Statistically, 2015 was the best season of Russell Wilson's young career, as the Seahawks quarterback led the NFL in passer rating (110.1) and set franchise records for passing yards (4,024), completion percentage (68.1), and touchdowns (34).
But for as good as Wilson was this past year, and for how much he's accomplished through his four seasons in the Pacific Northwest, a run that's included a Super Bowl championship, two NFC titles, and four Pro Bowl nods, Pete Carroll thinks the 27-year-old signal caller can be even better.
That was the word from the Seahawks head coach after his team's playoff loss to the Carolina Panthers this past January, when Carroll said he planned to "go to school" with Wilson and free safety Earl Thomas this offseason in an effort to help each player better understand the inner workings of the opposite side of the football.
At this past Thursday's set of Organized Team Activities, the offseason education program came up in a pair of post-practice interviews with Wilson and Carroll, who said he's met with his quarterback "a number of times" since the end of last year in an attempt to "broaden his outlook on football" by helping Wilson "understand things that he hasn't had to pay attention to in the past."
"Little things—scheme-wise on defense, teaching him the difference between a 3-4 and a 4-3 [front] from the defensive perspective," Carroll said. "Just stuff so he'll come to appreciate things. He hasn't really had to know that, you know. And there's lot of stuff like that – some little things that can broaden his look and scope of what's going on on the ball."
At this point of the offseason, when the NFL's collective bargaining agreement limits the amount of time players can spend with coaches, Wilson said he and his head coach have tried to meet for short 25-minute sessions where they go over different types of defensive philosophies, looks, and what each look aims to achieve. "The more knowledge the better," as Wilson put it.
"I think I've always tried to look at what's the defense's concepts, what are they trying to do, because it gives you kind of an added advantage of what their weakness is and what their strength is as a defense," Wilson said. "That's really just continuing that. It's nothing new, it's something that you continue on, continue to learn, and continue to build on as you go.
"That's the great part about it. I've got one of the greatest jobs in the world in my opinion, so I get to study as much as I can, learn as much as I can in terms of that, in terms of football and just the game. Then you put that into playing quarterback as well, it gives you an added advantage."
The Seahawks held the third of nine Organized Team Activities (OTAs) on Thursday, May 26 at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center.