ORLANDO— For the first time in his NFL career, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will have a different offensive coordinator coaching him when the 2018 season gets underway next fall. It's a new adjustment for Wilson, who since entering the league in 2012 has only worked with Darrell Bevell, who was relieved of his duties this offseason.
The Seahawks hired former Indianapolis quarterbacks coach Brian Schottenheimer for Bevell's old position and Wilson talked Friday following practice at the Pro Bowl about how excited he is to get to work with his new coach.
"Coach Schottenheimer's going to be great," Wilson said. "He knows football, he's been around the game for a long time. I'm really excited about what he's going to bring to the table. I love coach Bevell, he's been phenomenal for me and that process was tough on me because we've won a Super Bowl together and have been to two and won a lot of playoff games. (But) that's professional sports and things change and he'll do a great job wherever he goes, but Brian Schottenheimer is going to be great. We've already talked just about life and everything else, not really about football, but about that process. It's going to be a thing that we're looking forward to winning a lot of football games and that's what we're dedicated to do."
Wide receiver Doug Baldwin also had the following to say about Schottenheimer's addition:
"He's very genuine, very honest, very forthcoming, very blunt, and I like that," Baldwin said. "I know he's going to do a great job of bringing us back to where we want to be in terms of discipline and accountability, so I'm really excited to get to work."
Wilson and Baldwin both talked with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees about how Schottenheimer is as a coach. Wilson has been close friends with Brees since entering the league and Baldwin is teammates with Brees in Orlando for the Pro Bowl for the second consecutive year. While on San Diego's coaching staff from 2002 through 2005, Schottenheimer was Brees' position coach and aided in him developing into one of the league's best passers.
"Drew is really, really close with Brian Schottenheimer," Wilson said. "That's a cool thing. Drew and I have talked a lot about Brian and what he's going to bring to the table in a positive way and how he loves the game and how he loves details and everything else. And just winning games. It's going to be a great experience and I know Brian taught Drew as the quarterbacks coach in San Diego and Marty (Schottenheimer) was the head coach at the time. There's a lot of good things going on there and we're excited about the opportunity of winning a lot of football games and seeing what we can do."
Added Baldwin: "I talked to Drew (Brees) extensively about him, I've talked to some other guys who he has been with. They've all had nothing but great things to say about him. Drew is extremely close to him, so I knew I could get some detailed information about him from Drew. Drew loves him and one of the things Drew said is that he's going to hold everybody accountable and when you go into the huddle everybody is going to know what to do. I'm really looking forward to that part being really easy for us."
Brees said this week he believes Schottenheimer will be able to adapt well in Seattle.
"I think he will bring great energy to that team," Brees said. "Great knowledge, great experience. He's very detailed oriented. I can't say enough about his character and what he'll bring in that regard.
"You've got a lot of work to do in a short amount of time and I think he'll come in obviously with the pieces that are in place there and really do a great job organizing and getting them in the direction he wants them to go. I'm sure the system will fit all of the guys that are there, I think that's something that he brings to the table. He comes in with the mindset that I'm going to take the talent that I have, the pieces that I have and I'm going to put everybody in the best position to succeed."
Before working with the Colts the past two seasons, Schottenheimer was previously an offensive coordinator with the New York Jets from 2006 until 2011, with the St. Louis Rams from 2012 until 2014 and then again at the University of Georgia in 2015. While on the Jets' coaching staff, Schottenheimer served under Eric Mangini and Rex Ryan and helped the Jets become one of the more established running teams in the league. The Jets finished in the top-10 in the NFL in rushing yards, attempts and yards per attempt three times, and the top-10 in rushing touchdowns four times.
Over the past two years, the Seahawks haven't established the run like they've wanted to and in his final press conference of the season head coach Pete Carroll highlighted that as one of the areas they still would like to fix going forward.
"There was issues during the season that I think the big ones I would like to address for you is that we have a real formula of how we win and we have been unable the last two years to incorporate a major aspect of that and it's running the football the way we want to run it," Carroll said. "I think you see tremendous examples around the league of teams who have turned their fortunes around and they have turned it around in a formula that I think should sound familiar to you. But teams running the football. Teams playing good defense and doing the kicking game thing. That is the formula that has proven historically the best in this game. We have been committed to that from the start but unfortunately we have not been able to recapture it the way that we have in years past."
But as Baldwin noted Friday, adding Schottenheimer's coaching style is the first step in getting the Seahawks back to playing the way Carroll likes and growing stronger as a team in the future.
"It's another process for us all," Baldwin said. "But I think it's good for our growth."
Photos from the third day of NFC practice at the 2018 Pro Bowl in Orlando, Florida.