No One Is Underestimating Russell Wilson
Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer ruminated recently on how he feels the NFL world at large views his team’s quarterback, seven-time Pro Bowler, two-time NFC Champion and Super Bowl Champion Russell Wilson.
He thinks that Wilson, currently the highest paid player in the league at an average of $35 million a season, is “underestimated.”
“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, “Schottenheimer told the Pick Six Podcast. “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.”
I have a lot of issues to unpack out of that quote, but the first is that, nobody on the planet can convince me that Russell Wilson will “carry a grudge.”
Carry a Bible around at all times? Sure. Carry the weight of the Seattle Seahawks football franchise on his back? Absolutely. Carry enough sanitizer, personal PPE and handwipes in his fanny pack not only for himself and his family, but also for anyone else in need? I have no question about it. Russell Wilson is a good dude. Too good a dude.
But a grudge? Nope. The only thing you’ll get from wronging Russell Wilson is a bad feeling inside your stomach and soul that nags at you and demands you ask his forgiveness. Which he will, of course, give. Along with a hug if it’s post COVID-19 appropriate.
The second thing I want to talk about is “chatter about MVP votes.” Here’s the thing, not everybody gets to be MVP and by the end of the season, it’s obvious to everyone who watches NFL football who should get it.
You’ll be hard-pressed to look at the list of past winners and feel anyone was robbed. There’s a whole lot of guys there who, if they didn’t hoist a Super Bowl Trophy at the end of the season, watched from the other sideline as a guy that finished close behind them in the voting did.
Last season, Lamar Jackson was the unanimous choice for MVP because how could he not be? It also happened to be one of the best quarterbacking performances of Wilson’s career, but, again, Jackson earned that trophy in 2019.
When you look back at that list, in what year would you have picked Wilson over the guy that won it? None of that means that Wilson is “underestimated.” It just means that, in the sample seasons, he was never the best guy.
And guess what, he probably won’t be this year. Right now Patrick Mahomes is easily the MVP favorite at +400 and no one is going to argue with that. The fact is, if Mahomes hadn’t gotten hurt last season, he probably would have been the 2019 MVP too in spite of Jackson’s incredible year. He’s just that good and that much better than everybody else.
I think, right now, Wilson is the second best QB in the league behind Mahomes. I have him right above Deshaun Watson. After that, it’s a scrum of old guys (Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers) and you can take your pick. I don’t toss in Jackson yet, not because I discount what he did last year, but I need to see it again.
But here’s what I know and you know. If those top three guys on the odds list, Mahomes, Jackson and Russell, all have the best season they are possible of putting down that Mahomes will still win the MVP (and probably another Super Bowl).
And it has nothing to do with a lack of respect for Wilson.
Now, if you want to talk about a lack of respect for Schottenheimer as an offensive coordinator and play caller, that’s a whole other article.