Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson met with the media on Thursday for a virtual press conference to wrap up the 2020 season, and to discuss the change the team made at offensive coordinator two days after the team and Brian Schottenheimer parted ways, citing philosophical difference.
Here are three takeaways from Wilson's press conference.
1. Wilson is grateful for his time learning from Schottenheimer.
Wilson spent the past three seasons working with Schottenheimer, and while things didn't ultimately work out for Schottenheimer to stay past 2020, Wilson appreciates the time they had together and sees a bright future for Schottenheimer going forward.
"Schotty has been a great coach," Wilson said. "We've done some amazing things together. We've led the league in touchdown passes, we've done a lot of amazing things over the past three years. We've won a lot of football games and everything else. I think he's a tremendous coach, I think he's a tremendous teacher… He's a tremendous football coach, and he really helped me in my career. To have him in kind of the beginning-middle of my career, years 7, 8 and 9, it's been a blessing to have him. He's such an amazing teacher of the game. He's going to be an amazing coach for some other team soon, hopefully. I think he's going to be a head coach, he's got that kind of leadership ability.
2. Wilson wants to be involved in choosing the next offensive coordinator.
As the head coach, it was Pete Carroll's decision to make a change to his coaching staff, and it will ultimately be his choice who is hired to replace Schottenheimer. But considering how closely an offensive coordinator and quarterback work together, and how much Wilson means to the franchise, it only stands to reason that the next offensive coordinator should be a good fit with Wilson, which is why Wilson and Carroll have been talking this week about what will come next, and why Wilson wants to be part of that decision making process.
"It's super important that Coach Carroll and I are on the same wavelength," Wilson said. "We've been able to talk over the past three days about a lot of different things and really trying to figure out, how far can we go, what's the plan and all that stuff. A lot of it for me and Coach is to hopefully be able to partner on the thought process on the next person and that person being able to help impact this football team, this organization and really be a great football coach and help be a part of leading us to the promise land.
"What's really important is somebody who, one, is a tremendous teacher of the game, like Schotty was. Somebody who is a tremendous leader of men, somebody who is extremely passionate about the game and creative, and knows how to find every guy's strength, every guy in that huddle, all 11, including myself, that's such an incredible part to this game. What's really important is for us to be one of the most explosive offenses in football, for us to be able to throw it extremely well, for us to be able to also run it well, for us to have that up-tempo game, fast pace, slow it down, do all the mixture of things we want to be able to do. I think there's nothing that we can't do."
Heading into his 10th year, Wilson understands that the next coordinator will have a pretty direct impact on his career going forward, and considering how much time he'll spend working with that person, Wilson said it's important that he work with Carroll and general manager John Schneider to make sure they're all on the same page.
"It's vital, it's critical, it's super significant that I'm a part of that process," he said. "Coach and I have definitely been talking about it, John too, and we've had some great dialogue about the thought process of who we want, the idea of the kind of leader, innovator, all that kind of different stuff we want."
3. Wilson is more interested in titles than cooking.
"Let Russ Cook" became a fan-favorite mantra this season, and while the offense cooled off in the second half of the season, the Seahawks still threw the ball at a higher rate than they have in most previous seasons under Carroll. On Monday Carroll made it clear he wants to see his team run the ball more effectively and more often next season, though he also said he wants to keep having an explosive passing game, but whether or not that means fewer pass attempts in 2021, Wilson is more interested in winning another Super Bowl than anything else.
"What I want to see more of is more wins, more championships. I think every year dictates itself a little bit by personnel, by who you have. I think our personnel obviously with DK (Metcalf) and Tyler (Lockett), what they can do and everything else—I think how we start off the season, obviously we can do that, we've done it, and we can do it again. I think to be able to throw the ball downfield throw it mid-range, to be able to throw it on first and second down, to be able to convert in the red zone and all that is really important… To be able to win 12 games and an NFC West championship, that's all great; to be able throw a bunch of touchdowns, that's all great. But the reason why we want to do this is to win championships, and throwing the ball is definitely going to be part of that, us winning another championship. But I also think us being able to dominate in the run game too is going to be critical as well."
Go behind the scenes with team photographer Rod Mar as he shares moments from the Seattle Seahawks' Wild Card game against the Los Angeles Rams. Eye on the Hawks is presented by Western Washington Toyota Dealers.