The NFL offseason is a time for widespread positive thinking. Just about every team and it’s fans are certain that each draft pick will be a home run selection and every free agent signing is a future star ready to thrive in a new environment.
Visions of an imminent Super Bowl championship run rampant.
But in Seattle, where optimism is an organizational mission statement, hopes seem to be running higher than they have in years. And leading the way are the "Kings Of Positive Thinking" themselves, coach Pete Carroll and quarterback Russell Wilson.
In a conversation with NFL Network columnist Mike Silver, Carroll even went so far as to compare this year’s Seahawks roster to that of the pre-Super-Bowl-winning 2013 squad.
“I guarantee all the guys who were so great who aren’t here think I’m crazy and I’m probably the only one who thinks this, but that’s what I see us doing next year,” Carroll told Silver.
Riffing off of that 2012 comparison, Silver reminds us of how Wilson was the only Seahawk with his head up as the team shuffled back into the locker room following a heartbreaking, last-second loss to Atlanta in the divisional round that year. There was Wilson, clapping his hands, patting guys on the back, exhorting them to see the forest through the trees. He promised them then that better times were ahead and a championship was possible the following year.
Of course, he would prove to be right.
The 2019 version of Wilson, fresh off his record-setting four-year, $140 million contract extension signed last month, is singing a similar song.
“Obviously we’re talking about one of the more optimistic players in his profession,” said Silver. “But even by those standards, he is incredibly pumped up about what he can now accomplish, and they are coming off one of the great rebuild-on-the-fly success stories in recent memory.”
Part of Wilson’s optimism stems from what’s viewed as a strong draft, coupled with the development of other young players and the continued continuity of a vastly-improved offensive line and running game. But Wilson also believes he is on the verge of putting together his best season yet, telling Silver “I’m getting ready to go up. I feel like I’m just getting started and that’s the scary thing.”
If true, scary indeed for the rest of the NFC. Even as they were working their way to a surprising 10-6 finish and a playoff berth in 2018, there were times you could see how far that Seahawks team had to go to be a championship contender once again. Now, listening to Carroll and Wilson talk, it seems as if there’s a genuine confidence growing within the team that greater things can be achieved this year.