NFC Notes: 49ers, Seahawks, Russell Wilson


Doctor-patient privilege obviously prevents Dr. Neal ElAttrache from going into too much detail about the injuries to both 49ers DEs Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas, both of whom he performed the reconstructive surgery on. He has bad news and good news, though. The bad news is that both players suffered more damage than just tears to their ACL. The good news is both appear to be recovering well from what remains a major injury despite advances in medical science. 

“They weren’t just straight-forward, isolated ACL injuries,” ElAttrache said via the Athletic’s Matt Barrows. “These were bigger injuries. But they’re both ahead of where ordinarily we’d expect them to be. And so they’re both going through their initial stages of functional performance training. So it’s looking very promising for both of those guys.”

  • The 49ers hired Klay Kubiak, the son of former Vikings OC Gary Kubiak, as a defensive quality control coach. (Mark Berman)


Seahawks QB Russell Wilson was a big fan of previous OC Brian Schottenheimer, who worked with Wilson this past year to convince HC Pete Carroll to open up the offense more. A failure to adjust throughout the year got Schottenheimer fired but Wilson made it clear he wanted to have a say in the new playcaller. It appears he approves of the hire Carroll made: former Rams assistant Shane Waldron.

“I think Shane’s gonna be a great coach,” Wilson said via Pro Football Talk. “I think he’s got great knowledge of the game. You know he’s a good person. He just has that kind of it factor and wants to be great. We can’t talk ball and can’t do all that (right now) really. So that’s the one thing I’m not really able to do as much, just because of the rules and all that stuff. But I think he’s gonna be a great offensive coordinator. He’s got everything that you would want in terms of his knowledge of the game and his experience, especially being with Sean McVay and Sean having so much experience in that (coaching) tree and everything else. He’s got some good stuff to him. But yeah, we can’t can’t really talk ball like that.”

Seattle has run a West Coast offense for pretty much the entirety of Wilson’s tenure with the Seahawks. Waldron comes from the Shanahan tree, which has its roots in the West Coast offense, but with much more of a commitment to running the football, which obviously appeals to Carroll. His job will be to synthesize a number of different things into one cohesive offense, from what the Seahawks have run in the past to what Carroll wants the team’s identity to be and what Wilson believes will help the team be successful. 

“I think that obviously Shane comes from experience being with Sean and all the great things they’ve done, and everything else,” Wilson said. “But also, you know, we’ve done a lot of great things here too as well in terms of the West Coast style of offense and all the amazing things we’ve done. I think that what I would say is when you think about it, you want to be able to do it all, right. You got to be able to do it all in this league, got to be able to be creative, you got to be able to run it, you gotta be able to throw it deep, you got to throw it, mix it up, you got to be able to cause havoc in so many different ways. You got to be able to tempo, you got to be able to do everything. And I think that’s really key. There’s certain things that allow you to do all that and I think we’ve got to make sure that we can do all that and so I think that’s what really challenges a team, a defense.”

Russell Wilson

The situation between the Seahawks and QB Russell Wilson continues to develop layers, as it went from anonymous reports to Wilson himself admitting some of his frustrations with Seattle in an interview Tuesday. While Wilson retained some of his trademark polish in discussing the topic, former teammate Brandon Marshall, who caught passes from Wilson for part of the 2018 season and does have a relationship with him, spelled out more plainly what he thought Wilson is trying to say. 

Russell Wilson is beyond frustrated. I think Russell Wilson is trying to figure out how to move on in a classy way. That’s what I truly believe,” Marshall said on FOX Sports’ First Things First. “… He’s trying to leave the legacy that he did things the right way so other guys can follow that same blueprint. So I think he struggles with how to move on in a classy way, in a way where people can look at him and say you know what, he still did it the right way. Because that’s important for Russ.”

Marshall also expanded on the issues Wilson has with his protection in Seattle, noting the Seahawks haven’t really invested as much as other teams in building the offensive line. While some have noted the quarterback shoulders a lot of responsibility for sacks, Marshall adds the scheme puts Wilson in a position where he has to hold the ball. 

“They’re always trying to figure out who’s still out there in free agency or who’s the guy that, you know, should have a bounce-back year, and they never really go out there and solidify that offensive line,” Marshall said. “Now, a lot of people are like well Russell Wilson you’re holding on to the ball a little long. Well, Pete Carroll, the offense that you put in place is we’re going to run on first, we’re going to run on second, and if it’s third and manageable, we’re probably going to run on third down, and then we’re going to take shots. I was there. We had no quick game. There wasn’t an established game outside of Doug Baldwin, and then you had Tyler Lockett where it’s like you had an option route. You either break in, or you break out. That was it. So Russell Wilson, if the deep ball is not there, of course he’s going to hold on to the ball, definitely when you have that type of offensive line in front of you. So that is the problem.”

Carroll’s love for the running game has been well established, and Marshall said he was a first-hand witness to the push and pull between the two men. He thinks that if Carroll can’t cede a little more ground to his franchise quarterback, he might not have him for much longer. 

“But at the end of the day, you need to decide if you believe in Russ to drop back and throw it 30-40 times, and I don’t think they believe in Russ. Well, actually, I know they don’t believe in Russ because I was there,” Marshall said. “And I think Russ wants to stay there but he knows that Pete Carroll is going to continue to give him the runaround. You know, when it comes down to the offensive coordinator, did I really have a seat at the table? When it comes down to how we approach our offense, are you going to listen? When it comes to, you know, building around the best player on our team, me, are you going to draft an offensive lineman, a center? Are you going to do those things? And I just think it’s getting to a point where Russ just doesn’t believe.”

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