The Elephant in the Locker Room: Thank Your Lucky Stars It’s Carroll and Wilson
After two Super Bowl appearances in a row, everyone’s paying attention… yet even with all the scrutiny, it seems that there’s always some key issue that’s getting glossed over. It’s the elephant in the locker room, if you will, and gosh darn if I’ll let that ride. Join us on Saturday mornings for a little closer look at our NFC West Champions.
By Greg Wright
I feel like a broken record writing repeatedly about how the Seahawks themselves are not broken. About how the sky is not falling. About how we all ought to just calm down a little and not reach for the panic button.
So I won’t write another column about the Hawks’ offense and why it doesn’t have the gaudy numbers we seem to expect. After all, I just did that last week.
I also won’t explain why we don’t have an offensive line made up of blue-chip draft picks. I did that a year ago, and the only thing that’s changed is the cast of characters. Only one other NFL team spends less on O linemen than Seattle, and that’s Detroit… another team which allocates its cap dollars elsewhere.
I won’t bother telling you why Jimmy Graham in Seattle will never look like Jimmy Graham in New Orleans.
I won’t write another essay on why Marshawn Lynch is not over the hill.
I won’t even trot out more stats reminding fans how rare it is to watch a team that has the lead at some point in every game, and almost never trails by more than 10 points. No. Because I hope you’d remember some of these things.Instead I’m just going to remind us all how lucky we are to have Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson in town instead of other combinations we might have instead.
First, though, one new bit of information to throw into that mix.
You know by now as well as I do that Russell Wilson is nothing if not anally-retentive when it comes to goal-setting. He wants to be the best, and he goes about that in a highly-structured fashion. So when he observes that he has a problem in some facet of his game, he doesn’t just acknowledge it and then go about repeating the mistake over and over–a la, say, Jay Cutler, Colin Kaepernick, or RG3–he fixes it. Ruthlessly.
And what is Wilson working on this season? What is the goal he’s set for improving his performance?
Over the first three years of his career he averaged just over 63%. Over four games this season he’s averaging almost 72%.
If he wants to be regarded among the best in the game–if he wants to be mentioned in the same breath as Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Kurt Warner, or even Romo or Rivers, and he knows that mention will never come because of yardage or number of completions–he knows he needs to improve his completion percentage.
This means he’ll be looking for a higher-percentage throw. This means shorter passes. This means he’ll probably be taking more sacks and hits.
And that’s okay, because he’s built to take it. And because, frankly, it’s his choice.
So pay attention to your home-town QB and what he’s up to, and why. Remember, he’s a superstar now, and getting paid like one. He’s trying to earn that dough, not be some pansy paycheck-protector who bails out at the first sign of danger to his precious little self, or some passer with a fragile ego whose confidence is completely blown when he fumbles or throws an interception.
So, yeah… instead of watching Russell Wilson on a Pete Carroll-coached team, we could be watching the second coming of
Jesus Peyton under Pagano in Baltimore… which means we’d be endlessly wondering why we haven’t won a championship yet… or why we’re actually watching Matt Hasselbeck again instead of Jesus With a Football.
We could be watching RG3 ride the bench under a variety of coaches.
We could be watching Kaepernick disintegrate under Tomsula.
We could be watching Tannehill throw practice-squad tantrums in dysfunctional and coachless Miami.
We could be watching Jay Cutler on a John Fox-coached team. Say no more.
We could even be watching Peyton Manning on a Fox-coached team… but, remember, we did that in Super Bowl XLVIII. And boy, weren’t we glad we were rooting for the Seahawks instead!
We could be scratching our heads over the decisions of Eli Manning under the aging Tom Coughlin.
We could be watching the sad end of a dynastic era in New Orleans.
We could be watching Rivers flail away under Pick-a-Coach.
We could be watching Matt Schaub crumble under Gary Kubiak. Oh… but we can’t, because Kubiak is in Denver now, and Schaub, well, isn’t playing anymore.
Yes, the options are virtually endless. And painful.
So let’s face it: we should be counting our lucky stars we have the Wilson and Carroll Show, whatever the outcome this week. Enjoy the heck out of it, and quit wringing your hands.
Or, move to Boston or Wisconsin and see how that goes for ya.
- Still wondering if I overemphasized Michael Bennett’s offsides penalties a couple weeks ago? If so, have you thought what a difference one of those would have made on the Lions’ last offensive play on Sunday? I’m very, very glad that Bennett has kept himself in check for eight quarters running. But I’m betting he’ll fall off the wagon this week in Cincinnatti.
- I have to admit that I also thought that K. J. Wright’s tap of that ball out of bounds was incidental and not flagrant. So I see the ref’s point. I also see Lions’ fans’ point, too. It still should have been a penalty, technically, and the Lions should probably have been awarded the ball.
- But heck! What a play by Chancellor! Good to see him back in the office, as it were, and proving his value rather than sitting at home and Tweeting or texting about it.
Back to the prognostications for this year. Here we go with Week 5.
Once again we have a matchup of the Bengals’ strength (passing offense) versus Seattle’s strength (secondary). But this time it’s on the road, and this time we also have a matchup of strength (Bengals D) against weakness (Hawks’ O). Will Dalton once again choke under pressure? Will Wilson defy the odds, as well as gravity? Will Special Teams make the difference? As underdogs, I’m thinking the Seahawks will find a way to win, but it won’t be pretty. It rarely is. Seahawks 22, Bengals 19.