Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is a positive person, so his words often need to be taken with a grain of salt.
But as the team broke camp for the spring, heading into their five-week vacation away from the facility, Carroll could not have been stronger in his gushing opinion of quarterback Russell Wilson.
"He has had a great camp," Carroll said, via the team's official site. "You guys have asked me, 'When's he going to arrive?' or 'How long is it going to take?' and all that, and I kept telling you, it's going to be down the road. It takes four, five, six years -- you don't know -- for these guys to develop. He has made a clear step ahead. His command is all-time. His ability to move defenders with his eyes to set up some things -- he's consistently doing that, almost unconsciously, he's so clued in. We saw him throw the ball all over the field throughout the offseason and he's been strong and accurate and really precise about stuff. He has had a great offseason.
"This is year five. It has taken all of this time to get to this point, and he'll still improve, but you can really see him as a real true vet now. I think coming off of last year, with the great success of the second half of the season, he has taken it right in the offseason and here we go. It's been our best offseason and I think it's an indication of the development of our guys."
We sometimes turn a deaf ear to comments like these. Coach thinks already great player will be greater -- what could better define the black hole the NFL offseason can become when coaches are asked to comment on countless minutiae while meaningful games linger so far in the distance?
But what if Carroll is right?
Wilson threw 12 more touchdowns last year than he did in any other NFL season and tossed just eight interceptions. His completion percentage is pushing 70, his yardage has topped 4,000 and his total value to the offense has never been higher. The Seahawks are quick to remind the media when we sleep on their greatness, and perhaps this offseason is the perfect example. Yes, they've lost Marshawn Lynch, but what happens when Wilson inevitably learns more and improves?
There were moments last year when Wilson reminded us more of Aaron Rodgers or Ben Roethlisberger than say, Andrew Luck or Cam Newton (quarterbacks where mobility is a significant factor in their success). Carroll specifically mentioned Wilson's ability to look off safeties, which was spectacular upon a second watching of his throws from 2015.
Maybe this isn't the type of comment to ignore.