Gallant: Russell Wilson’s ‘camp’ needs to cut out complaints about Seahawks
Remember the image from the Super Bowl of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson despondently staring into the abyss while NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Wilson’s wife Ciara chatted it up?
Well, the mean internet streets would have you believe that Russ was horrified as he realized while watching the Chiefs’ offense struggle that that’s what his offensive line is like to watch from the stands.
But those were memes. Now we’ve got some gossip.
I’m hearing Russell Wilson’s camp has grown increasingly frustrated by the Seahawks inability to protect the 8 time Pro Bowler. He has been sacked 394 times in 9 seasons. This situation warrants serious monitoring.
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) February 9, 2021
That’s the latest internet rumor courtesy of CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, who is no stranger to reporting things like this from Wilson or his “camp.”
Maybe this rumor is true. Maybe it isn’t. I hope it’s not, because I don’t need another reason to roll my eyes at “Camp Russ” and its long list of demands.
Last week, Russ was on “The Herd” expressing his frustration with the Seahawks’ offense.
“We didn’t go for it as much,” said Wilson. “I think we got passive.”
Sure, Seattle’s offense ran into some struggles, but was a team that averaged 41 pass play calls to 21 handoffs per game over the last nine games “passive?” An offense that “didn’t go for it as much?” I don’t buy that.
Last offseason, Wilson wanted more superstars.
“I think we need a couple more,” said Wilson in January 2020.
Later that offseason, Russ publicly lobbied – coincidentally (or not) in an interview with La Canfora – for Antonio Brown.
“Any time you can get a guy like that, you’re always into that idea for sure,” Wilson said. You want playmakers for sure. “The more playmakers you get, the harder it is. Our division is a tough division.”
Weeks later, Russ pushed for a more up-tempo, aggressive approach during games on offense. We saw that in the beginning of the season. Well, at least until a turnover flurry in the middle of the year led to an offensive stall down the stretch.
And now, just a day after watching Patrick Mahomes run around for his life in the Super Bowl, Camp Russ is supposedly tired of seeing Russ sacked. Understandable given that he’s been taken down 394 times over his career.
I’m hoping Camp Russ is being honest with itself, though. He’s been sacked over 40 times in each of the last eight years. Sure, he’s had some dreadful offensive lines in front of him. Unfortunately, his propensity for holding onto the football and extending plays are just as much a part of the sack problem as his bodyguards. That was especially true the last nine games of the 2020 season where he and the Hawks’ offense kept trying to throw it deep against Cover 2 defenses – defenses specifically designed “stay on top.”
At age 32, Russ should know better. He no longer has the elite escapability he once did. Watching Mahomes, a man in a class of his own when it comes to eluding pass rushers, dance around Buccaneers defenders to throw some of the most incredible incomplete passes you’ve ever seen confirmed that. That’s not a criticism. It’s just an acknowledgment that Mr. Unlimited has some limitations.
Speaking of limitations, the NFL has this thing called a salary cap. It’s a giant wall that keeps the perfect team from being assembled, as do contracts that take up 17.6% of a team’s salary cap. And guess what? No team is perfect. Not even Kansas City, apparently.
I get it, Camp Russ. You want offensive pace, superstars, Antonio Brown types, an everlasting gobstopper, a Red Ryder BB gun, and help on the offensive line. Oh, and world peace for dessert.
The more demands – I mean suggestions that camp makes, the more I feel they have some sort of victim complex. “Poor us, we’re trapped with Pete Carroll on a 12-4 team featuring one of the best 1-2 wide receiver tandems in the NFL.” And the more annoyed I get.
The failures that ended the Seahawks’ season were part of a collaborative effort. The front office. The coaching. The roster. The quarterback. But the last two things we’ve heard out of the latter’s “camp” sound like a party that thinks it’s the least at fault.