Are we sure that Russell Wilson’s marriage to Nathaniel Hackett is not some kind of marriage Nathan Fielder a little?
The plan: appoint a coach Who can’t count; to trade off a large load of picks and players for an increasingly “mobile” quarterback who appears immobile; to hand that quarterback a five-year contract worth $245 million with a $165 million guarantee upon signing; To hire a series of coordinators who There is no coordination between units or the plays are called by; To sell one of the finest league franchises to an owner Don’t know the name of the commissioner.
The goal: almost turn the Seahawks’ dynasty credit toward Peter Carroll and the Legion of Boom.
So far, the scheme is working. It was a rough start to life in Denver for Wilson. The Broncos offense was slow, and the entire gaming process was poorly managed. he heard Broncos fans count the game clock In order to give quarterbacks a heads-up that a penalty kick was on its way it was (hopefully) rock bottom. But wrapped around the set of procedural penalties was a general malaise – a feeling that these guys might not know what to do.
Sometimes you can tell the coach beats them. It could be the look in their eyes on the sidelines, or losing their temper at a press conference. Let’s call it Freddy’s Kitchen District, which was done in Cleveland and would have shipped in a couple of weeks if Brown (of all perks) could handle the embarrassment. Two weeks later, Hackett is on his way to quickly renaming this particular area.
This was always a difficult marriage for the quarterback early on, especially if Hackett and his company chose to tackle Wilson’s traditional offense. They did, and the results were grim: The Broncos were 1-1, after scoring 33 total points in two weeks of games against the unfortunate Seahawks and the very normal Texans.
Hackett’s credentials for the position of Broncos coach were questionable at first. Before taking the job at Denver, he had called plays in just one place — as the Jaguars offensive coordinator in 2018 — and was fired mid-season. Over the course of his career, he has overseen more egregious crimes than decent crimes. His main credentials were that he was close to Aaron Rodgers, who was supposedly about to explode on his way out of Green Bay. With Hackett on the staff, the thinking went, the Broncos might have advanced in the race for back-to-back MVP.
This did not happen. Instead, the Broncos sent a bunch of picks and players to the Seahawks to take over Wilson, with little thought, apparently, given how the partnership would continue. At Green Bay, where Hackett spent three years working with Rodgers, the coach helped build a special passing game that turned some of the quarterback’s free-lance excellence into a more structured setup.
The idea of putting Wilson into what an idiot calls a “multiple progression” passing game is enough to make even the strongest of Wilson’s sneer purr. But that is not what happened so far. Throughout the roar of the ‘Let Russ Cook’ years, an online movement determined to push Seattle away from an escape-controlled attack to one that Wilson allowed to air was a forgotten fact: The Seahawks Always Orchestrated the crime of Russell Wilson. It doesn’t matter who Pete Carroll rolls out as the play caller, they all end up falling behind in the same style as their predecessor. Whenever the coordinator tries to install something new, they quickly learn that they are wasting their time.
this is good! Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the sport. He has set fools on fire during his career by doing things his way. But 2022’s Russell Wilson isn’t 2019’s or 2020’s Russell Wilson. He doesn’t move in exactly the same way, he’s not a playmaker entirely out of script – both of which were a key part of his ability to drive a crime on the battlefield.
Moving to Denver, with a new franchise and new staff, presents an opportunity for Wilson to redefine his game as he gets older. Instead, Bronco doubled down on what Wilson likes to do, causing him to catch the entire offense. Key issue: Wilson’s unwillingness to attack midfield.
Much of Hackett’s best work with Rodgers was designing so-called bonus plays that hit between the numbers. Under the Matt LaFleur-Rodgers-Hackett pivot, the Packers attacked midfield less than the average team. But in that spot they were looking forward to their big successes. It’s a simple football philosophy: midfield throws as well supposed To be the safest throw, why not save it when the offense tries to hit an explosive play?
Wilson has always chosen to do the opposite, targeting the periphery and evacuating the most valuable real estate in the field. Wilson’s wonder is that he made the fewest throws in the highest clip in the league; There has never been a better deep ball thrower in NFL since entering the league. But that approach started to catch up with him in his final year with the Seahawks and has continued this season. Defenses can protect the sidelines in the full knowledge that RussBall means it won’t target the area between numbers.
In two games this season, Wilson has targeted the midfield with a 10-yard throw only twice, resulting in incomplete and ball interceptions. In his final season in Seattle, he averaged 2.3 throws per game. The year before that, he was small under the mark of three per game.
It’s not a height issue either. It’s a common pose that Wilson doesn’t throw in the middle of the field because he can’t see beyond his men. But compare Wilson’s midfield numbers to 5-foot-10 inch quarterback Drew Bryce, a future Hall of Fame and chartered member (don’t let them fool you into thinking they’re 6-foot). In his last five seasons in the league, Bryce Average Eight game throws 10 yards or more between numbers. Over the course of his entire career in the Saints, he averaged 118 (!) throws per season in the quarterback’s safety lane, three and a half times more than Wilson. Kyler Murray, another mobile short quarterback, is closer to the Brees midfield on the spectrum than Wilson.
When his sport began to wane, Wilson could no longer escape by closing off part of the field. He’s very strict – and the defenses have caught up with him.
Hackett and Wilson will probably find out. They have an easy early season schedule to continue solving teething issues ahead of a grueling six-game season to close out the season. They currently lead the league on penalties before the snap and are the only team since 2000 to have at least five goal positions and score any goal, according to Sharp Football Stats. Those numbers should drift towards the average as the season approaches. Hackett is an intelligent offensive mind, even if his key coaching skills make him look like a lost brother to Curly, Larry and Moe. And Wilson remains one of the best quarterbacks in the game, even when defenses know what’s coming. This alone will make the Broncos competitive.
But the competition isn’t good enough when you’re betting your future on a midfielder who’s supposed to bring instant success in the tournament. And the season’s opening weeks should be a neon warning sign for a franchise that has just signed the star quarterback to a massive five-year financial deal: Wilson’s game isn’t aging well, and he needs to adapt.