O’Neil: Let’s apologize to Seahawks’ Russell Wilson while 49ers and Rams show their QB desperation
Seriously. I’m sorry you’ve gotten hit as frequently as you have over the past nine seasons as the Seahawks’ starting quarterback. I’m sorry for the offensive linemen that Seattle hasn’t signed for you. Jack Conklin, for instance. I’m also sorry for some of the offensive linemen Seattle has signed for you. Luke Joeckel comes to mind.
Basically, I’m sorry for anything and everything that has caused you to grind your gears over the previous months and years, and while I probably should have made these apologies sooner, I’m hoping that it’s never too late for some unabashed sucking up in hopes of smoothing everything over.
See, I’ve come to realize not only how hard it is to find a good quarterback in the NFL, but the desperate things that men will do in hopes of getting one. Smart men. San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, for instance. He gave up his team’s next three first-round picks and a miscellaneous third-rounder to boot just so he can get the third pick of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft.
Sean McVay is one of those super smart coaches, too, and while his Rams didn’t give up quite that much to change quarterbacks, they still had to punt the only two first-round picks that they were able to deal this time. Upgrading to Matthew Stafford only cost two first-rounders and a third. That’s what desperation will do at that position, though.
The lesson: the only thing more reckless than deciding to deal your way to a franchise quarterback in the NFL would be failing to keep a guy who fits that description. Which brings me back to the attempt to the apologies.
I’m sorry, Russ, for all those times you had absolutely no chance because of a jailbreak pass rush, and I’m also sorry for the 100 or so sacks that have occurred after you’ve held the ball longer than an NFL quarterback should. I’m sorry that Aaron Donald is in this division. I’m sorry that Lumen Field doesn’t have a roof. I’m sorry that I can’t think of all the other things to apologize for right now, which means that I’m about to resort to outright flattery in my shameless attempt to smooth over any bad feelings.
Just don’t think about going anywhere else. I know, I know. You didn’t actually ask to be traded. Your agent just gave ESPN a list of four teams that you would accept a trade to if the Seahawks were inclined to trade you, but we all got the point. Our current living arrangement may not be forever if things don’t improve here in the immediate future.
Message received. Loud and clear. Don’t need to say that twice, and while I’ll admit that it initially rubbed me the wrong way, seeing just how reckless a couple of really good offensive coaches are because they don’t have a quarterback as good as you – well, it has made me really take stock of the situation.
In a league where it’s hard to find a good quarterback, you’re great, and if you’ve got ideas, then I’m all ears. Now, I can’t promise I’ll be able to do every single thing you ask for, but I can promise that when you list your ideas, I’ll stare intently at your mouth and crinkle my eyebrows to make it seem like what you’re saying will be an absolute imperative going forward.
You want better protection? Well, check out the 336 pounds of USDA prime pass protection that will be lining up at guard for the Seahawks next season in the form of Gabe Jackson. We’ve got a new tight end, too. A new offensive coordinator who has got all sorts of fancy new plays. It’s going to be great!
Just don’t you think about going. Seriously. I don’t want to have to get on Bumble or Tinder or, worse yet, start attending pro days or searching through bios to find out hand size. I’ve heard about plenty of fish, but I have been reminded that there are not plenty of franchise quarterbacks in this world.
Finding a good quarterback is hard. So difficult, in fact, that it makes smart men do crazy things. And with that in mind, no amount of sucking up and apologizing is too much to keep a great one in place.
Sorry, Russ. I’ll be better in the future. I promise.