Russell Wilson Denies Report He Asked Seahawks to Fire Coach Pete Carroll: 'I Love Pete'
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Before Russell Wilson was traded to the Denver Broncos, the NFL star reportedly tried to get his former team, the Seattle Seahawks, to remove head coach Pete Carroll, according to The Athletic.
On Friday, the outlet reported that Wilson, 34, approached Seahawks executives to discuss his issues with Carroll and general manager John Schneider in February 2022.
Wilson reportedly felt that the current coaching staff "were inhibiting his quest to win additional Super Bowls and individual awards." The quarterback wanted the team to replace Carroll with Sean Payton as head coach, per the report.
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Following the report, Wilson denied the claims and said he admired Carroll. "I love Pete and he was a father figure to me and John believed in me and drafted me as well," Wilson wrote on Twitter.
I love Pete and he was a father figure to me and John believed in me and drafted me as well. I never wanted them fired. All any of us wanted was to win.
l’ll always have respect for them and love for Seattle.
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) February 24, 2023
"I never wanted them fired," he continued. "All any of us wanted was to win. I'll always have respect for them and love for Seattle."
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Wilson was traded from Seattle to the Denver Broncos in March 2022, and signed a five-year, $245 million contract extension shortly before the start of the regular season. He and the team struggled, though, and the Broncos ended their season with five wins and 12 losses, far from what the Super Bowl-winning quarterback hoped for.
"You're trying to find that magic,' " Wilson told reporters after their last game of the season, against the Los Angeles Chargers, which Denver won 31-28. "I know that I feel like I fell short of my own standards and my own level of expectations," he added, per ESPN. "I just want to recapture that.''
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The tumultuous season also led to head coach Nathaniel Hackett being fired the day after Christmas.
On Feb. 6, the NFL announced Payton, 59, was named head coach of the Denver Broncos.
Speaking to the media, Payton complimented Wilson's talent and work ethic as the team continues to navigate their offseason.
"Here's what I know: [Wilson] is a hard worker," Payton said, per the NFL. "I know he's an extremely hard worker. That's important. And I think you take that skillset, he's won a lot of games in Seattle. Then you go from there."