Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has received his fair share of criticism for – and defended – Seattle’s run-first approach, but Friday brought another voice to his corner.
“Who he is as a person is a great human being and he’s a great coach,” Quarterback Russell Wilson told reporters after the team’s second day of training camp came to a close. “I’ve been around some great coaches. He really understands the game; he really knows how to coach the game. He’s a great teacher of the game. That’s what makes him exceptional at what he does. I know he gets some criticism from the outside, that’s part of the game. The reality is, he’s a great football coach.”
The evolution of Seattle’s offense under the second-year coordinator will surely be one of, if not the biggest, storyline for the Seahawks this season. Offseason comments from both Schottenheimer and head coach Pete Carroll indicate at least a few adjustments will be made, though it remains to be seen how much the run-pass balance will shift from 2018. Seattle was the only team in the league to pass on fewer than 50 percent of plays (47.56) and while a focus on the run resulted in some impressive feats – including 100-plus yard games from three separate running backs, and the first 1,000-yard season from a running back in 2014 – it also prompted critics to question whether the team was doing enough to utilize their franchise quarterback.
Obviously, it’s not a cut-and-dry issue; after all, Seattle still finished inside the top 10 in weighted offense (up from 14 in 2017). But at least for now, Wilson and Schottenheimer appear to be on the same page when it comes to year two.
Schottenheimer, who also spoke with reporters Friday afternoon, said he’s become closer with Wilson in their second season together.
“The communication with he and I is so much better,” Schottenheimer said. “We talk all the time now, whereas last year we were still feeling each other out. We’ll talk late at night, I’ll be driving home, and we’ll talk on the phone about different things. He’s just got a great sense of what we’re doing schematically, he’s got a great sense of what we’re doing even personnel-wise… which I certainly don’t mind sharing some of my thoughts with him.
“It’s just exciting,” Schottenheimer said. “He’s in a great spot, confident, and I feel great with where we are.”
A Seahawks-Shead reunion
The Seahawks made a few roster moves Saturday, including the signing of cornerback DeShawn Shead. The 30-year-old Shead began his career with Seattle in 2012 and remained with the team until he signed with the Detroit Lions in 2018 as a free agent. He appeared in 12 games for the Lions.
Shead adds veteran depth to a defensive back room that also includes corners Shaquill Griffin, second year player Tre Flowers, Jeremy Boykins, Davante Davis, Akeem King, Kalan Reed, Jamar Taylor, Simeon Thomas and Neiko Thorpe.
Seattle also signed undrafted rookie linebacker Jawuan Johnson, who adds depth in place of Emmanuel Ellerbee, who was placed on the injured reserve list. The team also waived wide receiver Caleb Scott with a non-football injury designation.
Jaron Brown gets the spotlight
Rookie DK Metcalf has stolen the show this offseason and his performance, along with Seattle’s decision to draft three receivers and sign another three via free agency, has taken some of the attention away from two veterans in particular: Jaron Brown and David Moore. However, Wilson and Schottenheimer singled out the two veterans when talking about the competition in camp.
“(Brown) has been underutilized, probably a place he’s been, we were probably guilty of it last year just because we trust him so much,” Schottenheimer said. “You see the confidence Russ has with him, there’s not a guy out there that I trust more than Jaron to do anything. To run a route, to block, we put him in protection roles, not a lot of guys do that. So selfless, so all about the team, great teammate, really good player that we expect big things from this year.”
Brown, 29, was effectively Seattle’s fourth wide receiver but he made the most of his 19 targets, with five touchdowns on 14 receptions.
• The Seahawks and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner reached an agreement on a three-year, $54 million extension. Wagner’s $18 million salary makes him the league’s highest-paid inside linebacker.
John Boyle detailed the moments following the signing for Seahawks.com, which included quotes from Wagner and general manager John Schneider.
“It feels amazing being here,” Wagner said. “I’ve watched people stay, I’ve watched people go, and to have the trust from the organization to continue to let me lead this team, lead the defense, it’s a great feeling. I’m excited to get back to work.”
• Friday’s press conferences were kept to the offensive side of the ball so reporters didn’t get a chance to get injury updates for rookies Ben Burr-Kirven (sports hernia) or Marquis Blair (hamstring), but Thursday’s transaction report indicated both had passed their physicals.
• Sunday will be the Seahawks’ first practice in pads. The team will host camp every day at 10 am next week with the exception of Wednesday, July 31.