The Seattle Seahawks had a relatively frustrating 2016 season. From injuries to tough losses to a leaky offensive line, the Seahawks fought tooth and nail to finish 10-6 and make the playoffs.
Still, they lost in the divisional round for the second straight season, falling to the Falcons, 36-20.
“I think that this offseason will be crucial,” Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I think having a championship offseason (in terms of) training, it starts with that, with all of our guys across the board. Then I think it comes down to continuing to invest in learning the game for each player, and then from there, I think obviously this offseason is crucial for the draft and free agency and all that. Every year is important, and we do such a great job of that. So we need to continue to do that. I know John Schneider and Coach Carroll will do a great job of that this year and understand what we need to do and our needs and all that kind of stuff. Ultimately, it comes down to how we prepare, and we need to continue to prepare at a high level.”
The Seahawks have won 10+ games in each of the last five years.
“I don’t think there’s too much we need to fix,” Wilson said. “I think there’s just a couple tweaks here and there, and (hopefully we’ll) have the opportunity to be right back in the Super Bowl hopefully and win it.”
For now, though, Wilson will have to watch Atlanta and New England square off in Super Bowl LI this Sunday. Although the Falcons knocked Seattle out of the playoffs, Wilson is happy for Dan Quinn.
“Coach Quinn is a great friend, a great coach,” Wilson said of Seattle’s former defensive coordinator. “He’s been to the Super Bowl three out of the past four years. He went to the Super Bowl two years in a row with us. He knows how to win, he knows how to be there, he knows how to coach his guys, too.”
Bill Belichick, of course, knows a thing or two about that as well. He has led the Patriots to an AFC East title in 14 of the last 16 seasons, not to mention seven Super Bowl appearances. When it comes to shutting down elite players and taking an opposing offense out of its comfort zone, Belichick is as good as it gets.
“Obviously they’re extremely well-coached,” Wilson said. “I think for me, when I study the Patriots, I go back to archived tapes. I even go 10 years back sometimes. Obviously if you have 100 plays in a game, you can’t run 100 different coverages necessarily, but you got to know what they’re going to try to do and what’s their weakness, what’s their strength, how are they going to try to attack you – they’re super smart in that way.”
Wilson knows from experience. He lost to New England, 28-24, in Super Bowl XLIX in February 2015 but exacted some measure of revenge this past November. The Seahawks beat the Pats, 31-24, in Foxboro in Week 10.
It was the only loss of Tom Brady’s season.
“You got to play great football (to beat the Patriots),” Wilson said. “The Falcons have to be top-notch. Every play counts, especially in big moments like this. It’ll be a great game to see.”