Luke Willson on Seahawks’ goal-line play calling: ‘It’s really not an issue’
There are plenty of opinions about cornerback Richard Sherman’s sideline blowup over play-calling during the Seahawks’ win over the Rams Thursday night. But tight end Luke Willson told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Gee Scott on Monday that any concerns over Seattle’ throwing the ball from the 1-yard line are “for sure” over and done with.
“I saw something happen on the sideline there during it and I appreciate the passion and everybody cares about it but, honestly, I haven’t thought about it since then,” Willson said.
The controversy came following a third-quarter possession when the Seahawks opted to pass on first down from the 1-yard line. Russell Wilson’s throw to tight end Jimmy Graham was nearly intercepted. Seattle followed up with an unsuccessful run and then a touchdown pass to receiver Doug Baldwin. Sherman, however, was unhappy, shouting at head coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, explaining after the game that he was voicing his disapproval over the decision to throw the ball from the goal line. Sherman referenced the infamous ending to Super Bowl XLIX – when Wilson’s second-down pass from the 1-yard line was intercepted, costing Seattle the game – as his rationale. Carroll said he and Sherman had an hour-long conversation Friday morning about the outburst and that Sherman “knows that wasn’t right.”
Carroll told “Brock and Salk” that he has no concern about a possible rift between Seattle’s offense and defense, but 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brady Henderson wrote that Sherman’s actions Thursday night as well as some of his comments in recent weeks suggest that frustration had been building.
Willson, who scored on an 8-yard touchdown catch earlier in the game – his first of the season – said that there is more hubbub about the outburst externally than internally.
“It’s really not an issue in our locker room,” he said. “I know it’s been on ESPN and people are all talking about it, but from the offensive side of the ball, nobody really talks about it nor cares.”
Below are some other highlights from the conversation.
On appreciating the game following his knee injury: “When I first came back for the game against Philly, it really gave me a new perspective again, because I’ve never had a significant amount of time missed in my career and it just reminds you how precious this game is.”
On Baldwin’s release off the line of scrimmage: “I think Doug Baldwin, as far as releases and route-running goes, is the best in the game. Obviously I’m biased, but he’s very versatile coming off the ball. Everybody’s kind of got different styles, where some guys are more power, some guys are more finesse. Doug can do both. He’s strong enough and he’s not going to get bullied, but at the same time he’s quick enough and agile to do releases like you saw there in the end zone fade there. Doug’s releases off the line are pretty special and I know a lot of guys try and learn from what he’s doing.”
On final games being tougher than records show: “It’s the same in any division. When you have a divisional opponent that you play twice a year and the coaches know each other and the players know each other, it’s going to be a battle.”
On the importance of extended rest: “I think it’s a huge ordeal, especially this time of the year. Bodies are getting sore, you’re not rebounding as fast as you would have maybe week 2, 3, 4. And also, our bye week was super early this year so it’s like one of those things where we’re been going here for quite a bit so to go from Green Bay Sunday, fly in and play Thursday here at home, I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty banged up after the game, pretty sore, and so it was just nice to kind of shut your mind off for a couple days, relax and then get ready to go for this final push here.”
On new conspiracy theories: “To be honest with you, I’ve been slacking on my conspiracy theory stuff. I’ve still got the moon stuff I’ve been looking into. I have an election theory – like an election thing that’s going on but I haven’t quite put my final stamp on it so I’ve got to save it up for a little bit, but I am developing a conspiracy theory about the election.”
On which player he’d most like to roast: Doug Baldwin, Bradley Sowell, Justin Britt and “I feel like I do pretty good Jimmy impersonations, so if we did have a Jimmy Graham roast, I feel like I would be able to play that joking but me impersonating him, so I would put Jimmy in there as well.”