Russell Wilson details Seahawks’ offense under Brian Schottenheimer
There’s been plenty of change this offseason for the Seahawks – between the loss of longtime vets on defense, the addition of new coordinators and new faces, and question marks surrounding the futures of Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, it’s hard to pin down just what this team will look like in 2018.
Quarterback Russell Wilson has a pretty good idea about it, though, and it’s one that he shared when he sat down with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard and Mike Salk to talk about what the revamped Seahawks offense will look like for fans.
An explosive offense
Wilson pointed out two things in particular on Seattle’s offense: consistency on the offensive line, and a “blend” of two offensive schemes he personally favors.
“I think that we actually have a consistency up front right now with the ones in particular, which we’ve never really had,” Wilson said of the offensive line. “We always kind of trade places and put people in, which is good, but then at the same time there’s no consistency. And with the line in particular, those five guys, you need that consistency, you need the nucleus of those five.”
New Seahawks offensive coordinator Mike Solari will head that group this offseason. With the exception of newly-signed right guard D.J. Fluker, most of the O-line will be returning starters (including, from right to left, Germain Ifedi, Justin Britt, Ethan Pocic, and Duane Brown). Brown will also see his first full offseason with Seattle, after being acquired in a mid-season trade last year.
Wilson is personally excited to see new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer blending some offensive schemes.
“The best thing I ever got to do in my college career was one, being in the West Coast offense, and then being with Paul Chryst at Wisconsin. I really got both worlds, I really fully understood both worlds. And so here, with Schottenheimer, it’s really those two worlds and it’s basically all those worlds combined. I mean, it’s a lot; there’s a lot that we have on our agenda and we’re getting all those things in. I think the most exiting thing for me is kind of the freedom, the full access to it all, and really being able to use that at all times. I think that helps.”
“It’s not just wide zone anymore,” Wilson said, when asked to elaborate on what fans might see. “We’re going to have a lot of different schemes up front. And in terms of the passing game, I think that our protection will be better, I think our calls will be better, I think we’ll be a lot sharper, and there’s a lot more there to do.
“I think we’re going to be a very explosive offense.”
A meticulous planner
These days, it feels like Wilson is everywhere.
He’s had endorsements with Alaska Airlines, Braun, Bose, Nike, and Microsoft, among others. He’s seen on red carpets with his wife, singer Ciara. He frequents Seattle Children’s Hospital, and has his own Why Not You Foundation. He co-founded a clothing brand for Seattle-based retail giant Nordstrom. He spent a spring training stint with the Yankees, and most recently announced that he and Ciara became owners/investors in a group looking to bring the MLB to Portland. Oh, and he’s been training to fly helicopters for the past year.
In his conversation with Brock and Salk, Wilson joked about his active off-the-field lifestyle and poked fun at his own meticulous planning.
“If you saw my schedule,” Wilson said. “Every hour, every thirty minutes, is planned out.”
Wilson was able to laugh about his schedule for Thursday, which he shared with Brock and Salk. It includes a 5:15 a.m. wake-up time (when he’ll walk the family dogs and eat breakfast), scheduled time with a movement specialist, team meetings, practice and film study at the Seahawks’ facility in Renton, a meeting down in the afternoon, and time set aside for family.
“It has to be that way though,” Wilson said, in defense of his approach to planning. “I think the thing people think and worry about, is do I – I don’t play quarterback in everything that I do. In other words, I have an understanding of everything and I know what I want to do and I relay that and say hey this is how I want to do it, this is where I want to go, and our team, mine and C’s team, they do a beautiful job of making that happen and orchestrating all of that. And when it’s time for me to be there, I’ll be there.”
‘The best in the game’
The Seahawks will wrap up their mandatory minicamp Thursday short one familiar face: All-Pro safety Earl Thomas, who announced Sunday he intends to hold out from all team activities until his contract situation with Seattle is resolved.
Brock asked Wilson how he handles a situation like that, as a teammate.
“First of all, he’s a great friend. Second of all, he’s a Hall of Fame player. And third of all, it’s a business. And he believes this is the best thing for him, and you respect what he has to go through. And like I said, we kind of get distracated as fans or as players and misunderstand somebody’s passion if they’re not here. He’s the most passionate guy I know, and he’s the most prepared person I know. I also believe, though, and I wish that he was here because he makes me better, he makes our football team better, and it would be great to have him on the football field. So I can’t really get into his situation necessarily, I don’t know enough about it and I don’t know how he wants to handle that necessarily fully, but I think ultimately he’ll be back and he’ll be here for a long time hopefully. He’s a phenomenal player, and we need him. We need him because he’s one of the best players to ever play the game and he’s an exciting player to watch and play against.”