Russell Wilson is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, but isn't exactly held in the proper regard when looking at his elite talent. Despite hoisting a Lombardi Trophy, being named to seven Pro Bowls and leading the NFL in passer rating and passing touchdowns at various points in his career, the Seahawks quarterback has never received a single MVP vote in his career. He just recently cracked the .
To put it simply, folks are sleeping on Russell Wilson.
On the latest edition of the Pick Six Podcast (it's a daily dose of pure NFL goodness and you can subscribe right here), Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer joins host Will Brinson and gives his theory as to why folks around the league may be overlooking his franchise quarterback.
"When I first got out here, I thought Russ was a good player," said Schottenheimer, who is entering his third season in Seattle. "I never, obviously, had done anything with him in terms of watching him really work and I thought he was a good player. I thought he was a guy that was going to scramble around and make plays and improvise and all those things that he does. When I got here and I saw his ability to throw the football, not just down the field, but accurately. We call it ball placement. He's able to put the ball exactly where you want it. Not just to where the guy can catch it, but I mean exactly where you want it and I was quite honestly blown away. I was surprised.
"Unless you truly love the Seahawks and watch the Seahawks, I think what he does just comes so naturally and easy that people underestimate him. I know one thing, I'm thrilled and excited about 2020 because I think the chatter about the MVP votes will motivate him. He is ready to work. He's always ready to work, but he's the wrong guy to doubt. He's the wrong guy to say, 'Nah, he can't do that." He will carry a grudge and he will work his ass off to make it go."
One talent that the Seahawks may specifically utilize even more in 2020 is Wilson's deep-ball accuracy. By bringing in pass-catchers who work well in play-action situations like tight end Greg Olsen and receivers D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, Wilson could be airing it out even more next season.
"It's not a big secret that Russell Wilson's an unbelievable deep-ball thrower," Schottenheimer said. "Again, I've been blessed to be around some great ones and he's at the top of the list of guys that have that innate ability to add a little bit of air whenever he needs to or kind of take something off it when he needs to fit a ball in deep. He's terrific at that."
Of course, this offseason poses a few unique challenges to teams due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because teams can't currently meet face-to-face, a lot of the offseason activity is being conducted virtually, which Schottenheimer views as an advantage to teams like Seattle, who have continuity at quarterback, offensive coordinator, and head coach.
"I think quite often I've got off these Zoom calls and I've thought 'Wow. To be a new staff, it would be a bit different,'" he said. "You've never met some of these guys. You're trying to implement a new system, a new culture in a lot of cases and you're doing it like we are here. You're talking, you're face-to-face, but you're really not face-to-face.
"Certainly having a guy like Russ be back, me going into Year 3, obviously with Pete leading the charge ... I think teams like us -- at least during this period -- may have a chance to get more done than the new staffs that are trying to get those things put into place."
That relationship between Wilson and Carroll has been a fruitful one for Seattle, winning one Super Bowl title, appearing in one more and winning three division titles.
"The guy is just amazing. So positive. The culture is so positive. I think that's why players love being around it," Schottenheimer said of Carroll. "When you partner him with a guy like Russ, who has absolutely the most inner calm or most positive attitude no matter what the situation in the game is -- whether we're down 30 with five minutes to go, whether we're tied with two minutes to go in the game -- there's nobody that I've ever been around that believes, regardless of the situation, that we will find a way to win.
"I think those two guys together, what they've done over time, they can draw to it. I know guys in the huddle or guys in the locker room, regardless of what the situation is, when those two guys talk, they believe it because they've put it on film and they've done it."
According to the latest odds from William Hill Sports Book, Seattle has the sixth-best odds to come out of the NFC (+850) and only trail the San Francisco 49ers to win the NFC West (+230).