The Seahawks’ offense has been far more effective than anyone expected with Geno Smith running the show this season, and coach Pete Carroll says one of the reasons is Smith’s willingness to take a different approach to play calling.
Carroll said on Seattle Sports 710 AM that Smith wears a wristband with plays on it to make it easy for offensive coordinator Shane Waldron to quickly send in a play over the speakers in Smith’s helmet and for Smith to call the corresponding play from his wristband to the rest of the offense. Carroll said he thinks that’s a more efficient method of signaling in plays to the quarterback, but the Seahawks hadn’t done it in the past.
“If you notice, Geno’s going off the wristband, and that’s a big help,” Carroll said. “It’s smoothed things out, sped things up, cleaned things up. And that’s part of it, too. We never did that before. There was resistance to that, so we didn’t do that before.”
Carroll didn’t say who that “resistance” was coming from, but he didn’t have to: Carroll was obviously implying that Russell Wilson didn’t like calling plays off the wristband, and so the Seahawks didn’t do it.
Carroll also said Smith and Waldron have developed a good rapport with Smith trusting Waldron’s play calling.
“When Shane says something to Geno, he’s not doubting it. He’s just going with it, so there’s a real immediate flow and that accelerates all the process,” Carroll said.
Again, Carroll didn’t mention Wilson in saying that, but he didn’t have to.
A year ago, there was a widespread perception that the Seahawks were holding Wilson back. Now that the Seahawks are thriving without Wilson, while the Broncos are struggling with Wilson, perceptions have changed. Carroll is making it clear that he loves having a quarterback like Smith, who’s buying into what the coaches want to do.