Hey, did you know the first pre-season game is this Saturday? And we’re about a month away from the start of the regular season? Doesn’t this year feel like it’s flying by?
I haven’t thought a lot about the Seahawks this year, mostly by design. 2020 felt like a bust in many ways. We won the NFC West, we went 12-4, but we were saddled with the 3-seed and lost in the first round to the 6-seeded Rams. I still haven’t gotten over that late-season home loss to the Giants that could’ve changed our fate completely. And, everything that’s happened subsequently – starting with the Bucs of all teams winning the Super Bowl (I still don’t think they were all that special), followed by Russell Wilson’s media mania, mostly punting the draft, the dark cloud of the Jamal Adams contract situation, and the other dark cloud of the Duane Brown contract situation – has left me with not a lot to be excited about with this Seahawks team. It just feels like 2021 is going to be more of the same, with the final nail in the coffin being Russell Wilson demanding a trade out of here.
This year has Looming Disaster written all over it.
We’re at a crossroads, and the worst part of it is that we don’t seem to be well set to succeed. We pretty much have to either make it to the Super Bowl or win it all for things to stay on track and continue on Pete Carroll’s “Win Forever” plan; failing that, it feels like the whole thing is going to be blown up. Which means we have to do that with two looming contract holdouts, various holes throughout our roster, a defensive coordinator who’s almost certainly inept at his job, and a first-time offensive coordinator who has mere weeks to get everyone to learn and perfect his system.
You can see why I’m dreading the next few months, at least from a professional football perspective.
One of my stated life objectives is to try to live more in the present. I think I do a pretty good job – for the most part – of not dwelling on the past. But, I have a big problem with being obsessed with possible futures, and oftentimes dwelling on the negative potential outcomes over looking forward to the limitless positive possibilities. I’m kind of the anti-Pete Carroll or anti-Russell Wilson in that regard. But, I’m a Seattle sports fan, so who can blame me? We’re conditioned to expect the worst, which helps us tolerate the frequent mediocrity we’re given.
If I were to try to forget about what’s going to happen in 2022 and beyond – and live in this moment – there’s a lot to like about this Seahawks team. Especially at the quarterback position.
Russell Wilson is our quarterback now. If, indeed, that’s all that matters, then I’m happy. We get to root for one of the five best quarterbacks on the planet for one more year.
Things got off to a phenomenal start in 2020 – it looked like he’d have his best-ever season – before falling apart as the offense became predictable, and as the calibre of defenses became more difficult. The pieces are there, though, for Wilson to succeed. Two elite receivers, two quality running backs (when healthy), talented depth weapons who can get the job done, and one of the better offensive lines we’ve had in Seattle since he was drafted.
What’s more, if this offense is all it’s cracked up to be, it should open up the short and intermediate passing game that was so thoroughly lacking in 2020. And you know with Wilson’s arm and ability, the deep passing game will be as effective as ever.
I guess what needs to happen now is for Wilson to completely buy in. To take the lesser play as it comes, and not ALWAYS hold out for the home run ball. A lot of what he was complaining about is well within his control: get the ball out of your hands before the pass rush overwhelms you. Now, against the particularly fierce pass rushes, it’ll be nice to have a play-caller who’s able to take advantage of opposing defensive aggressiveness. Is Shane Waldron that guy? We’ll find out. That’s the biggest wild card of this whole season: how is Waldron as a play-caller, and how effective will he be adjusting to what the defense is showing us?
Assuming everyone is on the same page, and we’re not overwhelmed by injuries, I expect great things from this offense. I expect REALLY great things from Russell Wilson, who is still right there in the prime of his NFL career.
Behind him, we have Geno Smith. We don’t want to see any part of Geno Smith on the field in the regular season. Any part of this year that sees Wilson sidelined for any reason, and you can kiss the NFC West goodbye. Which obviously means you can kiss goodbye the top seed in the conference and a first round BYE. And, by kissing those things goodbye, you can probably also kiss the Super Bowl goodbye, because we’ve yet to make it to the final game without having home field throughout the playoffs.
I guess, if you had to twist my arm and have Geno Smith start a game for you, it might not be horrible so long as the opponent was clearly inferior. But, I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him against a halfway competent defense.
Sean Mannion was just signed to be a possible practice squad guy. By all accounts, Geno Smith’s job is safe, but I could see us looking to upgrade the backup QB spot. This guy supposedly knows the Rams’ system, which means he probably has a good idea about what Waldron is trying to instill here. It shouldn’t be THAT hard to supplant Geno Smith as this team’s #2, but what do I know?
Alex McGough is back, and fighting for the #3 spot. He’s just a guy.
In conclusion: don’t get injured Russell Wilson. Then, go out there and win us the Super Bowl. And, finally, stay here for the entirety of your prime. Thank you, and good night.