According to Sports Illustrated’s Corbin Smith, former Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was one of Wilson’s sources of frustration.
A team source told Smith that Wilson and his representatives “pushed hard” for Schottenheimer to be fired.
“In fact, per a team source, while they didn’t hold ill will towards one another and maintained respect for each other, the perennial Pro Bowl quarterback and his representatives “pushed hard” for a coordinator change behind the scenes after a disappointing finish to the 2020 season,” Smith wrote.
The source said Wilson didn’t believe that he and Schottenheimer could co-exist anymore.
“Don’t let his comments mask his real thoughts,” the source remarked. “He had grown tired of Schotty from a play calling perspective and wanted something fresh. As much as he benefited from his coaching, he didn’t think the two could co-exist anymore in a football marriage.”
Schottenheimer became Seattle’s offensive coordinator in 2018. Previously, he served as the quarterbacks coach for the Indianapolis Colts.
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Wilson Was Underutilized in Schottenheimer’s Offense
Under Schottenheimer, the Seahawks’ offense thrived, as they finished in the top-ten in the NFL in scoring in all three seasons during his tenure.
Still, Wilson believed that the offense could reach another level. Schottenheimer’s scheme was run-heavy, as the Seahawks finished last in the NFL in passing attempts in 2018.
Schottenheimer adjusted, but the Seahawks still underutilized Wilson. In 2020, they were 17th in the NFL in passing attempts.
The coaching staff’s unwillingness to pivot to a quarterback-centric offense was a point of contention per Smith.
“The unwillingness from Carroll and other key decision makers to fully buy-in to a quarterback-centric offense over the years caused frustrations to mount,” Smith wrote. “Getting battered to a pulp behind shaky offensive lines and failing to advance in the postseason soured things further.”
The Seahawks Offense Struggled Under Shane Waldron
The Seahawks ultimately fired Schottenheimer in January 2021. Former Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach Shane Waldron was installed as the new offensive coordinator.
According to Smith, the organization allowed Wilson to play a “key role” in the hiring of Waldron.
“Those within the organization believed appeasing to the quarterback’s demands in free agency and the draft coupled with allowing him to play a key role in picking Shane Waldron as Schottenheimer’s replacement would keep him happy and allow things to smooth over.”
However, things did not improve, and Waldron’s offense suffered from similar problems as Schottenheimer’s offense.
Wilson has made it clear that he wants to play in a more quarterback-centric offense, and considering his astoundingly low usage rates in Seattle, that should not be a difficult task for Nathaniel Hackett and the Broncos’ coaching staff.