Heaps: What Seahawks OC Shane Waldron must do in Russell Wilson’s return

Nov 10, 2021, 3:46 PM
Seahawks Shane Waldron Russell Wilson...
Offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and quarterback Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks look on during warmups before a preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on Aug. 14 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

The Seahawks are set to get a major boost in their return from a bye as quarterback Russell Wilson is scheduled to return to action Sunday against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

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Wilson injured his right middle finger in Week 5 and missed the rest of that game as well as Seattle’s next three games as he recovered from surgery.

Even with Wilson back, the 3-5 Seahawks face a very tough task in the Packers, who are 7-2 and expect their own star quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, to return from the COVID-19 list after missing one game.

So with Wilson returning in a hostile environment after missing roughly a month due to an injury, how can the Seahawks make sure to help Wilson as much as they can?

A lot of it falls on first-year offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, according to former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps.

“Priority No. 1 is to get Russell Wilson into a rhythm, get him feeling the game,” Heaps said on Wednesday’s edition of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy. “How do you do that? You get him easy completions, you get him in advantageous situations. You don’t make it difficult on him from the jump.”

Two big reasons that is so critical? First, before this injury, Wilson had never missed time in the NFL despite entering the league in 2012 and being a starter from the very beginning. The other? The Packers’ defense enters Week 10 ranking sixth in points allowed and yards allowed per game, seventh in passing yards per game, 16th in rushing yards per game and 13th in sacks per game.

“He’s been out a few weeks; he’s never been in the situation before,” Heaps said of Wilson. “He’s going to be in Lambeau Field, which is already a very difficult task, against a very good defense. You have to get Russell Wilson into the flow of the game from the jump. Get him and find him easy completions to start.”

You can hear the full conversation during Four Down Territory, which is the second segment in the podcast at this link or in the player below.

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