In 2014, his third season in the NFL, quarterback Russell Wilson gained 849 yards on the ground. That’s an average of 53 yards per game. This year, he’s averaging 2.5 yards per game.
Through two weeks, Wilson has five rushing yards on three attempts.
Would coach Nathaniel Hackett like to see Wilson run more frequently?
“In essence, that means that he’s going through the progression and distributing the ball the right way to all the different people,” Hackett told reporters on Friday, regarding the fact that Wilson isn’t running much. “Everybody is choreographed and on time together. I think that when you see that, that’s a good sign because when he has to run, you know he’s going to break out and do certain things. Whether it’s a scramble drill or gaining yards with his feet. But right now, he’s been able to distribute the ball throughout the progression.”
Still, the threat of Wilson running becomes a useful balance to the passing game, forcing defenses to be aware of the possibility that Wilson will take off while covering receivers.
There’s a separate question that, frankly, needs to be raised. Is Wilson as quick and nimble as he used to be? As he closes in on his 34th birthday, it’s entirely possible he’s not as fast as he once was.
Either way, he’s not running like he previously did. Without that threat, it becomes a little tougher to find that open receiver, because the defense feels no compulsion to assign a player to operate as a so-called spy on the possibility of Wilson taking off.