Wilson, coming off the best season of his NFL career, has met with Carroll this season to “look at the defense from the defensive side of the ball.”
RENTON — The night of the Seahawks’ season-ending defeat at Carolina in the playoffs, coach Pete Carroll and quarterback Russell Wilson discussed the future.
Broadly, they spoke of a plan to inch Wilson’s performance even higher, and Carroll relayed what he had in mind.
“I think it’s really the right time to turn his focus and broaden his awareness of what is going on in the game overall,” Carroll said the day after the season ended. “He and I will spend a lot of time this offseason introducing him to the perspective of what it’s like to look at the defense from the defensive side of the ball. I want him to learn and understand what’s going on schematically, rotation-wise, fits-wise, even more than he knows now.”
So here we are, at the start of Wilson’s fifth season with the Seahawks, and Wilson and Carroll updated the (slow) progress of that plan.
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Wilson, 27, said it’s hard right now with the time constraints of the offseason to dig too deep, but he and Carroll try to get together when they can.
“We just try to go over defensive philosophies, what they’re trying to do, different types of defenses, different looks,” Wilson said. “Just to continue trying to gain knowledge. The more knowledge, the better. And then when you go out in the game, you just play ball.”
Said Carroll, “We’ve visited a number of times. We’ve really started now football-wise. We’re just having fun with it and developing. … We’re just trying to bring him around to understand things that he hasn’t had to pay attention to in the past. Just to broaden his outlook on football.”
The word the Seahawks commonly use to encapsulate this development is “command.” Offensive line coach Tom Cable once offered a scattering of examples: setting the right protection, when to run or when to throw the ball away, which run play to audible to. Those points reflect the nuances that come with earning a Ph.D. at the position.
Wilson is coming off the best season of his career. He was more efficient and threw for more yards (4,024) and touchdowns (34) than ever. In the second half of the season, he played like a league MVP candidate.
Now the Seahawks will rely on Wilson’s improved savvy to help an offensive line that could have new starters at all five spots. The Seahawks are banking that a more refined Wilson can act as a safety net.
“He’s the best he’s been,” Carroll said of Wilson earlier this offseason. “He’s the most versed he’s been. He can command the calls more so than ever, so he can correct things that might not get seen by a guy or might not get communicated properly. He’ll catch it.”
Wilson has done many of these things already. But now he will be asked to do them better, quicker and with more precision.