One of the notable moments from the Pete Carroll combine press conference came when he was asked about changes to the coaching staff, and in particular what new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer brings to the table for the Seattle Seahawks. His response was direct and to the point regarding Schottenheimer’s experience working with quarterbacks, and he proceeded to mention that Schottenheimer, along with new quarterbacks coach Dave Canales, should challenge Russell Wilson in a way he’s never been challenged before.
Here was how reporters for both the News Tribune and Seattle Times characterized Carroll’s answer:
Telling quote here from Pete Carroll about Brian Schottenheimer and Dave Canales and what they might mean for Russell Wilson. pic.twitter.com/WU3O6kURMF— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) March 1, 2018
Pete Carroll said at least 3 times hiring Brian Schottenheimer as off coor was for “challenging,” growing Russell Wilson. Cited how closely Schottenheimer works with QBs.— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) March 1, 2018
Left unsaid: Wilson wasn’t responding to Bevell anymore the way #Seahawks wanted
It’s that last part of Gregg Bell’s tweet that relates back to a topic that has been discussed by many fans since the end of the season, accountability. There were rumors of a lack of accountability late in the season and earlier in the offseason, and Doug Baldwin’s rant about the offensive issues stemming from a lack of execution rather than play calling didn’t help.
Add in the fact that, as Bell points out in the first part of his tweet, Carroll repeatedly stated that hiring Schottenheimer was the result of wanting to challenge Wilson, and it seems that Bell may be spot on with his interpretation of the coaching changes. In particular, Bevell may have been guilty of giving Wilson the “Favre Treatment”.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of the “Favre Treatment”, late in Brett Favre’s career it was reported that he was afforded special privileges and treated differently than other players, first with the New York Jets and later with the Minnesota Vikings. Interestingly, in Minnesota, Darrell Bevell happened to be the the offensive coordinator. Thinking about the parallels between the Seahawks and Vikings offenses under Bevell, Super Bowl XLIX isn’t the first time a Bevell coached quarterback cost his team a shot at postseason success with a late fourth quarter interception.
For those who don’t remember the game from which that screen grab comes, in the 2009 NFC Championship Game, the Vikings had the ball facing 3rd & 15 in a tie game with just nineteen seconds to go. Brett Favre dropped back to pass, rolled to his right and had ample running room in front of him to set up a potential game winning field goal attempt for Ryan Longwell. Unfortunately for Vikings fans everywhere, Favre’s ill-advised, across the body throw was intercepted by Tracy Porter, leading to overtime. In overtime, the New Orleans Saints won the coin toss, elected to receive and drove down the field for the winning field goal.
How Wilson responds to a new offense and a new offensive coordinator won’t be known until well into the 2018 season. Obviously there was no one factor to blame for the shortcomings of the Seahawks 2017 season, but Carroll obviously believes Russ can be much better than he was this past year, even having led the NFL in touchdown passes.
Apparently the belief that Wilson has the potential to perform at an even higher level played an extremely large role in the coaching changes the team made in January, and, hopefully, come September that belief will be shown through on field results.