Former Seahawks wide receiver Brandon Marshall poured some more gasoline on the fire that has suddenly roared to life involving the Seahawks and quarterback Russell Wilson.
Wilson’s cohorts behind the scenes, and Wilson himself, have made it clear in recent days that they are not happy with aspects of the relationship with the team he quarterbacked for the last nine seasons. Wilson has said he’s tired of getting hit and sacked. He wants to be more involved in personnel decisions and wanted to have a hand in selecting the team’s new offensive coordinator as well. And Wilson has left open the door of possibility that if he’s not satisfied with the way things move going forward, he could end up elsewhere.
Marshall, meanwhile, indicated the rift between the two sides may be even more significant than Wilson is letting on. In an appearance on First Things First on FOX Sports, Marshall said that Wilson is not happy and, he believes, is trying to find a way to move on from Seattle.
“Russell Wilson is beyond frustrated. I think Russell Wilson is trying to figure out how to move on in a classy way. That’s what I truly believe.,” Marshall said. “… He’s trying to leave the legacy that he did things the right way so other guys can follow that same blueprint. So I think he struggles with how to move on in a classy way, in a way where people can look at him and say you know what, he still did it the right way. Because that’s important for Russ.”
Marshall spent seven games with Seattle in 2018. He caught 11 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown in the final stop of his 13-year career. While his time with the Seahawks was short, Marshall did strike up a relationship with Wilson that makes his comments notable. Marshall said there’s multiple issues at play.
“The problem, and everybody’s talking about it, you got Jason La Canfora talking about ‘Oh, they need to protect him,’” Marshall said. “Well they drafted one guy, one offensive lineman since they had Russell Wilson. They’re always trying to figure out who’s still out there in free agency or who’s the guy that, you know, should have a bounce back year, and they never really go out there and and solidify that offensive line. Now, a lot of people are like well Russell Wilson you’re holding on to the ball a little long. Well, Pete Carroll, the offense that you put in place is we’re going to run on first, we’re going to run on second, and if it’s third and manageable, we’re probably going to run on third down, and then we’re going to take shots. I was there. We had no quick game. There wasn’t an established game outside of Doug Baldwin, and then you had Tyler Lockett where it’s like you had an option route. You either break in, or you break out. That was it. So Russell Wilson, if the deep ball is not there, of course he’s going to hold on to the ball, definitely when you have that type of offensive line in front of you. So that is the problem.”
Marshall’s comments aren’t quite factually accurate when it comes to the offensive line. In the nine years of Wilson’s career, the Seahawks have drafted 15 offensive linemen. Five of those selections have come in the first three rounds of the draft and a second-round pick was included as part of the trade that brought Duane Brown to Seattle from the Houston Texans. And the Seahawks were far from a run-heavy team in 2020. They ran 1,022 offensive plays this season. Wilson had 558 passing attempts, 47 sacks, and 83 rushes. Since Wilson doesn’t have many designed runs anymore, most of those plays were scrambles on called pass plays. That leaves Seattle having about a 66-34 called pass-to-run ratio this season.
So while Marshall’s comments may not be perfectly on the money for what the situation has become in Seattle, if Wilson feels these are real issues that’s still important for the state of the relationship.
Marshall said he thinks the team still doesn’t fully trust Wilson.
“But at the end of the day, you need to decide if you believe in Russ to drop back and throw it 30-40 times, and I don’t think they believe in Russ. Well, actually, I know they don’t believe in Russ because I was there,” Marshall said.
“And I think Russ wants to stay there but he knows that Pete Carroll is going to continue to give him the runaround. You know, when it comes down to the offensive coordinator, did I really have a seat at the table? When it comes down to how we approach our offense, are you going to listen? When it comes to, you know, building around the best player on our team, me, are you going to draft an offensive lineman, a center? Are you going to do those things? And I just think it’s getting to a point where Russ just doesn’t believe.”
There certainly seems to be a fire burning when it comes to Wilson’s relationship to the Seahawks. And if that fire is sufficiently big enough to where it can’t be put out in 2021, it might end up razing the relationship to the ground.
“I think that’s what he needs to do here is tell Pete Carroll exactly what he needs and what he wants. And if the two can’t come to an agreement, then it’s time for Russ to move on,” Marshall said.