If Seahawks keep Wilson, Carroll and Schneider, what must change?

Dec 10, 2021, 9:49 AM

Seahawks Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson...

Russell Wilson and head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks react during the third quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Lumen Field. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

With the Seahawks in the midst of a disappointing 4-8 start to the 2021 season just a year after going 12-4 and winning the NFC West, a lot of thought, naturally, goes to the future of the franchise.

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Reports on that topic have surfaced over the last week with NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reporting Seahawks owner Jody Allen isn’t happy with the team’s season and doesn’t view it as a one-year fluke and that changes in some form could be possible. 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard said earlier this week that he’d heard something similar regarding Allen’s thoughts on the state of the franchise.

NBC Sports’ Peter King also reported that it wouldn’t be out of the question for the Seahawks and head coach Pete Carroll, who has been with the team since 2010, to part ways this offseason.

Then on Wednesday, sports reporter Jordan Schultz reported that quarterback Russell Wilson is unlikely to return to the team in 2022 and would consider waiving his no-trade clause to three teams. On Thursday, though, 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake Heaps, who is close with Wilson, called that report “not real” and said that “straight from the mouth of Russell Wilson,” that was not anything his camp put out into the media.

So there’s a lot of noise out there that one or both of Carroll and Wilson could leave Seattle this offseason, and there’s also general manager John Schneider who is certainly facing his share of scrutiny as well due to the team’s lackluster play.

While many seem to think at least one of that trio will not be with the Seahawks next year, what would it take for all three to be back in 2022?

Heaps and Stacy Rost of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy discussed what would need to change in order for the Seahawks to keep the band together for at least another year.

Heaps said he could see there being two scenarios where the Seahawks keep all three franchise leaders.

“You could make changes to the coaching staff beneath you, whether that’s coordinators, whether that’s other assistant coaches on your staff,” Heaps said. “I think that would be an incredibly difficult ask for Pete Carroll from Jody Allen if that were to be the case because Pete Carroll is an extremely loyal guy and he takes care of his guys on his staff I honestly think better than anybody.”

Heaps said that would be “incredibly heartbreaking” for Carroll, but that it’s not crazy to think about Allen stepping in and telling Carroll, Schneider and Wilson that she wants the three of them around, but that the team needs change and “new blood” in the coaching staff is where that change needs to start.

The other scenario would involve the “power dynamic of the current structure.”

“That is saying, ‘Hey, everybody needs to focus on their job in terms of what they’re supposed to do,'” Heaps said.

With Wilson, that would mean focusing on playing quarterback and not trying to play a major role in personnel decisions by the front office.

“Me as the owner, Jody Allen, is ensuring that I will take care of that aspect and make sure that (Carroll and Schneider) are doing what they need to do to be more successful in areas that we know clearly we need to be better at – offensive line, pass rush, acquiring a running back, addressing the corner situation,” Heaps said. “So you focus on just being the quarterback of this franchise.”

Schneider, meanwhile, would have something he’s never had in his career – full general manager responsibilities.

That would require Carroll to give up final say of all roster decisions, which he is the team’s executive president of football operations on top of being head coach.

“Pete Carroll, you are the head coach of this organization and we love everything you do here, but you are not going to be the final say in terms of player transactions and acquisitions,” Heaps said. “You and John can work collaboratively together on that, as you’ve done for the 12 years you guys have been together, but you are not the final decision maker.”

Rost said it would be great to see the Seahawks have those three guys in roles they’re best at, but she sees limiting Carroll’s power and say over roster decisions as a tough ask.

“How do you tell someone who has had that much power that you’re going to rein him in? In what world do you go to a head coach that for over 10 years has been able to control personnel and control all the decision making and go to him and say, ‘Hey Pete, you’ve been doing such a good job, but we’re actually going to let (Shane) Waldron and Russell kind of oversee the offense,'” she said. “If I’m Pete Carroll, I’m like, ‘Excuse me? We are we’re gonna do what, Jody? No, you can’t tell me after more than 10 years that this is how it’s going to go. I’ve been overseeing this program for over 10 years and I brought you a Super Bowl.”

Heaps said it would be a tough ask, but something needs to change because the Seahawks over the years have had the same struggles and have not been able to fix them.

“Signing up for the same thing and expecting different results is is crazy,” he said. “… So if you’re going to keep the same thing together and say, ‘Hi, you guys really struggled. You guys have addressed the offensive line issue but have not hit in that area.’ You’re going to expect them all of a sudden to hit? You’re gonna expect them all of a sudden to hit in the running back (position) where they’ve tried and tried and tried?”

Listen to the first hour of Thursday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

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