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Bumpus: Seahawks ‘definitely’ underachieved with Russell Wilson in recent years

The Seahawks and QB Russell Wilson haven't made it past the divisional round since 2014. (Getty)

Star Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson continues to dominate headlines after he and his camp have made it clear he thinks the team hasn’t done well at protecting him from sacks and hits. Those comments have then fueled speculation that Wilson is unhappy in Seattle and could soon be traded.

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While it seems unlikely at this point that the Seahawks would trade Wilson, 32, ahead of the 2021 season, the comments themselves have prompted a lot of reflection as to how Seattle has performed in recent years.

After making it to the divisional round in 2012, which was Wilson’s rookie season, the Seahawks won the Super Bowl in 2013 and made it back the next season but fell to the New England Patriots. Since then, the Seahawks have made the playoffs every season but 2017. The issue, though, is that Seattle hasn’t made it past the divisional round since 2014, either falling in the wild card or divisional round in each of those recent playoff appearances.

A case could be made that those rosters simply weren’t good enough to make it to the NFC Championship Game, but former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus doesn’t think that’s the case, and feels that some recent Seahawks teams flat-out underachieved in his eyes.

“Definitely, I think they have (underachieved),” Bumpus told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant Friday morning. “I think the last couple of years they had teams I feel like could have at least made it to the conference championship, and that’s why guys are mad. That’s why you get rid of an (offensive coordinator) who broke franchise records, because you still underachieved, teams still found a way to slow you down. I definitely think they’ve underachieved, changes need to be made and I think that’s what they’re doing.”

Bumpus was, of course, referring to the Seahawks and Brian Schottenheimer parting ways after their playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Schottenheimer was the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator for three seasons, and Seattle had its best statistical offense in franchise history in 2020. The issue, though, was after a hot start to the season, opposing defenses were able to dramatically slow down the Seahawks’ aerial attack, which often looked as if it failed to make proper adjustments. Schottenheimer and the Seahawks parted ways due to “philosophical differences” the week after the playoff loss, and recently, Seattle hired former Rams passing game coordinator Shane Waldron as the new offensive coordinator.

Bumpus said while hiring Waldron shows the Seahawks are trying to change things up to avoid underachieving again, people want “instant satisfaction” that’s just not possible at this stage of the offseason.

“They want everybody gone, they want a new OC and they want new personnel,” he said. “Well, this is the offseason and it’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint. Things are going to pick up here eventually. We’ll see what they do. I’m still giving them time to make changes.”

And while 2020 wasn’t the only time the Seahawks have come up well short of a Super Bowl appearance or even another NFC title game berth, it was a bigger underachievement than previous seasons.

“I thought this was the year they at least make it to the conference championship (but instead) they don’t even beat the guys they beat to get the division title (the Rams),” Bumpus said. “Changes need to happen and I feel like changes have been happening, and we’ll see what else they do.”

Listen to the conversation here or in the player below.

Follow Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

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