Pete Carroll: Russell Wilson showed his ability from the pocket — again
When quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ offense took off in the second half of last season, it was partly the result of a stylistic shift. After taking sacks at an untenable rate, the Seahawks began to emphasize quicker throws in order to mitigate their issues in pass-protection. That called for Wilson to operate more often from the pocket, where he picked defenses apart en route to the best season of his career, even with its poor start.
So coach Pete Carroll found it somewhat amusing how some New York writers predicted last week that Wilson’s knee and ankle injuries would render him ineffective Sunday against the Jets, their thinking being that he didn’t pose a threat with his mobility compromised.
“I love that (Seahawks senior vice president of communications) Dave Pearson was making a big deal about how their writers out there said that he isn’t going to be able to function in the pocket and all that kind of stuff,” Carroll said during his appearance on “Brock and Salk” Monday morning. “It was a great illustration that that was wrong. He’s fine.”
Wilson, playing with a brace protecting his sprained left MCL and three weeks removed from a sprained right ankle, completed 23 of 32 attempts for 309 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in the Seahawks’ 27-17 win. He had a perfect passer rating of 158.3 at halftime and finished at 133.5. Most of that damage was done from inside the pocket.
“We keep forgetting the second half of last year,” Carroll said. “That’s when he showed you everything, the great elevation of his game just jumped out at us numbers-wise, in all phases. Everything was happening from the pocket for the great majority of the time, and we’ve just carried that over. His presence, his comfort, his vision – really, he’ll tell you, he can see what’s going on. He can’t wait to get back out and play another game he’s so fired up.”
First, he’ll get a much-needed week off with the Seahawks now on a bye. Carroll was asked if Wilson will be back to 100 percent by the time Seattle hosts Atlanta on Oct. 16.
“We’ll just see,” Carroll said. “I would think he’s going to be really close, yeah. We talked at length; he’s got a great program for the next two weeks and how he’s going to go about this week in particular. He’ll be in great shape.”
Carroll didn’t think Wilson was in bad shape on Sunday. He reiterated what he previously said about Wilson actually feeling better on Wednesday – three days after spraining his MCL – than he did the week before.
“He was fine. Really, he was the best he’s been by far,” Carroll said. “You could tell – he took off and ran, he moved beautifully in the pocket, slid around just like he needed to and all of that. Russell would tell you he felt better on Wednesday than he had felt at any time before, so his knee wasn’t a factor; his ankle just got better. So that was really great to see. Now we’re really excited about it because we’ve got two weeks.”