Reading Between the Lines: Russell Wilson edition
By Danny O’Neil
Russell Wilson pretty much carried the Seahawks to victory on Sunday, running for 74 yards in the fourth quarter and overtime as he keyed a comeback.
And when coach Pete Carroll was asked Monday about that crunch-time rushing, the praise started flowing. It took a translator, though, to see just what Carroll meant in addressing whether Wilson’s legs amounted to a trump card for this team.
Question: Is Russell’s scrambling ability like an ace up your sleeve?
What Carroll actually said: “That’s part of the makeup of our team. Russell’s on our team and he can run around and make some special opportunities for you. As long as he continues to do it well and stay out of trouble and not get hit. He did a great job yesterday.”
What Carroll meant: So, you think that we’re waiting to let Russell Wilson run for dramatic effect? That we wait until that crucial moment and let Russell run like it’s some big reveal? We have a playbook, not a Hollywood script.
What Carroll actually said: “Very few times did they hit him. They hit him when he was in a pocket, but when he got out, he took care of business pretty well. That’s something that you have to deal with with our club. I’m not worried about him doing it too much because I think he has a really good sense for it.”
What Carroll meant: When our pass protection is an oxymoron like it was in Houston, Russell Wilson doesn’t need to tuck the ball and run to get waxed. And if you look at that game Sunday, he got hit way more behind the line of scrimmage than he did when he ran beyond it.
What Carroll actually said: “He knew we needed some help. He needed to make some things happen, and he used his legs to do it. It’s very difficult to deal with, obviously … So that’s going to be part of the offense and we’re surely not going to shy away from letting him go.”
What Carroll meant: Let’s be clear: Russell Wilson’s running was not a problem, it was an asset. It was what it required to win that game, which is exactly what our quarterback does. In the season opener in Carolina, it was his passing that gave us the victory. In Houston, it was his legs. At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me if he used The Force to win the game because you just know he’s got some Jedi Knight in him.