ESPN’s Mina Kimes on Seahawks: Keeping Russell Wilson happy is priority

Oct 27, 2021, 8:21 PM | Updated: 8:26 pm
Seahawks Russell Wilson...
Injured Seahawks QB Russell Wilson participates in warmups in front of Pete Carroll in October. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The morning after the Seahawks lost to the Saints 13-10 on Monday Night Football to fall to 2-5 on the season, ESPN NFL analyst Mina Kimes joined the network’s “First Take” show and had some things to say.

What is Russell Wilson thinking as he watches Hawks struggle?

It’s no secret that Kimes is a Seahawks fan, but it was perhaps a bit surprising how she answered a question about whether it’s time for Seattle to move on from Pete Carroll as head coach.

Even though Seattle currently has backup Geno Smith starting at quarterback while Russell Wilson heals from finger surgery, Kimes specifically took issue with the Seahawks’ decision to run the ball repeatedly against the Saints, as you can hear in the clip below.

On Wednesday, Kimes joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy to talk more at length about the state of the Seahawks, and particularly what it means with Carroll and Wilson, the latter of whom was notably outspoken in the offseason about the direction of the team.

“I don’t know how you can watch what’s happened over the last couple of games and think, ‘Oh, yes, a quarterback other than Russell Wilson is the answer’ given what he’s obviously covered up on this team for some years now,” Kimes said to Jake Heaps and Stacy Rost. “… I think keeping Russell happy and doing whatever it takes should be goal No. 1 for ownership.”

Play-calling has been a hot topic this week, as Heaps, a former Seahawks QB, stated Tuesday that he doesn’t believe Seattle’s decision to be so run-heavy against New Orleans was up to first-year offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, adding, “I would just tell you that there is a lot of dysfunction that is going on behind the scenes right now.”

Heaps: Seahawks’ disheartening offensive issues aren’t on Waldron

Kimes also found Seattle’s play-calling troublesome on Monday night.

“Because of Wilson getting hurt, I think the conversation around the offense is like, ‘Oh, you know, it’s Geno Smith, what can you do?’ You talk about the Saints, that’s a team that’s weathered multiple backups and found ways to win. If you don’t trust Geno Smith to throw the football, why is he still your backup quarterback after multiple years?”

When it comes to Carroll, Kimes wondered about a disconnect between the system Carroll is using and the players he has to run it.

“It speaks to a defensive mindset, and the problem is Seattle doesn’t have the defensive personnel to play that style of football,” she said. “… I don’t know what sort of influence Pete Carroll has on the draft and the trades and the signings and whatnot. Clearly, you guys know the drafts have not worked out in recent years. I mean, when (2019 first-round pick) L.J. Collier is a healthy inactive (five times in seven games) you’re doing something wrong, obviously.

“It’s quite possible that if Seattle had more elite talent in their secondary and maybe had found a pass rusher that worked out, Pete Carroll would be the right coach for this team and his approach would be fine. I guess my thing is when we look at the reality of this roster, that’s where you start questioning the decision-making.”

So what does that mean going forward? And what does Kimes want to see as the next step?

“Last season, I would say they took a very aggressive approach to the passing attack early on; that speaks to Pete’s somewhat flexibility and a willingness to change. But if that willingness doesn’t come (back) earlier this year – and and when I say earlier, I mean, frankly, before Russell Wilson comes back – then I think you have to start asking the hard questions. And without knowing what the different parties’ interests are, I go back to my point which is that Russell Wilson is the rare commodity here. He is the thing that every NFL team wants that is so hard to find. And for me, organizationally, it’s not really a hard decision in terms of who you prioritize.”

You can hear the full interview with Kimes at this link or in the player below.

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