Pete Carroll and Seattle Seahawks fans are getting a taste of what life without Russell Wilson could be like if he leaves the franchise. The Seahawks were struggling before Wilson injured his right middle finger in their Week 5 game against the Rams, and they’re now 0-2 without him in the starting lineup.
Wilson has been nothing less than phenomenal during his career in Seattle, and an ironman until this finger injury. After the Seahawks’ Week 7 loss to the Saints on Monday Night Football, Carroll shed some light on his appreciation for Russ and gave him the credit he deserves:
I’ve been here a long time. And if we didn’t have Russell, I probably wouldn’t have been here a long time. Think of all the magic he’s created through the years. One of the winningest quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. And it’ll be really fun when he comes back and plays football again for us this year.
Ain’t that the truth? Coaches aren’t always this publicly candid. The defensively-led Legion of Boom Seahawks were a long time ago at this stage of the game. Since they transitioned to an offensive mindset over the past few years, this team has been all about letting Russ cook. Geno Smith may or may not be a starting-caliber NFL quarterback — and that’s a big question mark for a team that considers itself to be in contention.
Carroll wasn’t always a successful NFL head coach. Sure, his USC teams were great, whether they skirted a few rules off the field or not. That’s college though and is entirely different from professional football. Carroll’s first couple of NFL head coaching gigs before Seattle weren’t exactly spellbinding.
His teams had just one playoff victory in Carroll’s first four seasons as an NFL head coach with the N.Y. Jets (1994) and the New England Patriots (1997-99). During that span, Carroll’s record was 33-31. Over .500, but not blowing anyone’s mind. His Seattle stint was off to an even worse start, as the Seahawks finished 7-9 in both of Carroll’s first two seasons (2010 & 2011) with the franchise.
Seattle drafted Wilson in 2012, and he helped secure Carroll’s first winning record, with 11 wins that year. The Legion of Boom and the defense in general always get a ton of credit as they should. But the entire LOB was in Seattle at least one year before Russell was drafted. They’d already been building that defense, they just didn’t have the right QB in place. Yes, the Seahawks rode their number-one ranked defense to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances and were able to win one. But without Wilson’s playmaking ability and football IQ, I don’t know if they’re in the position to play in the big game in consecutive years.
I also don’t know how much longer Carroll plans on coaching, being in his 70s now, but if he plans on making one last run at a Super Bowl, it would behoove him to sit down with Wilson and make sure they’re on the same page. Carroll needs to do whatever it takes to keep Wilson in Seattle. There was lots of talk in the offseason about Russell being fed up and ready to dip on Carroll and the Seahawks. The day Russ stops cooking in Seattle is the same day Pete should put away the dishes, close up shop, and stroll off into retirement.