City, Josh Allen is in Buffalo, and Aaron Rodgers is in Green Bay, just to name a few.
On Monday, the first day of Denver OTAs, new head coach Nathaniel Hackett explained to reporters the process of making Wilson fit the offense. Or, more accurately, of making the offense fit Wilson.
“We want to build this thing completely around him and make sure that he’s comfortable and watch him come alive,” Hackett said. “I think he did some awesome things today utilizing his athleticism, and at the same time, being just a pure drop-back passer. I think there were a lot of good things. We just have to keep developing that– the integration of the system, his feel with the rest of the team and how he is with the other guys — the wide receivers, tight ends — and getting those guys all on the same page.”
The best news is that Wilson seems to be completely beyond last year’s finger injury.
“[When] he throws the ball, it’s beautiful,” Hackett said. “He’s what we call a natural thrower. The guy just can spin it. Then watching him today make some of the plays he did with his feet and dodging and moving, it was like me when I was in flag football back when I was younger. He’s doing great, and we’re excited to see him just keep owning that system.”
That’s the key. Wilson now owns the system; the system no longer owns him. It will be very interesting to see how that affects Wilson’s performance in 2022.