(Getty Images)

Should Russell Wilson throw sidearm exclusively in the red zone?

Russell Wilson Four Touchdowns. Career High in Yards.
(Getty images)

Russell Wilson Potentially Finds Improvement In Tough Loss To Titans

Russell Wilson’s performance against Tennessee may have provided a chance for the offense to improve significantly. After the loss on Sunday, I was drawn back to a problem that has plagued the Seahawks for years. Scoring throwing the ball when it’s inside the low red zone. It’s been a huge problem since Wilson has been here. Doug Baldwin and Chris Carson’s touchdowns this week may have offered a huge breakthrough for Seahawks offense. Those were the best thrown balls Wilson had in the low red zone. Well, at least, throws weren’t lobs or snap throws to the outside.

The throw to Carson was right on the numbers and it was within five yards of the line of scrimmage. Watch it here, Carson basically runs into the ball like it was hand-off. It’s perfect. Watch it again, I’ll wait. Both those passes are quick snap tosses sidearm. Here’s Baldwin’s just for confirmation.

Some Difficultly With Unique Mechanics

Russell Wilson’s natural arm angle is a high release with an almost locked elbow. This helps him get the ball downfield and over the linemen. It also provides a bit more velocity than a sidearm release. This high arm angle has drawbacks however as it causes him to hit players at the top of the pads more often than not. This makes it hard for receivers to react on quicker or shorter throws. Receivers pulling the ball in closer to their shoulders instead of chest will have less surface area to assist in the reception. Sidearm seems like the right adjustment here.

This isn’t necessarily the first time he’s used sidearm mechanics. He’s thrown sidearm before. Usually in scramble situations. A key example of this is his TD toss to Jimmy Graham versus the Eagles last year. He’s also made throws to Christine Michael on the same route type that Baldwin ran for his touchdown. The ability is there, but it doesn’t seem to be something he’s utilizing enough in this specific situation/position on the field. I think he should consider it exclusively in the redzone.

History Proves It can work

A physical switch like this wouldn’t be unheard in the Seattle sports scene. Randy Johnson completed his transformation from inconsistent A+ talent to Cy Young contender by throwing his slider permanently sidearm. Johnson did this because he felt that he had more control of the pitch. His normal release caused it to snap off too high and only to the left side of the plate. A small change in arm-angle transformed The Big Unit into a generational power pitcher.

I’m not saying that Russell Wilson will for sure improve with this switch but it’s worth a try.

Notes: Low Red Zone: fifteen yards or fewer to the goal line.

  1. Nice catch, Joshua. Here’s hoping Russell W. reads this, and I am compelled to add:

    General Rx for Russell lead Offense: Roll outs, Bootlegs and Run
    Option. & dump it off more, instead of holding it 4.5 seconds for a hero-shot. Get those 4-8 yard gains, instead, cuz: TOP = 4th quarter points. Remember kiddies: A running-Russ is an in-the-groove Russ. (But then there’s DB, cosigned by PC).

  2. Back on break. alert the press, cuz I had a thought that would further substantiate Joshua’s piece above RW sidearming in the Red Zone.
    Russ used to play 2nd base. Lots of sidearming employed on that side of the diamond, yo.

  3. Weekly Tom Cable rant, This week is seems clear that The Aboush is a better choice at right guard. Problem is that the hawks o line coach could not get this evaluation correct after months of film,practice and 4 pre season games and two regular season games. Really seems like Carroll forced this change after week two film session. My hunch is Cable is to into his guys and can not see the obvious better player right in front of him. This inability to see who should be playing is at the root of the hawks line problems. This Leeds to my 2nd rant . Because Cable is so bad at player choices how on gods green earth is Pocic not getting snaps. I would like to see him run block and pass protect at guard and tackle . No way the insertion of Pocic makes the line worse. Cable seems to love to have his starters play 100% of snaps this needs to change the team needs to see who can play. Plus getting snaps for back ups helps when thre are in game injuries this is just basic coaching. That means Pocic and Tobin and Battle need to get in there. After all it’s about competition. At this point I am hoping for losses and maybe a brief Russell Wilson illness to show the few remaining Cable backers how bad the lines past ,present and future is. I have been a football fan for more than 40 years and have seen bad and ugly and great line play. I have experienced new coaches come in and almost instantly make huge progress . We need a change and soon. Find a way to get a average line and then we can evaluate the o.c. Go hawks.

  4. Hey, Wigman,

    Much agreement for your assessment. Cuz the same point
    occurred to me. So I’ll repeat your question: Why insert Aboushi now, after all the preseason “evaluation?” (Perhaps, there is too much popularity involved in “Always Compete.”) Also, I’m a fan of your suggestion for more Pocic, as trying Pocic at left guard or tackle might improve the OL performance, but, apparently, Cable loves him some Odhiambo (and Ifedi). Apparently, Cable thinks arm wrestling is more important than the ability to protect RW or opening a running lane for Carson, et al.
    (I feel a rant coming involving Cable & Carroll, so…I’m signing off).

Comments are closed.