Pete Carroll on Russell Wilson: We're in a great place


Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles

The message coming from Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider regarding the team's relationship with its starting quarterback was clear.

Everything is fine.

Whether that means that all issues have well and truly been smoothed over this offseason, or that Carroll and Schneider are the dog in the meme seated at the bar proclaiming "this is fine" while the building burns around him, is a little less clear.

The Seahawks certainly made an effort on Wednesday to paint a rosy picture of the relationship between themselves and Russell Wilson after comments made by their quarterback early this offseason caused strife around the team.

"Right now he is as jacked up as he has ever been," Carroll said of Wilson. "He's in the process of turning over a new offense, stuff that is different from the past and things that we'll need to learn. He is totally after it, doing a great job. His mentality is strong and his conditioning is right. He's doing a great job.

"Things were said. Things were said and sometimes you have to deal with stuff and that's how we take care of our business. We're in a fantastic place right now and really excited about this team."

Wednesday was Carroll's first time speaking with reporters since the end of last season. Schneider had not spoken to reporters since the end of the NFL Draft last year. Given all the furor around Wilson's comments this offseason about being frustrated be the amount he feels he's getting hit in the pocket and wanting more say in personnel decisions along with Wilson's agent, Mark Rodgers, speaking on the record about teams they'd approve trades to, the Wilson storyline was a primary topic for Carroll and Schneider to address.

Carroll tried to insist that the circus around Wilson's comments were somewhat of a media-fueled creation while Wilson and the team knew the "truth" of the matter and that all was well behind the scenes.

"It looked like there was a problem but it really wasn't a problem," Carroll said. "We're very clear about it now. It wasn't a problem for us because we knew the truth. We were in conversations to talk about stuff. Because it's in the media there are things that we need to address with players and friends and stuff like that. We have talked through stuff and that's just the normal course."

At the same time, Carroll acknowledged that he'd spent long stretches on the phone with Wilson this offseason to figure the situation out between them. He also noted how much Rodgers' comments to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com about teams they'd accept a trade to harmed them moving forward as well.

"Right from the beginning, I was talking to Russ," Carroll said. "We spent hours on the phone over this offseason talking and we worked at stuff and understood the topics and the subjects. There really wasn't a problem, you know. There's nothing to put the pin in to me other than the fact there was a couple things that he said and he realized how volatile the simplest of responses are.

"I had made a clear statement to Russ, 'let's just shutdown and be quiet on this stuff. We don't need to say anything. We know the truth of what's going on.' When that came out (Rodgers' comment), that got a little over the top and it opened up some other conversations that didn't need to happen and that's an example of why we're quiet and why we don't say anything. It was so meaningless cause it had nothing to do with what was going on. It just gave another little bite that people could talk about and I wish we would have avoided that. That's what I'm saying."

That answer was an interesting one because of its obvious frustration with Rodgers' comment. That doesn't even speak to all the off-the-record conversations Rodgers was almost certainly having about his client's situation in Seattle that helped fuel the discussions about whether Wilson would demand a trade from the Seahawks and if Seattle should oblige in moving him somewhere else. The Seahawks can't come out and say Wilson's agent is a pain in their backside because they need to maintain a relationship with him as a close confidant of their star quarterback. However, Carroll's comment might be as close as they can get on that front.

Schneider said they never had any active trade discussion regarding Wilson this offseason. It was reported that the Chicago Bears had offered a trade deal that included three first-round picks and multiple players with Seattle saying no earlier this spring.

"There was a number of teams that called after that media blitz that happened," Schneider said. "But, no, I never actively negotiated with anybody, with any team. Now, did people call? Absolutely. And I’m not going to get into specific teams … but there was no active negotiations going on."

Added Carroll: "The truth is he wasn’t getting traded. He’s on our roster. He’s signed up for a long time around here and anything that could ever take place was so far out there that could ever happen it was not even worth considering.

"Russ has been our quarterback for a good while and we've got a long contract with him and when all of the conversation went about trades and all that. I knew the truth. We're not trading Russell. We plan on him being here for a good, good while. We're in great shape and a long future ahead of us is shared. Russ knows that and I know that and we were very clear about it."

But Carroll also didn't want to completely pave over Wilson's expression of his concern either. Carroll said that he was frustrated too by the way last season ended with a loss to the Los Angeles Rams at home in the playoffs.

"He was asked the questions and he responded that he was frustrated," Carroll said. "Well we all are, you know. We don’t win the last game of the year, particularly when we were at home, in position, in the playoffs and had a chance. We felt like we had a really good opportunity, and health in our favor as well. It was hard. So I think that’s a pretty normal reaction to be frustrated."

It does truly appears as though both the Seahawks and Wilson are again joined in lockstep for at least the 2021 season ahead. And Carroll's comments about there not being a problem between the two sides -- even as it appears to not be exactly accurate -- is his way of trying to put the issue to bed for the time being.

Whether its ultimately successful could fall squarely on just how successful the team is this fall and if they can make a deep playoff run once again.

Photo Credit: PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 30: Pete Carroll taps Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks during warm ups against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 30, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)


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