SEATTLE — Russell Wilson didn’t want the Seattle Seahawks to move on from Brian Schottenheimer as their offensive coordinator.
He does want some say in their next one.
Wilson made the latter point known to coach Pete Carroll and to reporters during a videoconference Thursday.
“I think it’s vital, it’s critical, super significant, obviously, that I’m a part of that process,” Wilson said. “Coach and I have definitely been talking about that, [general manager John Schneider] too as well. We’ve had some … great dialogue about the thought process of who we want, the leader … the innovator, all that kind of different stuff that you want. I think that’s the super critical thing, obviously at this point in my career because you spend every day with that person … As many hours as me and Schotty spent together, I’m going to miss the guy because we spent so much time together and worked so hard.
“The next person, whoever that is, it’s really critical that we’re on the same page at all times and always talking and vibing and really, really on the same page.”
The Seahawks announced Tuesday that Schottenheimer was out after three seasons, citing philosophical differences. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Carroll and Schottenheimer met Monday evening and mutually decided separating was in the best interest of both parties.
“If you’re asking me if I was in favor of it, no,” Wilson said, choosing his words carefully. “It wasn’t my decision to change [from] Schotty. But I think that Coach Carroll made that decision. I trust his decision.”
Schottenheimer’s departure came after the end of an odd season in which the Seahawks scored the most points in franchise history but regressed heavily over the second half of the season. Their struggles continued last weekend in their wild-card loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Wilson led the NFL in touchdown passes with 28 over the first nine weeks of the season while Seattle led the league in scoring at 34 points per game over that stretch. But Wilson threw just 12 touchdown passes over the final eight weeks of the regular season while Seattle’s scoring dropped to 22.6 points per game.
Wilson lauded Schottenheimer as a coach, leader and friend, saying he became close with Schottenheimer’s family.
“I think that he’s going to be an amazing coach for somebody else, for some other team here so hopefully,” Wilson said. “I think he’s going to be a head coach. I think he has that type of leadership ability. Unfortunately for us, I think that in Coach’s eyes, it was kind of time to see if we could make a change. We were the best offense in football for the first middle part of the season. He was a major part of that.”
If Wilson has a specific name in mind that he’s hoping the Seahawks hire, he didn’t offer many clues. When asked what he’s looking for in his next OC, Wilson mentioned leadership, passion for football, teaching skills and an ability to find the strengths of all 11 players.