Let Russ Cook?

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How much should Pete Carroll “Let Russ Cook?”

Calling for Chef Wilson…

There has been an uprising in the Seattle sports fan community lately, “Let Russ Cook”. Social media beckons for the exciting flow of offense you see in some of the league’s premier offenses, with Kansas City and Baltimore reigning supreme. I would caution fans to call for a change to the entirety of the offense that Seattle has run over the last 2 years, and I have what useful information to show how it is that Seattle struggles when Russell Wilson throws more 30 times in a game is.

The Seahawks have an improved roster throughout the team. Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf are another year older, another year familiar with the offense. Picking up substantive help in the secondary with signing for Quinton Dunbar and trading for Jamaal Adams. But there is a quantifiable issue that promotes unrest within the team on both offense and defense. The line play that has been undeniably apathetic, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. For the Seahawks to attempt a shift in the culture of the “Let Russ Cook”, they would need to have mass improvements over those who protect our franchise quarterback.

2018 season

There may be those who don’t remember, but Seattle gave “Let Russ Cook” a shot back in the beginning of the 2018 season. As offenses have shifted into a pass-first, run to pull a ruse on the defense; the Seahawks gave an effort to putting Russell in shotgun and letting him get to work. You may also remember that the Seahawks started 0-2 that season. There was a reconciliation between the coaching staff and the love of the run game, as it was simply not possible to have Russell drop back consistently simply to be chased and sacked repetitiously.

The stats

In games that Russell has passed more than 30 times since the 2018 season, the Seahawks have gone a pedestrian 7-9. In games they let Russ cook, he dropped back and passed more than 35 times, with an incredulous 2-6 record. As exciting as it may be to see one of the league’s top-level quarterbacks go to work, we have the information that shows it to be an ineffective strategy, as losses pile to less than mediocre levels. There is also the fundamental importance of keeping Russell Wilson healthy. In the 2018 season, the Seahawks had 6 games in which Russell Wilson threw more than 30 times in the game. Russell Wilson was sacked 24 times within these battles, for an indomitable 4 sacks a game average. In 2019, a similar 29 sacks over the course of 10 games, improving slightly to 3 sacks per game average. This accounts for 54% of the total sacks that Seattle has accrued over the last 2 seasons.

When it comes to the beginning of this young season, many have accused Russell Wilson of cooking at his finest level. Far be it for me to exclude this as part of the discussion. 2 out of the 3 games Russell has thrown for more than 30 times, leading the league in touchdowns with 14 touchdowns and only 1 interception. The offensive line does appear to be playing at a higher level than in the woeful past. However, Russell is tied for 8th in times sacked this season. The cautionary tale I would like to have absorbed here is that if the offensive line is to go up against some of the elite defensive teams, the sack numbers only grow, and the likelihood for mistakes skyrockets.

Stay tuned for more Seahawks analysis!


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