Huard: Seahawks are about to learn how valuable Russell Wilson really is

Oct 11, 2021, 12:11 PM
Seahawks Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll...
Russell Wilson #3 talks with head coach Pete Carroll of the Seahawks during the first half against the Los Angeles Rams at Lumen Field. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

For the first time since 2011, the Seahawks will have a starting quarterback whose name isn’t Russell Wilson.

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After suffering a right middle finger injury in last week’s loss to the Rams on Thursday night football, Wilson underwent surgery and is expected to be out anywhere from four to eight weeks.

With Wilson out of action for at least a few games, backup quarterback Geno Smith is the new QB1 in Seattle.

The Seahawks went 2-3 to start the 2021 season with Wilson under center, and now they enter a very unknown stretch with him out. So what are we going to learn about the 2021 Seahawks over the next few weeks? That’s the question Mike Salk asked former NFL quarterback Brock Huard on 710 ESPN Seattle’s The Mike Salk Show Monday morning.

“You’re going to learn about this roster,” Huard said. “You’re going to learn about what you and I said before the season about how Russell is most valuable when it comes to WAR in the NFL – something we don’t talk about, (which is) wins above replacement. What did you and I and most people say about Russell? What is his wins above replacement?”

What Huard is saying there is that for years, Wilson has been seen as among the most valuable players in the NFL because of how he’s led the Seahawks to 10-plus wins when the rest of the roster left a lot to be desired.

Now, we get to see just how valuable Wilson really is to the Seahawks, in part because of how Smith looked on Thursday, Huard said.

“Geno is a replacement-level quarterback. He showed that Thursday night,” Huard said. “He was not so overwhelmed, he was not deer in headlights. He showed you Thursday night he is capable of being a replacement-level player. So how many wins is Russell truly worth?”

And if the Seahawks aren’t able to win with Smith at quarterback, then it emphasizes what Huard and others have said about the team for a few years now.

“If this team can’t find a way, it further exposes a lot of challenges on this roster,” he said. “The weaknesses at a bunch of spots, the lack of depth, a defense right now that’s been very poor and has not been able to correct itself over the first month of the season. I think it exposes a ton of conversations if this team is not competitive and doesn’t find a way to win and scratch out a couple ‘W’s.'”

Optimistically, Wilson may be out just four weeks. That would have him missing games against the Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints and Jacksonville Jaguars before the team’s Week 9 bye. If Wilson returns following that four-week stretch, he would be back for a Week 10 matchup with the Green Bay Packers.

“You would hope to be able to win one (of those three), and if Geno can win two then maybe we have a conversation of maybe this roster isn’t as bad as a lot of folks believe,” Huard said.

Listen to the discussion at this link or in the player below.

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Huard: Seahawks are about to learn how valuable Russell Wilson really is