O’Neil: Russell Wilson is a fixer, and why Seahawks are looking for a new offensive coordinator
Russell Wilson is a fixer.
The became clear after the first month of his first season as the Seahawks starting quarterback when he showed an ability to systematically address the shortcomings in his performance. And that trait – Wilson’s ability to self-correct – is the biggest reason why Seattle is now looking for a new offensive coordinator.
Pete Carroll believes in Wilson’s ability to respond to coaching and to criticism because he has seen it. Repeatedly. And after six years playing for Darrell Bevell, Carroll reached the difficult decision that another approach, another voice will get him more out of the quarterback.
But let’s get back to Wilson because for all the time spent listing his traits from his mobility to his resilience to his mentality, there’s one element that is often overlooked: his dedication to self-improvement.
“He’s one of the best guys I’ve ever seen in terms of being a fixer,” said Jake Heaps, his former teammate. “Meaning that if you give him a task … he’s going to work tirelessly to fix that.”
Heaps said that during his interview with Brock and Salk on Thursday morning, and I thought back to a story written during Wilson’s rookie season, documenting his improvement from a player who was getting close to getting benched in favor of Matt Flynn to showing that he was the franchise quarterback.
And there is no doubt about that. Wilson is the franchise quarterback. One of the five best at his position and perhaps the most unique, and Seattle’s challenge as a franchise is to get the most out of that increasingly expensive resource.
Seattle spent three years trying to find its quarterback of the future. The Seahawks then spent the next three years trying to find out how good he can be.
But after a season in which he was the team’s leading rusher and had a hand in all but one of the team’s offensive touchdowns, it’s time to find out if someone else can make Wilson be even more efficient.
The Seahawks know their quarterback is a fixer. They wanted someone else to present him with the challenges because they know it’s not about getting Wilson to do more, but about getting him to do it better.