“It’s a tough pill to swallow, definitely a sour taste in your mouth,” tight end Luke Willson said. “I think I speak for everyone that we had a lot more potential.”
Added linebacker K.J. Wright, “Coming into the week, we knew it was a possibility, but it’s just now hitting me that we’ve got to watch football this weekend. This season is going to be a big learning experience. We learned a lot, had some good times, had some bad times, and we’ve just got to get to the root of it and see what we can do to improve going forward.”
Wright, one of the few players left on Seattle roster who was part of the last Seahawks team to miss the postseason, says falling short of the playoffs feels different this time because, “We weren’t a good football team then. We didn’t now how to win, we were extremely young. But this, it just feels bad because we’re a quality team. We have experienced guys, we have tons of Pro Bowlers and a great franchise quarterback, so we don’t want to be in this position when the team is so talented. It feels much, much worse this time, because in 2011, we had no business being in the playoffs.”
Receiver Doug Baldwin, who like Wright was a rookie on that 2011 team, still sees plenty of potential on Seattle’s roster going forward, but said this year was, “just frustrating because we have so much talent on this team and we’re capable of doing much more than we did this year, and we didn’t do it. That’s why if feels different (than 2011). My first year was kind of figuring out, who are we? What’s our identity? Then kind of establishing that as we went forward with core players, a core mindset, a core standard. It’s the same things, it’s just that for whatever reason, it didn’t come to fruition.”
A number of factors contributed to the Seahawks falling short of the postseason, ranging from injuries, particularly on defense, to inconsistent play on offense to the inability to have success in the running game. But more than anything, players said they just fell short of being their best too often this year.
“It was a bit of a rollercoaster ride,” Willson said. “It’s tough to place your finger on one thing. At the end of the day, it’s just disappointing. Everyone’s disappointed, because the locker room we had we thought was special, but it didn’t work out. We just didn’t really put a ton of full games together. We showed moments. The Philly game we showed what we were capable of, but for some reason we just kind of hit or miss.”
Defensive end Frank Clark had a similar assessment, saying, “That was the story of our season. In this league, you can’t be up and down. You’ve got to come with your A game every week, when you play half the season on your A game and half not, the result is you’re going to be sitting at home watching, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Yet even if the Seahawks didn’t accomplish their goals in 2017, they’re still confident about the future.
“I believe this is a championship-caliber team; I just believe we didn’t meet our expectations,” Clark said. Seahawks.com
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