More Freedom for the 2021 Seahawks Offense?

Jan 9, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) avoids the tackle by Los Angeles Rams linebacker Leonard Floyd (54) during the third quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

You have probably heard the phrase “passing league” or “pass-first league” like you are listening to a broken record. More and more teams are looking towards a young offensive mind for their Head Coach. When a defensive-minded Head Coach like the Seahawks Pete Carroll calls for his offense to run the ball more. It brings calls of derision from some quarters. 

The Seahawks went pass-happy under former Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Russ was allowed to “cook” as the Seahawks came firing out of the blocks winning 6 of their first 7 games. The offense was piling up the points leading to early MVP talk for Russell Wilson. As defenses adjusted, Wilson and the Seahawks couldn’t keep up the sparkling early season performances.

Statistically, it looks like an excellent season, with an almost career-high season for yards (4212) and a clear career-high 40 Touchdown passes. There was also a career-high 13 Interceptions, but Wilson finished the season with an impressive PFF grade of 90.3.

Defense and Playoff disappointment

On the flip side, the Seahawks defense struggled in the first half of the season. As adjustments were made to improve the defense, the offense stalled to the point Russell Wilson’s MVP season evaporated so badly. He wasn’t even a footnote in the conversation when all was said and done. The Seahawks finished up as division leaders, with a 12-4 record. Despite that, a 30-20 home defeat to division rivals the LA Rams in the Wild Card round ended the season.

In truth, the 20 points flattered the Seahawks who couldn’t get much of anything going in the game. Wilson spent most of the game running for his life. He finished with stats of 11 catches on 27 attempts for just 174 yards. He did throw 2 touchdown passes, but also an interception which was run-in for a pick 6. Not what you would expect from a player of Russell Wilson’s quality.

Russell Wilson Trade Rumors

Back in February Wilson was vocal and critical of the team’s Offensive Line, amid rumors of a trade request. No trade materialized, and Wilson looks set for another year in Seattle. Have the Seahawks done enough to appease Wilson, and be serious contenders? Wilson cited as saying “I’m frustrated at getting hit too much”, has since tried to backtrack somewhat. But is the signing of 7-year veteran Guard Gabe Jackson enough?

Talking about new Offensive Coordinator Shane Waldron’s style of offense. Star Wide Receiver Tyler Lockett asserted he brings more freedom to the Seahawks attack. A Head Coach notorious for meddling and always looking over the shoulder of his Coordinators, it remains to be seen if Pete Carroll will give Waldron the leeway and freedom on offense to be successful.

The weapons

The Seahawks have good weapons at their disposal. Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf are a great WR duo, and combined for 2357 yards last season scoring 10 Touchdowns each! D’Wayne Eskridge is an exciting rookie prospect, who could fill that much-needed WR3 role. Chris Carson is still a good Running Back, his PFF grade of 77.3 was 9th best in the league last year. He missed some games due to injury, which meant his yard and touchdown stats were well down. The good news is he only. 1 fumble, which had been a big problem in his first 2 seasons in the league. Will Dissly is a good Tight End but didn’t reach the heights they would have hoped in his first season as starting Tight End.

The Seahawks had a middle-of-the-pack 16th ranked pass blocking unit last season, which leaves plenty of scope for improvement. If the Offensive Line can protect Wilson sufficiently. A Quarterback of that talent, given freedom in the offensive system of a young coach. The Seahawks offense has the potential to be an exciting watch this season.