Having been a Seattle Seahawks fan for 48 years, I have mixed emotions about Russell Wilson.
On the one hand, he is the only quarterback to win a Super Bowl for Seattle. On the other, he did throw the interception that cost us another Super Bowl the following year.
He is my favorite Seahawk quarterback of all time, followed by Matt Hasselbeck, Dave Krieg, Warren Moon and Jim Zorn.
His first couple of years here Wilson wasn’t given much credit. Many called him a game manager. Funny how his only Super Bowl win came during that era. I actually liked those years. His ego was more in check, and he seemed like more of a team player.
The year we won it all was actually his second-worst statistical year with a QB rating of 95.0. The first three years we were 36-12 and his yardage was way down almost 1,000 yards each season compared with his last three non-injured years, when the team went 33-15.
While the team kept winning, Wilson had some tough years after the Super Bowls. He had some receivers who just could not get separation from defenders. Wilson consistently had to throw into tight quarters, and he became a pinpoint passer. Luckily we had Marshawn Lynch, or “Beast Mode,” who kept us in games and helped run down the clock.
But when he left the team turned to “Let Russ Cook.” Luckily he got some new receivers who actually could get open in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
But even though his stats got better, and his reputation improved, the team wasn’t as successful, especially when it came to the playoffs. Last year was a major disappointment. Of course, Wilson getting injured and missing games for the first time was a huge reason for that.
But I started to sour toward Wilson before then. He kept complaining about having poor offensive lines. While I wish management would have put together better protection for him, Wilson was to blame for sacks more than many people realize. He often hung on to the ball way too long, especially on three-step dropbacks. And he wasn’t as quick in escaping the rush anymore – another reason he should have gotten rid of the ball sooner.
Another reason I liked the old Wilson more than the newer one is he was better at ball control. He used short passes to drive the team down the field. That used up time on the clock. A major problem the past few years was the defense was on the field two-thirds of the time.
Many fans loved that we could score quickly. Wilson became known for being adept at throwing the long ball. I, for one, disagree. Not very often did he hit Metcalf or Lockett in stride. More often they had to slow down as the pass was underthrown. Wilson did that again in the long TD pass in this season’s opener, now playing for Denver.
Boos rang out at the game. I had hoped fans would cheer him prior to that game – but during the contest treat him like any other visiting QB and harass him with all their vocal cords could take, which is what happened.
Signing the big contract, that video of he and Ciarra in bed with the big bling around his neck, and then him turning around and leaving left a bad taste in my mouth. Reading that he had been upset for years for not letting him pass more in a rout, just to boost his possible MVP stats, also turned my stomach.
The way Wilson left also is bothersome. He wanted better protection, but unlike Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, he wasn’t willing to accept lower pay to get better linemen. He also wanted more control over player personnel. To that I say, “Who does he think he is?” He had not earned the status to do that, a la Brady and Rodgers.
Since Wilson didn’t want to be here, Seattle traded him. I thought they should have gotten more in that trade, as do many others.
I’m not a big fan of Geno Smith. I thought he played one really good game last year when management actually let him play, rather than being so conservative that he was playing not to lose. So I had hope for Smith going into this season. Short, accurate passes. Long drives to let the defense rest. But he never did look good in preseason. The team seemed to play better when Drew Lock was in. The body language was just more positive.
But ‘Ge-No’ rose to the occasion against the Broncos, at least in the first half when I loved our play calling. We stopped playing small ball in the second half, Smith lost his confidence, and that almost cost us the game. I noticed Denver also played mostly small ball, even with Wilson at the helm. If we’d had done that the past few years he would of avoided a lot of sacks, the defense would have gotten some rest, we’d have won more games, and maybe he’d still be with us.
I have no ill will toward Wilson. But I’m not going to put him on a pedestal either. I’m just hoping the Hawks can come up with an offensive scheme that will make whoever we have at QB look good. The team is more important than any one individual. Players come and go, but I’ll back the Hawks forever.