After years of butting heads with Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll over the team’s offensive direction and philosophy, Russell Wilson and his original NFL team parted ways this offseason. Wilson is now with the Denver Broncos and Aaron Rodgers’ former offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. However, maybe Wilson would still be in Seattle if he and the franchise listened to former Seahawks tight end Greg Olsen and hired (now) Buffalo Bills OC Ken Dorsey when he told him about the play-caller over a year ago.
Greg Olsen touted Ken Dorsey to the Seattle Seahawks over a year ago
“Let Russ cook.”
This was the battle cry of Seahawks fans and NFL media for years. And it ultimately explains why Seattle decided to jettison Russell Wilson to Denver this offseason.
Pete Carroll and the Seahawks won the Super Bowl in 2013 (in Wilson’s second season) and came within a goal-line interception of winning a second in 2014. The key to these wins was a strong defense and running game to compliment a conservative strategy surrounding Wilson throwing the ball
As Wilson’s career went on, Carroll tried sticking with the same formula, as Wilson wanted more responsibility on his arm. In 2018, Seattle replaced longtime offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell with Brian Schottenheimer, and the team still only won one playoff game in three seasons.
In 2021, Wilson got to basically pick his OC, and he went with Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay protégé Shane Waldron. Wilson did get injured during the season, but the result was a pitiful 7-10 record.
Wilson is now gone, but his former teammate, Greg Olsen, laid out a scenario where things could be different. During the Bills’ 31-10 2022 Week 1 victory over the Los Angele Rams, Olsen tweeted, “Following the 2020-21 season, Russell calls me for my input on who Seattle should target for OC opening. I said you NEED Ken Dorsey. Kenny interviewed. They didn’t hire him. Tonight- Exhibit A.”
After that reveal by Olsen, you have to wonder if things would have been different across the NFL if the Seahawks had made a different choice.
Russell Wilson lost Ken Dorsey, and that’s Josh Allen’s gain
In an era where top 10 NFL passers routinely throw for over 4,000 yards and top five signal-callers throw for 4,500 or more, Russell Wilson only went over 4K four times in his 10-year career and has never crested 4.5K.
To find a place that would “let Russ cook,” the QB had to leave Seattle and move to Denver. After learning that the Seahawks had a chance to hire Ken Dorsey, though, you have to wonder what could have been if that had happened.
Dorsey played QB at the University of Miami, where he threw to Greg Olsen. As an NFL coach, he tutored Cam Newton on the Carolina Panthers, including during Newton’s MVP/Super Bowl season in 2015.
He then moved to Buffalo and coached-up Josh Allen while learning from offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. Now, he’s the Bills OC (after the Seahawks passed last season) and is off to a phenomenal start.
Against the defending Super Bowl champion, Dorsey called a near-flawless game that led to a 31-point explosion for the Bills. A rusty Bills offense that turned the ball over four times marred the game a bit, but that was no fault of Dorsey’s.
A few more games like this, and Dorsey will be one of the hottest OC names in the league. If that happens, Seahawks fans (and maybe even Russell Wilson, depending on how his Broncos adventure goes) might be kicking themselves.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference