The Seattle Seahawks are moving to a discouraging end to a rare occurrence of a missed playoff berth. The Seahawks’ shortcomings have shifted attention toward star quarterback Russell Wilson’s future. However, Sunday’s loss to the Chicago Bears may have featured a single play that exemplifies Wilson’s fractured relationship with Pete Carroll.
Seahawks fall disappointingly short of playoff contention
The Seahawks entered the 2021 season hoping to brush aside the offseason drama centered around Wilson’s future.
Instead, Seattle will fail to make the playoffs for only the second time with the eight-time Pro Bowler under center. Wilson’s extended absence amplified the team’s massive problems defensively. Meanwhile, they struggled in his return, losing five out of their last seven games.
After the crushing Week 16 loss, one play from the game may have exemplified why a split may lie ahead.
Former Seahawks QB Jake Heaps proved Russell Wilson’s relationship with Pete Carroll is irreparably fractured with a single play
As the Seahawks march toward the close of a disappointing 2021 campaign, the relationship between Wilson and Carroll is becoming increasingly scrutinized.
One of those moments occurred in Sunday’s loss to the Bears that featured a crucial miscue in the fourth quarter. As former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps, who briefly played on the Seahawks practice squad in the 2016 season, pinpointed during an interview on Jake and Stacy on 710 ESPN Seattle on Monday.
The sequence was on a 3rd-and-5 on the Bears’ 8-yard line that saw Wilson attempt to extend the play. It quickly resulted in a sack losing 13 yards instead of simply throwing the ball away. It saw Kicker Jason Myers pull the 39-yard attempt in the snowy conditions, opening the door for the Bears to stage a late-game comeback.
Heaps felt the play showcased the conflicting thought process that sits between Wilson and Carroll.
“Pete Carroll says, ‘Hey, Russell Wilson should have thrown it away there,’” Heaps said via ESPN. “Russell Wilson comes to the podium and says, ‘Look, in those situations, I have years of where I’ve been able to extend plays in that situation and have been able to come up with big plays. It’s the way that I have played and I took a calculated risk knowing that we’re on the 8-yard line and if I take a sack, then we’re still in field goal range, firmly in field goal range.’” So with those two minds, I think it shows the disconnect between the two styles of play.”
It may be a single example, but it showcases the opposing stances that Wilson and Carroll hold concerning that play. It’s common for quarterbacks and head coaches to have different points of view, but given the discouraging direction things are heading in Seattle, it only further underlines the matter.
Pete Carroll sheds light on Seahawks’ future plans
It’s hard not to read the writing on the wall as the Seahawks are heading toward a rebuild.
Seattle’s shortcomings in 2021 stemmed from much more than Wilson missing an extended stretch. The front office holds plenty of work to revamp the roster, focused on retooling the defense while adding much-needed depth.
Meanwhile, Carroll shot down the notion that the team needs a “restart” to push the franchise toward being a playoff contender with realistic Super Bowl aspirations.
“Not for one reason at all am I thinking that we have to restart this whole thing and create a new philosophy and a new approach and all that,” he told 710 ESPN Seattle on Monday. “I don’t think that. I think we’ve got the essence of the things that we need. We’ve got to build on them, we’ve got to support it better and we’ve got to continue to grow and progress. There ain’t no standing still, but there’s the foundation for doing things.”
Carroll’s attempt to blanket the situation is an expected move. Still, the Seahawks may be heading toward their star quarterback finally voices he wants out in favor of a fresh beginning.
It may mark the end of Carroll’s tenure as Seattle has become the bottom dweller in the NFC West division. Time will tell, but the Seahawks are moving toward a busy offseason where much change lies ahead.