Russell Wilson, Nathaniel Hackett are more “partners” than coach and players

For years, quarterback Russell Wilson wanted to be treated less like an employee and more like a member of management in Seattle. He never could get that seat at the table.

In Denver, he has it. All of the players apparently have it.

“It’s the ownership of the players owning our own offense,” Wilson told Peter King for his latest Football Morning in America column. “This has to be a player-ran kind of team. Coach Hackett gives us the keys to do that.”

That’s a significant difference from Seattle. One of the tangible items of evidence that helped created the sense that Wilson and the Seahawks would inevitably divorce came from a February 2021 report by that Wilson had stormed out of the room after his ideas for getting the team’s offense out of a late-season funk were summarily rejected.

“Coach and Russell are not coach-player,” an unnamed source who knows Wilson well told King. “They’re partners.”

The partnership includes Hackett trying to get Wilson to get rid of the ball sooner, in lieu of buying time with his legs.

“It’s gotten to the point that I go, ‘Hey, you’re late,’” Hackett told King. “Or Russ says it before I do. Or he talks about it because he knows that that’s the standard I want. I don’t want him to be touched. I don’t want him to have to run around. Now sometimes, you have to, but those ones I can’t control. The more that he feels that and understands that, the better it’s going to be.”

The ultimate question is whether Wilson will thrive with the offense running through him, instead of Wilson serving as part of a system. In Seattle, it was the latter. In Denver, it will be the former. And it’s the biggest reason why he’s the former quarterback of the Seahawks.