While Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron may still be building their relationship, Wilson offered one piece of advice for how Seattle should do things offensively in the future.
“I think we got a little bit passive,’’ Wilson said of what happened to Seattle’s offense in the second half of the 2020 season, during an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd Thursday. “We’ve got to make sure that never happens again.’’
Wilson cited a few other factors for Seattle’s second-half offensive downturn as well, noting that the team had injuries to its offensive line (the starting five started just two of the final 11 games together, including playoffs) and that he also struggled at times.
“I could have played better,’’ he said. “I should have played better. I could do my part too, obviously, as well.’’
But Wilson’s statement that the Seahawks grew a little more conservative as the year went on — something that was obvious and that came in reaction to a stretch of 10 turnovers in three losses at midseason — obviously stands out.
Here’s the full quote:
“The thing for us, we had such an electric, amazing start at the beginning of the year. We were able to do everything. We went for it every game, every play, every possession. We hit some bumps in the road. I could have played better. I should have played better. I can do my part too, obviously, as well. I think what happened was we had several guys go down up front. We didn’t have our starters, necessarily, and everything else.
“Also, as our defense kept continuing to play better, that’s the time for us to really take off and keep going and keep preparing at the highest level. That’s something we really wanted to be able to do throughout the rest of the season. Unfortunately we didn’t go for it as much, I don’t think. I think we got a little bit passive. We’ve got to make sure that never happens again. We’ve got to make sure that we do everything we can to be playing this Sunday. That’s what it takes. We’ve got great players, we’ve got our best players, we’ve got to let it go, go for it and everything else.
“On offense we didn’t adjust throughout those tough (games at the end). We had a couple of games we could have adjusted better. That was last year. And I think that ultimately this offseason is really about ‘how can I be the best version of myself?’ — and across the board.
“Ultimately like I said my mindset is we should be playing today — or should I say this weekend. So I think that’s what matters most to me when I wake up every day, every morning, you have that itch.’’
Former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who was fired three days after the season for what the team cited as “philosophical differences,’’ said himself on several occasions the Seahawks didn’t adjust as well as they needed to as defenses began playing them differently in the second half of the year, specifically using more two-deep coverages to try to limit big plays.
That compelled Pete Carroll to say after the season the Seahawks need to run the ball better and more in 2021 to try to get defenses out of that.
Waldron was hired last week to replace Schottenheimer, and Wilson said before the hire he would have input in the process.
Wilson told Cowherd he has already had “some great conversations” with Waldron, saying he had actually talked to him earlier on Thursday.
Wilson said that in terms of a new offensive coordinator, “I was very adamant that we needed to have a mixture of all the different things that we can do (so) our offense can continue to progress and continue to grow and continue to challenge. I think Shane definitely brings that to the table. Hopefully he can really help us with that.”
Wilson threw a career-high and team-record 40 touchdowns in 2020, but 28 came during the first half of the season.
Was being more passive the cause of the slowdown in the second half? As Wilson noted, factors such as the injuries up front played a role, as did playing more games against better defenses (notably the top-ranked Rams three times in the second half of the year).
But Wilson seems to be making clear that while Carroll may be hoping to run it more in 2021, the passing game can’t be neglected along the way.