Russell Wilson will enter his seventh season as a pro with a new offensive coordinator in Seattle. The Seahawks quarterback was generating plenty of MVP buzz midseason, but the talk ultimately faded following back-to-back losses against the Jaguars and Rams and a 9-7 finish to the season.
NFL analyst Sean Salisbury, though, believes the Seahawks’ new staff can help refine Wilson’s skillset and help the Super Bowl XLVIII-winning quarterback secure another championship.
“Any great player I’ve ever been around not only wanted to be coached, but needed to be coached,” Salisbury told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny, Dave and Moore.
He believes the assistants that will be around Wilson have the potential to have the biggest impact.
“That doesn’t mean you grind on him and you’re on him every second of the day where he can’t breathe, but it also doesn’t mean you kiss his (expletive) when he throws the ball to the other team and made a bad read. Great players need to be coached … you can’t be afraid to teach him, and the best coaches in the world don’t coach first. Anybody can yell and scream. You teach first and coach second. And if you have that chance, I’m telling you, you can make this Seattle Seahawks team good. They still have a chance to be great with a few implementations.”
Salisbury said when it comes to refining Wilson’s technique, it isn’t about forcing him to do special things – Salisbury says he can already to that – but rather, it’s about pushing for complete, simple plays.
“He is special. His ability to escape and make a spectacular play, none of us question that … as far as, can Russell do no wrong? No, he can do wrong. He’s made mistakes. He may run you into a sack or two, all great scramblers do because they rely on what their greatest strength is. (But) you’ve got to be able to beat (teams) in different ways on a day maybe you can’t scramble, on a day you get sacked nine times. Can you still win me a football game? I know he can make the spectacular play. What I want Russell Wilson and what I want great quarterbacks to do is to make me the simple play. Make me the five-yard checkdown on third and three. You don’t have to hit a home run every time…
“How he put the numbers up this year, quite frankly, nothing short of phenomenal … if he plays the position as if he didn’t have that escapability skillset, he’d go to another level. Because that’s your crutch. He knows he can bail himself out. Russell Wilson hasn’t peaked his game yet, you haven’t seen it. And while he can’t do any wrong in some eyes, if you put the home run part of it aside, there’s still more game to Russell Wilson, and if somebody would be willing to teach him and coach him into hitting the singles, the home runs are going to come, and so is another Super Bowl appearance or more.”
Listen to Salisbury talk about Wilson’s future above, and hear the whole interview in this podcast.