Heaps: Why Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll’s philosophies can still mesh for Seahawks

Jan 5, 2022, 2:41 PM | Updated: Jan 6, 2022, 1:03 pm
Seahawks Russell Wilson Pete Carroll...
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and coach Pete Carroll react during a game against the 49ers on Dec 5. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

All week on 710 ESPN Seattle, a debate has been brewing about Russell Wilson’s future with the Seahawks.

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On one side, Mike Salk has stated on his daily show from 6-10 a.m. that if Wilson and the Seahawks part ways before the 2022 season, it would be a result of his unwillingness to accept that he plays best in a system that features a strong run game while his job as a quarterback is to manage the game, protect the ball, and prioritize efficiency over big plays.

On the other side, Jake Heaps of Jake and Stacy (10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily) refutes what Salk has to say. The two actually discussed the topic in a one-on-one conversation Thursday morning on The Mike Salk Show, but before then, Heaps made one of his points Tuesday.

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Asked by co-host Stacy Rost if there is proof that the offensive philosophies championed by Wilson and Carroll can still mesh, Heaps pointed to a pretty successful example from the 2020 season.

“Mike Salk talked about how Russell Wilson would not win an MVP in the style of offense that Pete Carroll wants, and I just flat-out disagree with that,” Heaps said. “The perfect example of those two ideologies meshing together is last year’s MVP winner, Aaron Rodgers, and the Green Bay Packers.”

Heaps’ point was that even though Rodgers was still considered the focal point of Green Bay’s offense, the Packers were just ninth in the NFL in passing yards with 4,106, while they were eighth in the league in rushing yards with 2,118. The result was Green Bay finishing fifth in total offense (6,224).

“I would say that’s pretty darn balanced,” Heaps said. “This is the perfect mesh point.”

In comparison, the Seahawks are 25th in passing yards this season (3,203), 12th in rushing yards (1,872), and 23rd in total offense (2,075), with Wilson’s struggles – especially since a midseason finger injury that cost him three games and an apparent loss of throwing accuracy – shouldering a lot of the onus for Seattle limping to a 6-10 record.

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The question now is whether a fully healthy Wilson and Carroll will get on the same page before the 2022 season arrives. Heaps, a former Seahawks QB who both personally coaches Wilson in the offseason and is the head coach of the Russell Wilson Passing Academy, has his hopes they’ll find common ground, though he also said Monday that it’s a “real possibility” Wilson played his last home game for the Seahawks in last Sunday’s win over the Lions.

“Yes, you want to have a balanced attack, you want to have a run game that can be supported by a quarterback that can be the centerpiece of it all. A quarterback that can be the tip of the spear, that’s going to drive home the touchdowns, who’s going to move the chains, who’s going to keep things alive. And when the game calls for it, you’re going to lean into your star quarterback to come up with the big moments and the big plays when it is needed, but still valuing that run game and it being able to work and mesh well together.”

Heaps thinks looking at the 2020 Packers should show Wilson and Carroll just how close their philosophies actually are – as long as the right pieces are in place on the roster.

“There is a recent example right in front of your eyes of that being able to work out, and I think that ultimately is the vision that both Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll have. I just hope that they can find a way to that understanding and figure out a way where they can better their personnel in order to make that become a reality.”

You can hear that and more from Heaps in the Four-Down Territory segment of Tuesday’s edition of Jake and Stacy in the podcast at this link or in the player below. It starts roughly 12 minutes into the podcast.

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