Do the Seahawks have an elite offense for 2020, or is another addition needed?
Last season, the Seahawks had one of the better offenses in the NFL, ranking ninth in points scored and eighth in total yards. That, naturally, will have many excited about what the next step is on that side of the ball.
Quarterback Russell Wilson is coming off one of his best seasons where he was remarkably efficient and an MVP candidate for most of the year, and he has a strong supporting cast as well.
The Seahawks also return Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, who combined for just under 2,000 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns in 2019. Seattle also has Chris Carson, who rushed for over 1,000 yards for the second year in a row, as well as a promising tight end room that includes three-time Pro Bowler Greg Olsen, a third-year player in Will Dissly who has flashed in just 10 career games in two seasons, and Jacob Hollister, who finished 2019 as the team’s third receiver.
But like anything, there’s always room for improvement, and that team is great on pape. But that’s just it – it’s on paper.
Retired receiver Brandon Marshall, a six-time Pro Bowler who played the final season of his career with Seattle in 2018, is high on the Seahawks’ offense next year, but he told Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd that if Seattle signed talented receiver Antonio Brown despite his off-field issues, could have an elite offense in 2020.
“When you have a once-in-a-lifetime quarterback, man you can do so much more (than run the ball),” Marshall told Cowherd, “and then you’ve got (Brown) sitting out there and you put them together and DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett and then you also have Olsen at tight end. Think about that. And then you have Chris Carson at running back. This could be one of the greatest offenses that this league has ever seen.”
That’s certainly a bold take, and in response to hearing it, Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy said he doesn’t think Brown is necessarily the key to Seattle’s offense being among the best in the NFL in 2020.
“I think the Seahawks have the ability to be an elite offense without Antonio Brown,” he said. “The offensive line is still a big question to me and it really comes down to how much do you lean into Russell Wilson and do you allow your quarterback to dictate the tempo of the game.”
The philosophy of the Seahawks’ offense has been a big topic this offseason as it struggled mightily out of the gate in both Seattle’s playoff loss at the Green Bay Packers as well as the team’s Week 17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, which would have given the Seahawks the NFC West division title with a win. Against the 49ers, Seattle didn’t score until the second half, and it mustered just three points in the first half against Green Bay.
With Wilson in his prime and only improving over the course of his career, he is now one of the top two or three quarterbacks in the league and has maybe his best supporting group on offense since he entered the NFL. Many fans and analysts want to see Seattle put the ball in Wilson’s hands more and abandon the run-first approach the Seahawks have implemented since 2010, when Pete Carroll became head coach.
“If that’s the case (and the Seahawks tailor the offense to Wilson’s strengths), I think DK, Tyler, Greg Olsen, Chris Carson, they all have spectacular seasons and are big contributors for this ballclub,” Heaps said. “Now, you add Josh Gordon or Antonio Brown into the mix with Phillip Dorsett stretching the field? It’s an exciting group of receivers and skill position players.”
Heaps thinks the tools are all there for Seattle to be among the best in the league, but orchestrating it in terms of philosophy is the question going forward.
“They have a lot of the right tools to make this work,” he said. “Now it’s just a matter of are they going to stay with the same rhythm of trying to establish the run early in football games? Or are they going to open things up a little bit more?”
Listen to Heaps’ full explanation in the Four-Down Territory segment in the podcast at this link or in the player below.