Seattle’s quarterback just delivered a timely and quite masterful press conference.
Russell Wilson was his usual self. Ultra-positive. Ambitious. Talking about his desire to be the best at practically everything.
Yet subtly within his words were some seemingly deliberate statements — right when the Seahawks are preparing to appoint a new offensive coordinator.
“Coach Carroll and I, we have to be on the same wave length”
“…For me and coach to hopefully partner on the thought process of the next person”
“The next 10 years are super critical… and the legacy I want to be able to create and do. It’s vital, critical, super significant that I’m part of this process”
That’s just a flavour of what he said. This was Wilson letting everyone know what his expectations are. Firstly, to be involved in the process of identifying the next coordinator. Secondly, to be lock-step with the Head Coach on the offensive direction.
Three days after Carroll spoke of his willingness to win 17-14, stay in the game and keep it tight — Wilson shared a very different vision…
“We’ve got to put our foot down on the gas… I think we should score 24 points before the half, get ahead. We can do that — no matter how we do it. Let’s go win. Let’s start early.”
He talked, quite rightly, about game planning game-to-game and being adaptable.
He reiterated his desire to set passing touchdown records and wanting to try and score 50 (or 60) times next season.
He countered a lot of what Carroll said about needing to run their way out of facing two-deep safety looks. He spoke a lot about the passing game…
“We have to do everything extremely well… if you really want to be a great offense… we have to be able to throw it down the field. We have to have great concepts conceptually in the middle of the field, get the ball out quick… our screen game… up tempo and change the pace.”
“We can’t settle for anything less than winning it all” he exclaimed, while also discussing the importance of ‘winning’ free agency and the upcoming draft too (a sequel, perhaps, to his call for ‘superstars’ to be added a year ago).
Wilson never said anything in a pointed, angry, controversial manner. He was affable, jovial and apologised for a bad wifi connection after virtually every question.
When pressed on whether there was any disconnect with Carroll on offensive vision, he said no. But then I don’t think anyone expects Carroll and Wilson to be at each others throats. There is clearly a mutual respect between the pair.
This is purely and simply about Wilson having expectations for his career and whether they mesh with Carroll’s ideas for the Seahawks.
The message landed, I thought.
If the plan was to appoint a yes-man willing to do whatever Carroll wants — then that’s not going to cut it. Wilson wants to help pick the man responsible for the offense and he wants to agree with the plan.
He talked about this being a critical appointment for the future of the organisation. The next step could dictate the next decade for the Seahawks. For his career.
Wilson sounds like he’s desperate for the team to get this right. Nobody should doubt he wants to achieve his goals in Seattle. Yet he also sounds like a man who is making it known what his expectations are. Fail to meet them and the consequences are predictable.
The timing couldn’t be better. A public message that he wants in on the decision making process — both in terms of the offensive plan and who will be installing it.
The serve has been returned to Pete Carroll’s side of the court.
The next shot will be very interesting.
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