Would Seahawks hiring Anthony Lynn stop Russell Wilson from cooking?

If the Seattle Seahawks hired Anthony Lynn as offensive coordinator, would he “Let Russ Cook?”

“Let Russ Cook” became a catchy hashtag going into this season, as a call for Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to throw the ball more. The shift came during a 5-0 start, as Wilson was playing at an MVP level (300 yards per game, 19 touchdowns, three interceptions, 129.8 passer rating).

Then Wilson threw multiple interceptions in three of the next four games, as the Seahawks lost the same three games in that stretch. After scoring more than 30 points in seven of their first eight games, the Seahawks cleared 30 points just once in their last eight. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was fired, which apparently did not sit well with Wilson.

After the Wild Card Round loss to the Rams, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said he wants to run the ball more in 2021.

The Seahawks are turning toward former head coaches in their search for a new offensive coordinator, a process Wilson said he wants to be part of. Former Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn and former Eagles head coach Doug Pederson are the big-name candidates right now, with some other candidates out there. But let’s focus on Lynn.

Would Anthony Lynn ‘Let Russ Cook’?

Prior to his four seasons as Chargers’ head coach, Lynn was primarily a running backs coach in his career as an assistant. He was the offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills for most of the 2016 season, with one game as interim head coach after Rex Ryan was fired. That year, the Bills had the league’s top-ranked rush offense with the second-most attempts. Naturally, Buffalo was also dead-last in pass attempt that year.

But over his four seasons as head coach, the Chargers were top-10 in the league in pass attempts three times. Game scripts and team success were a factor there, with 9-7, 5-11 and 7-9 records in those three campaigns. The Chargers went 12-4 in 2018, when they were a top-10 pass offense but came in 24th in attempts. This past season, the Chargers had the fifth-most pass attempts in the league despite having a top-10 yardage defense.

So the wide view says Lynn would  “Let Russ Cook,” especially if the Seahawks’ defense remains suspect next season. After starting 2020 on a record-bad pace, Seattle’s defense got well against a soft late-season schedule. So somewhere in between is an easier expectation for 2021.

But in a broad sense, if Lynn doesn’t profess a clear desire to run the ball a lot Carroll probably won’t hire him as offensive coordinator. Wilson may want input in the hire, but it’s not clear if he’ll be given any, or if he was given input what that would mean for Lynn’s chances.

Any plan for the Seahawks’ offense that doesn’t center around Wilson and one of the better wide receiver duos around is flawed right off the bat. Even if Carroll’s wants to keep stifling his quarterback.

Published at Sat, 16 Jan 2021 19:09:13 +0000

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