Minutes into the first quarter, safety Tony Jefferson hunted down Wilson on an option that Wilson had kept. Wilson attempted a stiff arm to fend off Jefferson but Wilson’s lower body strength (an underrated aspect of a successful stiff arm) was so absent that instead of repelling Jefferson, Jefferson used Wilson’s arm to scale him. If that sounds familiar, it’s because 49ers linebacker Eli Harold did the same thing to Wilson’s attempted stiff-arm in week 3 and subsequently landed on Wilson’s leg.
These facts should dismiss any thoughts of having Wilson scramble, but an easy conclusion quickly becomes a paradox. The state of the Seahawks running game is such that, if Wilson does not immediately start contributing, the passing attack could face further regression, especially from the wide-outs. While Wilson’s scrambling threat could give the offense some pop, it leaves Wilson vulnerable to injury. Wilson cannot run laterally, so his traditional toolset, the zone-read or those bootlegs that have him take off if no one is open, are off the table. The only option is to turn Wilson into a north/south runner.
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell needs to get a handful of plays where the offensive line directs rushers to overpursue on Wilson, Christine Michael stays home for extra protection, and Wilson escapes between the tackles. The goal is four yards per attempt, with a target of twenty yards per game.