Huard on seeing Russell Wilson’s throws in person: ‘Russ just is not Russ’
The Seahawks’ 20-10 loss to the Rams on Tuesday night was out of the ordinary in a lot of ways.
First, it was played on a Tuesday, which had never happened before in team history. Secondly, it guaranteed a record under .500 in 2021 for the Seahawks (5-9), who until now had avoided a losing season since quarterback Russell Wilson joined head coach Pete Carroll’s team in 2012.
Most alarmingly, though, was Wilson’s play.
Wilson completed just 17 of 31 pass attempts on Tuesday night for 156 yards and no touchdowns, plus an interception in the final moments of the loss.
It’s not just that the 33-year-old QB missed connections on 14 of his passes, but the kind of attempts he missed were also uncharacteristic. There were multiple long throws, known to be one of his biggest strengths, that failed to find their intended target, most notably a deep ball to a wide-open DK Metcalf that looked like a sure touchdown for Seattle when it was down seven points in the fourth quarter. But it was underthrown enough for Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who had been beaten deep by Metcalf, to bat it away, and the Seahawks never scored again.
Wilson notably missed three games in the middle of the season due to finger surgery on his throwing hand, and after former NFL quarterback Brock Huard called the Seahawks-Rams as the color commentator for the FOX TV broadcast, he said it’s clear to him that Wilson still isn’t fully recovered.
“You know, Russ just is not Russ,” said Huard during his daily segment on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Mike Salk Show. “Watching him in person, seeing it that up close, that finger – he will never say it, Pete won’t say it… they won’t use it as an excuse – but the finger is just limiting (Wilson’s passing), especially his deep balls. And last night it was on full display.”
Huard indicated that Wilson, who returned to play four weeks after a surgery that was estimated to have a 4-8 week recovery period, likely came back too soon.
“He is just not going to use that as a crutch,” Huard said of Wilson and the state of his finger. “Yes, I think some of his coming back faster than he should have was a little bit of hubris on his part, but that’s what he was going to do. He wanted to do it, he wanted to get back faster than anybody could, because that is his mindset. But just watching him up close, I just don’t think he can rip it like he could rip it for (the previous) nine years. And when you have as significant of a finger injury as he has, I mean, that’s real, man, and I do think it’s playing a factor on two or three of those deep balls.
“OK, maybe you miss one or maybe it’s a windy day or it’s a wet day or whatever, but to miss multiple of those when that is his strength, there is no question to me… even though I know that’s going to be met with stark (opposition) – ‘Absolutely not, he’s fine, he’s doing great in practice, he feels 100%.’ So I know that’s what I will hear, but just my opinion from seeing it up close and personal, I just don’t think that finger’s close to right.”
You can hear Huard’s full discussion with Mike Salk in the final segment of the podcast at this link or in the player below.