STACY ROST

Rost: Do Seahawks appreciate Russell Wilson enough? Colin Cowherd explains why he says no

May 21, 2020, 1:25 AM
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson...
The Seahawks' lack of denials to reports on Russell Wilson stand out to Colin Cowherd. (Getty)
(Getty)

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has thrown 100 touchdowns over the last three years.

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That’s 15 more than the next closest quarterback, Tom Brady (85). It’s also more than Drew Brees (82), Matt Ryan (81), Patrick Mahomes (76) and Aaron Rodgers (67).

Despite that, the Seahawks don’t show the same kind of respect toward their franchise quarterback that other organizations have toward their respective stars – that’s at least according to FOX Sports’ Colin Cowherd, who presented that stat about Wilson.

“The Herd” host joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy on Wednesday (listen here) to explain why he feels the Seahawks don’t realize what they have in Wilson, and how the two parties can repair an uneven marriage.

“I would just ask you guys this,” Cowherd said. “Does Seattle have an elite O-line? Nope. An elite star running back? Nope. An elite star tight end? Nope. An elite star receiver? Nope. How does he lead the NFL in touchdown passes the last three years? Do they have an elite offensive scheme? Nope. What are people missing on this? It’s insane.”

The Seahawks certainly value Wilson. After all, they made him the league’s richest player in April of last year. They’ve touted his play in post-game press conferences year in and year out. But there are other moves that leave Cowherd scratching his head.

Take the rumors that the Seahawks were open to signing former Panthers quarterback Cam Newton as a backup. Cowherd wanted to see a direct denial by Seattle and a doubling-down on their commitment to Wilson.

“Here was a prime example – there was a rumor that Cam was going to go to the Steelers,” Cowherd said. “An hour later, Kevin Colbert, the (Pittsburgh) GM, came out and said, ‘Not true, Ben (Roethlisberger) is our guy, zero chance it’s happening.’ That thing floated out with Russell Wilson. (There) wasn’t a single person for the Seahawks that said, ‘That’s stupid, it’s not happening.’ I don’t think they get Russell, I don’t think they appreciate him. They say they do, their actions tell me they don’t… I just don’t think they respect Russell Wilson. I never have… I just don’t think they understand what they have.”

From ‘game manager’ to game planner

Wilson may have hopped on to our show last week to joke about his lack of MVP votes, but the fact that he’s never received even a single vote in any MVP race is surprising given his track record: a career 101.2 passer rating, 227 passing touchdowns and another 20 rushing touchdowns in the regular season alone, 21 fourth quarter comebacks and 28 game-winning drives. Oh, and he’s never missed a single start.

But for Seahawks fans, it still feels like there’s a lack of recognition of Wilson – and to be honest, zero MVP votes doesn’t help matters.

Asked about why that is, Cowherd said he thinks first impressions tend to carry long after a player has evolved. In Wilson’s case, he came into the league on a team led by its defense and a coach, Pete Carroll, who was a big name at USC. It’s no surprise then that he carried a game manager label through his earliest outings.

But for Cowherd, it’s fair to call Wilson a game planner at this stage in his career.

“I think Pete’s a brilliant defensive coach and has a great eye for personnel, and I think Pete’s smart,” Cowherd said. “But I think he should relinquish some of the offense, update it. You’re in a division with (Rams coach) Sean McVay and (49ers coach) Kyle Shanahan. You better allow Russell Wilson to have a much bigger say – much bigger say c in the offense.”

The key to fixing a ‘troubled marriage’

Cowherd rejected the notion that Wilson can’t excel under a defensive-minded head coach like Carroll.

“They always win so they’re coexisting,” Cowherd said. “And I do believe Pete is hearing – behind the scenes, it’s not done publicly – but I do think Pete knows Russell wants a greater impact on the offense and I think Russell should have it. And I do think Pete this year, there are stories that they’re going to change some things up, and they need to. Anything can coexist. A marriage can be in trouble and improve if everyone becomes a better listener.

“… I like Pete. I’d vote him into the Hall of Fame, first ballot, I think he’s great. But I do think in order for he and Russell Wilson to grow, I think Pete has to allow Russell a greater say in offense.”

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Stacy Rost on Twitter.

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Rost: Do Seahawks appreciate Russell Wilson enough? Colin Cowherd explains why he says no