Carroll: Seahawks’ Russell Wilson letting ‘routine’ plays get away from him
The Seahawks’ downward spiral continued on Monday with a 17-15 loss to the Washington Football Team, dropping Seattle to 3-8 with just six games to go this season.
While quarterback Russell Wilson’s final numbers of 20 for 31 passing, 247 yards and two touchdowns may not look too bad, he had another poor game up until Seattle’s final drive in the fourth quarter, and even then he took an ugly sack he shouldn’t have.
During Seahawks coach Pete Carroll’s weekly conversation with Mike Salk on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Pete Carroll Show, he shared what he saw from Wilson on Monday night, which was the third game back for Seattle’s QB from midseason finger surgery.
“I think we saw Russ make some incredible plays and throws, and then some throws that are really routine for him (were) not completed,” Carroll said. “He missed the first third down play when the ball took off on him and there were a couple other ones on third down situations where really, we didn’t need to do anything different. We just needed to throw and catch it.”
Since returning, Wilson has missed open receivers on shorter throws near the sideline by overthrowing it over his target’s head by a good amount. That happened a few times Monday, and it played a part in the Seahawks converting just four times on third down in 12 tries. Those misses are uncharacteristic for Wilson, who has been one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the league during his 10-year career.
“He’s got his feeling for throwing the football and all that, but there’s plays that are getting away from us,” Carroll said. “Three or four plays in that game that really are normal plays for him to make.”
Part of why Wilson’s play has surprised Carroll is that Wilson, in Carroll’s view, has looked great during practice. Come gametime these last three weeks, however, “for one reason or another, it’s just not as clean as we need to be,” Carroll said.
Carroll did note, though, that he thinks Seattle’s pass protection needs to be better so there aren’t as many guys in Wilson’s face as he’s trying to make his throws.
“I’ve just seen him hit more stuff, and that’s just what’s a little uncommon about it,” Carroll said.
Because Wilson was back from finger surgery in four weeks, a natural question is whether the finger is still an issue either physically or mentally.
“I can’t tell you that because he feels fine. He feels great,” Carroll told Salk.
Carroll pointed to deep touch passes to receiver Tyler Lockett as well as a laser of a throw to tight end Gerald Everett as plays that show Wilson, physically, is fine throwing the football.
This throw 😱 @DangeRussWilson
— NFL (@NFL) November 30, 2021
“There’s just that little bit that’s not as clean as it’s been,” Carroll sad. “We’ve just got to keep helping him and we’ve got to keep doing things and we’ll try to get guys more open and all that. But really, we’ve just got to throw and catch it and make our stuff happen and guys have got to come through when the time comes because the margin for error is very slight when we’re not as complete as we’ve been.”
During his postgame press conference Monday night, Carroll said that Wilson held himself accountable for his play when talking to the team.
“He just told us ‘I’ve got to do better,'” Carroll added Tuesday morning. “… He’s doing everything he can do … Everybody should understand that … He needs to be better and we need to be better around him.”
Because of the offense’s overall struggles in essentially every aspect, the role of first-year offensive coordinator Shane Waldron gets brought up, especially since the Seahawks fired previous OC Brian Schottenheimer last offseason even though Seattle set a franchise record for points scored in 2020.
When asked about Waldron and what he can do to improve the offense, Carroll made it clear that Waldron is not the problem.
“We were open. We got open on plays, so we were there and available. That means the call, the scheme, the prep (were all right),” Carroll said. “Guys were where they needed to get to and we just needed to find out way to convert … We just need to come through and convert and everybody needs to contribute to that.”
Listen to Tuesday’s full Pete Carroll Show at this link or in the player below.