O’Neil: The strange online conclusions about Seahawks are way off the mark
I’m not sure how deep the hole goes here in Seattle, and that’s because I fear I’m hearing only the loudest voices who are shouting increasingly strange conclusions about the Seahawks.
Like describing Pete Carroll as a control freak of a head coach who’s dead set on finding someone who will anticipate every run he wants called. Or characterizing Russell Wilson as if he is somehow a liability for the offense as opposed to being its greatest asset. Or then there’s the people who say that the Seahawks were the ones who were dumped by former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and now they’re begging someone to come here and follow Carroll’s orders to uninvent the wheel.
I have read all of these things recently. Granted, I’ve read them on the internet, which come to think of it is where these words are appearing, but it’s part of the reaction to Seattle’s first-round exit from the playoffs and ongoing search for an offensive coordinator.
We’ll get back to that for a second, but let’s pause for a little bit of perspective. The Seahawks are a pretty good team. Not great. Not beyond needing improvement, but they’re pretty good. Their regular-season win total has increased each of the previous three seasons. They have a quarterback who is arguably among the three best in the league at his position, and inarguably among the top five. The roster now includes one of the league’s top safeties in Jamal Adams, a wide receiver in DK Metcalf who is this team’s next star and a promising draft class that has added to the critical mass of young, cost-controlled contributors. This is not a team that is about to run off a cliff so much as one looking at how to go from being a good team to a great one.
The Seahawks are not like New Orleans nor Indianapolis. Those were teams making one last run with aging quarterbacks, teams that will now have to recalibrate their entire offense. The Seahawks have already been rebuilt. They went from being a franchise that was riding the fumes of that championship defense in 2016 and 2017 to one that has retooled while remaining a contender and looking to take the next step, which brings us back to the offensive coordinator search and the current anxiety that is gripping a not insignificant portion of Seattle’s fans. I’m refusing to participate in this collective freakout until the team actually settles on a coordinator.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that former Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is looking to sit this year out. He’s going to make exactly as much money not coaching this year as he would have if he served as the Seahawks offensive coordinator, and with a Super Bowl victory on his resume it’s hard to imagine that he won’t be in the running for head-coaching gigs next year even if he does nothing more strenuous than nap for the next 11 months.
The Seahawks talked to Adam Gase? OK. I hope they talk to a lot of people and talk about a lot of people and talk to Russell Wilson all those people they’re talking to. The Seahawks have also talked to Anthony Lynn and are interviewing Kirby Wilson, the running backs coach in Oakland who has twice worked for Carroll.
This is an important moment, a decision that should be made entirely according to what will maximize this team’s greatest asset, which is Wilson. And I hardly believe that I have to clarify that he is, in fact, an asset and not someone that any coach in this league would walk away from. And as for the mutual parting of ways with Schottenheimer? Offensive coordinators generally do not depart jobs in which they are working with a top-five quarterback. This is especially true when the coordinator in question has previously been given Mark Sanchez as the franchise QB.
Wilson is a draw here, not a detriment, and it’s very possible that Seattle is moving back toward the power-sharing arrangement that used to exist on offense with a run-game coordinator and someone else calling the passing plays. In the meantime, everyone should take a deep breath. The Seahawks are exploring options, not running out of them.