The gap between Pete Carroll's preseason excitement for Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks' regular-season offensive reality continues to grow.
Seattle is now on pace for 2,376 yards passing, barely more than the 2,323 yards put up by the historically inept 1992 Seahawks team. Carroll has said he's holding back the offense in an effort to help Wilson grow, but if memory serves, Carroll went through camp promoting the idea that Wilson only became more effective as the team put more on his shoulders.
"The more competitive situation we put him in, the better he was," Carroll said in naming Wilson his starter on Aug. 26. "He just has a real knack for playing the game of football."
A three-interception performance during a 19-13 road defeat to the St. Louis Rams on Sunday has renewed questions about Carroll's decision to install a rookie starter behind center. Matt Flynn figures to play at some point. Whatever decision Carroll makes will tell to what degree coaching philosophy is holding back the passing game.
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune passes along Carroll's thoughts on Wilson. Carroll: "I think he's moving the club. He shows that he can move us, and he made some great plays today. He ran around really well, and he was accurate with the football for the most part. I'm still thinking that he’s improving and getting more comfortable and all of that. So we’ll see what it all means. I don’t know yet."
Also from Williams: Frustration from Seattle's wide receivers is "bubbling up" following this defeat. Sidney Rice: "I think he did all he could. We still need work -- everybody -- the whole offense. Right now it’s not looking too good. We’re way better than what we’re showing out on the field. The way we practice every week, going in and giving 110 percent effort starting Wednesday, Thursday and Friday -- we've got to make that carry over to the field. This is getting kind of depressing now. This sucks."
More from Williams: Carroll says he was trying to call timeout before the Rams executed a fake field goal.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says the three interceptions weren't necessarily the biggest problem for Wilson. O'Neil: "Wilson was intercepted three times in the game, but none of those were strictly his fault. The first pass was low and on receiver Doug Balwin's hip when it was pulled away by cornerback Trumaine Johnson. The second pick came as Wilson was hit while he was throwing, and the third happened because tight end Anthony McCoy fell down while running his route. Listening to Carroll after the game, the bigger concern is that Seattle converted two of nine third-down plays and scored one touchdown out of its three red-zone possessions."
Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times says losing to the Rams forces the Seahawks to address lingering issues on offense. Brewer: "This time, there was no game-winning inter-touchdown to save the Seahawks. They had to accept the ugly truths from one of the most befuddling losses of the Pete Carroll era. The Seahawks rushed for 179 yards. Their defense didn't allow a touchdown. Their rookie quarterback completed 68 percent of his passes. And they still lost."
Mike Salk of 710ESPN Seattle says the Seahawks need change, but not at quarterback. Salk: "Yeah, there were three interceptions, but did any of them tell you Wilson was unfit to start? If they did, you are watching a different game than I am. And if you think he's the problem, I challenge you to watch the opening drive and see how effective he can be when the team doesn't make terrible mistakes around him. I could entertain an argument that 160 passing yards are not enough, but Carroll, by his own admission, is putting the emphasis on efficiency over yardage. If so, completing 68 percent of your passes is excellent."