Seahawks’ Wilson on success with Schottenheimer, Lynch’s Seattle return
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson had an exceptional season, and fittingly was named to his seventh Pro Bowl appearance in his eighth season in the NFL.
While Wilson enjoyed the week’s festivities in Orlando, Florida – such as taking part in the annual Pro Bowl Skills Challenge – he took part in an exclusive one-on-one interview with Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy.
RUSS GETS 19!
— NFL (@NFL) January 24, 2020
Here are some of the biggest takeaways from Wilson’s conversation with Heaps.
Pairing with Schottenheimer
Wilson has had arguably the two best seasons of his career since Brian Schottenheimer took over as the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator in 2018 (though his 34 touchdown, eight interception campaign of 2015 would have something to say about that), and Wilson sees one metric as why his pairing with Schottenheimer has been so successful, and why there is room to grow going forward.
“We’ve thrown a bunch of touchdowns, you know,” Wilson said. “We’ve been throwing a bunch of touchdowns and I think there’s a lot more out there, too. I think there’s about 10 to 15 to 20 more, so let’s go get those. That’s just how I think about it. Touchdowns help us win. I think we’ve got to find ways to win and we’ve got to score more points than they do and I think we’ve got great talent.”
Wilson has thrown 66 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions with Schottenheimer calling plays for the Seahawks. Wilson told Heaps he loves working with the man he calls “Schotty.”
“Schotty has been great,” Wilson said. “It’s been fun working with him since the day he got here. He loves the game, he’s passionate about it, he’s a great coach and a great teacher of the game.”
The rookie sensation
When the Seahawks traded back into the second round to select wide receiver DK Metcalf, the thought was likely that he could develop into a top option for Wilson. The organization was likely shocked – pleasantly – that Metcalf burst onto the scene as a rookie.
The big wideout, who is also maybe the team’s fastest player, finished the regular season with 900 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. He followed that up with a record-setting performance in his first playoff game, setting a rookie playoff record with 160 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Seahawks' @dkm14 now holds the record for most receiving yards by a rookie in a playoff game in NFL history:
🔻 7 catches
🔻 160 yards
🔻 1 TD pic.twitter.com/sUmWmzHqY4
— ESPN (@espn) January 6, 2020
What should the expectation be for the wideout as he enters year two?
“To break the ceiling,” Wilson said. “That’s the expectation. Just go for it.”
Metcalf and Wilson quickly created a connection last offseason, with the young receiver traveling to work out with Wilson ahead of the 2019 season. Wilson knows firsthand Metcalf will not get complacent after the great start to his career.
“He works extremely hard,” Wilson said. “We’ve already been trying to link up and hang out and throw a bunch and all that, so he’s ready and he’ll be ready. The key is staying healthy … (staying) really clear in your thoughts, staying motivated and being around the right people, but he’s definitely doing all those things.”
Beast Mode’s return
After the Seahawks’ Week 16 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, it was revealed that running backs Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise were injured and would miss the rest of the season. This news hit even harder as the Seahawks had already lost running back Rashaad Penny in Week 14 to a season-ending knee injury. With those three out, the Seahawks had just one healthy running back on the roster in rookie Travis Homer.
The mood quickly took an upturn as the team announced that former Seattle star Marshawn Lynch was returning to the Seahawks after a nearly four years away.
Lynch scored four touchdowns in three games with the Seahawks and Wilson was thrilled to have his old backfield companion back in the fray.
“(It meant a lot) to have such a legend come back and play with us, a guy who means so much to ‘Seahawks Nation’ and to the 12s all around the world, to a guy who’s meant so much to the league, he always played hard, he always played tough, he was always going, going, going and always made some amazing plays,” Wilson said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but I think his ability to do the things and to make plays was exceptional. He was one of the best in the world and in my opinion, he’s a Hall of Famer. To have him back in the building was awesome.”
Like in his first run with the Seahawks, Lynch will be remembered fondly by his teammates if he doesn’t return in 2020.
“What he brought was love for his teammates,” Wilson said of Lynch’s return. “He did that the first time and he really did it this time too. He just really, really was inspirational to all the guys, including myself.”
Wilson also talked about his Pro Bowl experience, participating in the skills challenges and the Houston Astros sign stealing story in the MLB.
Listen to Wilson’s conversation with Heaps at this link or in the player below.