Seahawks’ Pete Carroll addresses Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf struggling to connect
In the Seahawks’ 20-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Tuesday night, the connection, or lack thereof, between quarterback Russell Wilson and receiver DK Metcalf was under a microscope of sorts with fellow top receiver Tyler Lockett out with COVID.
Wilson and Lockett have had great chemistry since the two became teammates in 2015, and Lockett leads the Seahawks this season in receiving yards with 1,023 and is tied with Metcalf in receptions with 62. Lockett is just the second Seahawks player to have 1,000 yards receiving in three straight seasons, and he set a single-season franchise record with 100 catches a year ago.
Metcalf has also shown good chemistry with Wilson at times in his career, especially a year ago when he set a Seahawks franchise record with 1,303 receiving yards.
Through 14 games in 2021, Metcalf still has respectable numbers with 62 catches for 805 yards and eight touchdowns, but in the six games since Wilson returned from his finger injury, the two have yet to connect in a meaningful way. Metcalf hasn’t scored in that six-game stretch, and he has just 23 catches on 48 targets for 225 yards in that span, as well.
With Lockett out against the Rams, Metcalf was the unquestioned top target for Wilson. He was thrown to 12 times but the pair connected for just six receptions, with Metcalf tallying 52 yards, eight less than tight end Gerald Everett, who led Seattle with 60 yards on four catches.
Wilson also had an opportunity to hit Metcalf for a would-be touchdown in the fourth quarter that would have tied the game. Metcalf ran past star Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, and Wilson had looked off the deep safety. Metcalf was a handful of yards beyond Ramsey, but Wilson underthrew the ball, which allowed the All-Pro to catch up to the play and bat it down.
Just a reminder that @jalenramsey is the best corner in the league.
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 22, 2021
On The Pete Carroll Show on 710 ESPN Seattle, the Seahawks head coach spoke Wednesday morning to Mike Salk and former Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck about the chemistry between his quarterback and young receiver.
“They’re working at it,” Carroll said. “We went to him a bunch of times last night and we missed a little bit here and the throw wasn’t there on the deep ball. There were a couple times where the ball got tipped away, a great defender made a couple of nice plays on the football when the ball was right on the money.”
Carroll said that Wilson missed a few throws, especially deep ones, but he also pointed to Wilson missing a throw to Metcalf on the team’s lone touchdown drive to start the second half.
“Russ ripped one out to him and he threw it really hard. There was a guy who was kind of close so he ripped it high and outside, and the timing just wasn’t quite right to connect on it,” he said. “I wish those guys could have hit that one. (Wilson) might not have had to throw it as hard (and Metcalf) might have been able to make that tough catch right there to make it happen. But they’re working at it, they’re developing.”
Carroll called the duo of Wilson and Metcalf “a pretty dangerous pair” and that they “just have to keep going” in order to get better results. But missing Metcalf on that long would-be touchdown is what really stood out to Carroll.
“If we hit the ball, everything would have been different,” he said. “You would have thought the whole world was different. But unfortunately we missed that one.”
When asked why Wilson doesn’t have the same chemistry with Metcalf as he does with Lockett, here’s what Carroll had to say:
“There’s a difference between the players. Tyler has this remarkable sense of feel and spatial awareness that rarely happens. Maybe that was what Steve Largent was – I would assume he understood all that kind of stuff,” Carroll said. “The great players have this different level of awareness. You can develop it, but a lot of it just kind of comes from just growing up being a kid that just could figure it out, way back when you were a little kid. You could see Tyler when he was in college, he was the best route runner in college football. And he had these plays happen. He was such a little guy that nobody gave him enough credit that he was gonna be a great player, but he is. He’s over and above and that sense and that awareness is very, very unique. Very few guys have it.”
Listen to the latest Pete Carroll Show at this link or in the player below.