Rost’s Takeaways: Was it Seahawks or Greg Olsen with buyer’s remorse?

Feb 2, 2021, 8:16 AM
Seahawks Greg Olsen...
Greg Olsen was the Seahawks' sixth-most targeted receiver in his one year with Seattle. (Getty)

What NFL offseason? The Seahawks, like 29 other teams, are out of the playoffs, but there are still plenty of headlines catching the attention of their fans.

One 2020 Seahawks rookie could greatly benefit from new OC

There was the recent hiring of offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and, just when you thought things were getting quiet, a blockbuster trade that shipped Jared Goff out of the NFC West and landed the Rams a new quarterback in Matthew Stafford.

Here’s a look at two new stories making the rounds.

The story: Brian Schottenheimer reportedly joins Jaguars coaching staff

The question: Are two former Seahawks offensive coordinators going to find new life with a new team?

Former Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has found a new home, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, just a few weeks after he and Seattle parted ways with the Seahawks citing “philosophical differences.” Schottenheimer will become the Jacksonville Jaguars’ passing game coordinator under new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and new head coach Urban Meyer.

Schottenheimer joins another ex-Seahawks OC in Jacksonville with Bevell, who spent the last two seasons as offensive coordinator (and eventually interim head coach) for the Detroit Lions and previously oversaw Seattle’s offense from 2011-17. Both coordinators came under fire during the latter part of their Seahawks tenures, though Schottenheimer’s was a much more sudden turn. And while there’s no one man responsible for Seattle’s offensive collapse in the second half of the season, that the Seahawks’ offense couldn’t adjust to looks from opposing defenses is a indictment on Schottenheimer.

Bevell frequently faced criticism for what many critics felt was a lackluster offense that wasted the talents of its biggest stars. At the time, that list included Russell Wilson, Jimmy Graham, and Doug Baldwin. Schottenheimer, who was hired as Bevell’s replacement, faced similar criticism.

All eyes will be on the Jags this year thanks to Meyer’s return to the sideline and presumed first overall pick Trevor Lawrence. But Seahawks fans in particular will be watching a little more closely to see what the offense looks like under this new regime. If Schottenheimer and Bevell team up for a creative, explosive and productive offense, Seahawks fans might become concerned that issues seen in years’ past will pop up in this newest iteration of Seattle’s offense.

The story: Greg Olsen says he has a bit of “buyer’s remorse” over his decision to come to Seattle

The question: Was signing Olsen a mistake? And who’s fault was it that it didn’t work out?

The video is a little more forgiving (watch it here), but a quote from Olsen’s appearance a few days ago on FS1’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd is making the rounds again.

The interview starts with a somewhat sarcastic Cowherd asking whether Olsen will forgive him for pushing the veteran tight end to sign with Seattle in free agency.

“I’m glad I still went to Seattle,” Olsen said. “It was a good experience. I was happy for Buffalo, I had a lot of friends there… but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t having a little bit of buyer’s remorse.”

Olsen, who recently announced his retirement from the NFL after 14 seasons, finished his single season in Seattle with 24 receptions for just 239 yards and one touchdown. Olsen was the Seahawks’ sixth-most targeted receiver despite his relatively hefty one-year, $7 million deal.

Turns out that like most things that don’t work out, hindsight was 20/20 for both parties.

The Seahawks signed Olsen last February, when their leading returning tight end was Jacob Hollister, who was set to be a restricted free agent, and 2018 draft pick Will Dissly was coming off surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles. Did they need Olsen? No. But it wasn’t an objectively bad decision – at least not at the time. The Seahawks were hedging their bets on a savvy, veteran tight end to come in and help boost an offense that felt just a few pieces removed from being a contender.

In the end, it wasn’t a great marriage for either party. Olsen received praise for his leadership but never became an integral part of the offense on the field. It’s unclear how much of that is on him, and how much of it is on game planning; the Seahawks never really found a way to regularly incorporate their tight ends, at least not as effectively as they’d done in years past. It didn’t help that Olsen missed time after suffering a torn plantar fascia.

That said, I’m not convinced Olsen would’ve seen drastically more success with the Bills. The Bills’ offense was one of the hottest units in the league, particularly by years’ end, so I understand why a player would wonder. But like Seattle, targets heavily favored Buffalo’s top two receivers (166 for Stefon Diggs and 107 for Cole Beasley.) Then there’s that whole thing about getting past the Chiefs.

Also, Jimmy Graham did nothing wrong.

Follow Stacy Rost on Twitter.

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Rost’s Takeaways: Was it Seahawks or Greg Olsen with buyer’s remorse?