Seahawks’ Pete Carroll responds to Russell Wilson trade rumors: ‘I know what’s going on’
In the final Seahawks home game of what has been a disappointing 2021 season, Seattle put together by far its best offensive showing of the campaign, tallying a season-high 51 points against the the Detroit Lions in a blowout victory.
The game was notable not just because of Seattle’s offensive firepower but because the air of uncertainty surrounding the franchise going forward.
With the Seahawks sitting at 6-10 with just one game remaining this season, there has been a lot of talk regarding the future of the team, namely when it comes to key figures like head coach Pete Carroll, general manager John Schneider and quarterback Russell Wilson.
Wilson made media waves last offseason when he told radio host Dan Patrick that he was upset at how often he’s found himself under pressure or sacked as well as his lack of involvement in the Seahawks’ personnel decisions. ESPN’s Adam Schefter would later report that Wilson wasn’t seeking a trade but would consider waiving his no-trade clause if it meant he was moved to one of four specific teams.
That ultimately didn’t happen, and Carroll, Schneider and Wilson all downplayed the comments and reports afterwards.
But that stir was after a 12-4 season with an NFC West title for Seattle in 2020. Now the Seahawks are set to miss the playoffs for just the second time in Wilson’s 10-year career, and this has also been the first season Wilson has ever missed games due to injury since entering the league in 2012. The signal caller hurt his right middle finger in Week 5 and missed three games before returning in Week 10. Wilson struggled mightily during the first few weeks upon his return and while he’s played better of late, he’s been less accurate and not as efficient on deep passes as he usually is.
On Sunday, Schefter reported that the game between the Seahawks and Lions may be the last home game where the duo of Wilson and Carroll are on the same sideline for the Seahawks.
“There is a leaguewide feeling, according to sources, that Carroll and Wilson will not be together again next season, which would represent the end of one of the most successful head coach/quarterback duos in NFL history,” Schefter wrote on ESPN.com Sunday morning.
Wilson himself acknowledged the possibility last Thursday during his weekly press conference.
“I hope it’s not my last game (in Seattle), but at the same time I know it won’t be my last game in the NFL,” Wilson told reporters.
On Monday, Carroll was asked by 710 ESPN Seattle’s Mike Salk about rumors that Wilson, who is signed through the 2023 season, wants out of Seattle.
“Coach, it’s obviously an uncomfortable subject and I know you still got a game to go, but we keep seeing and reading these reports that Russ may want to play somewhere else next year. When these reach your desk, how do you react to hearing that?” Salk asked Carroll on Monday’s Pete Carroll Show on 710 ESPN Seattle.
Carroll laughed before answering the question.
“They don’t reach my desk and I don’t mess with them, so I don’t have to, Mike,” the head coach responded. “I know what’s going on and I don’t need to follow what the agenda (is) that somebody has out there to try and create and stir stuff up and all that. We’ll go about our offseason when the time comes. But that stuff, really that doesn’t affect me.”
Wilson’s performance vs. Detroit
Wilson had one of his best games of the 2021 season against the Lions, completing 20 of 29 passes for 236 yards and four touchdowns, three of which went to DK Metcalf.
Wilson was very efficient in the game, and a big reason for his good showing as well as the offense putting up 51 points was the emergence of Seattle’s run game. Anchored by 170 yards and two touchdowns from Rashaad Penny, the Seahawks compiled 265 yards on the ground against the Lions, the team’s most rushing yards in a single game since Week 10 of 2018 and the team’s first 200-yard rushing game since Week 7 of last season.
The stellar running game led Wilson to use a lot of play-action passes, Carroll said.
“When you run the football and then you (play-action) pass off of the same actions, the pass helps the runs and the run sets up the pass,” he said. “Russ was on the edge quite a bit yesterday with the play passes and was able to just pick away. Not big dramatic plays, but just keeping the game going.”
Playing out on the edge like he did allows Wilson and the offense to be extra effective, Carroll added.
“Every time you throw a bootleg pass off of your running game, the guys (on defense) have to respond to the run first and then go to the pass, and it makes them a little bit softer on the run the next time around. So that’s why it all fits together, and that’s what you saw a really, really good illustration of yesterday,” he said. ” … There were a bunch of keepers in the game plan that he got out on the edge, so he was moving quite a bit. It just gets him away from trouble and leaves the entire pass rush to one side of the field. And there’s usually a guy trying to battle for the contain rush, and he navigates that pretty well and we have different ways of taking care of it. It just gives him a lot of freedom to make his plays and see the field.”
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