QB wristbands hot topic in NFL after Carroll comments

DENVER (AP) — Whether Pete Carroll is a sarcasm for Russell Wilson or a blessing for Geno Smith, the Seattle Seahawks coach has put the longtime quarterback on a bumpy season. The quarterback is upset, which has made him a hot-talking command in the NFL.

Carroll spoke of the Seahawks’ surprising success in 2022 after leaving Wilson when he mentioned Smith’s willingness to wear a wristband to help promote Seattle’s game.

“If you notice, Geno is coming off the wristband, that would be a big help,” Carroll told Seattle Sports 710 AM earlier this month. “It smoothes things out, it speeds things up. That’s part of it. We’ve never done it before. There’s resistance to that. So, we haven’t done it before.”

Wilson retorted with his own subtle sarcasm, reminding him that “a lot of games are won there and not one on the wrist. And I don’t know if you wear a wristband or not it makes a difference in winning or losing.”

Coincidentally, Wilson first wore the wristband in the Broncos’ win over the Jaguars in London two days before Carroll’s comments, and he has been playing and training since then as the Broncos try to jumpstart an aggressive offense Wear a wrist strap.

He even wore it on Wednesday’s podium.

“Yeah, I think I’m rocking this wristband here,” Wilson said with a laugh.

Roughly two-thirds of NFL quarterbacks are rocking wristbands on any given weekend. Tom Brady has used one throughout his career. But some quarterbacks and coaches prefer memorization techniques for more complex plays.

The straps that wrap around the quarterback’s nonthrowing wrist and forearm contain dozens of moves with corresponding numbers or codes. They’re usually as beneficial to the play director as the QB, since he can just call out a simple number rather than the entire play sequence with all its protections, checks and other nuances.

Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett said: “As a play designer, sometimes you want to be a little bit creative, and these things can get a little bit verbose.”

Calling out a number instead of the entire play sequence saves a few ticks before the quarterback’s headset shuts off with 15 seconds left on the game clock. The QB can then relay the game and break through the huddle faster, getting to the line of scrimmage in the extra few seconds to check the defense for any necessary adjustments.

Hackett said the wristband is especially useful on the road, and especially helpful for the increasingly complex game calls in the game.

“That’s how crime develops,” Hackett said. “…our game designs are getting more sophisticated.”

Not every game on a coach’s phone sheet is listed on a quarterback’s wristband. They’re usually limited to those complex calls or red zone games that are installed later in the week, meaning players have less time to practice them.

Wristbands aren’t for everyone, though.

Some quarterbacks, like the Titans’ Ryan Tannehill, have tried them, but don’t wear them all the time like Brady.

“I wore one when we went to Seattle last year” because of the hustle and bustle at Lumen Field, Tannehill said. “Not too many times. I love being able to hear the call and picture it in my head as it comes in. It just helps me build a picture of what’s going on. When I hear it, I have to picture it in my head. It helps me communicate with my players instead of reading lines on wristbands.”

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins ​​doesn’t usually wear a wristband, something to do with Rams head coach Sean McVay, who served as Cousins’ offensive coordinator in Washington from 2014-16.

Cousins ​​recalled telling McVeigh, “These scenes are long, and I can use wristbands.”

“Sean would say, ‘I’m not going to look down at the phone bill and call to see what the wristband number is. I just decide the game from my head,'” Cousins ​​recalled. “So, he said, ‘We can’t do that because I have to go find the script and give you the number.’ I learned from Sean that I just had to memorize the scripts and I didn’t have the luxury of a wristband. .”

“There are a lot of different approaches, and I think there are positives and negatives to every different approach,” Cousins ​​said. “Sometimes I like to have quite a bit of text, because you can paint the picture better, but there are other times where you need to play two or three games, and it can be a lot. With one movement, one transition, one alert, you There was a play clock, so a lot happened.”

Cousins ​​said he learned a trick from backup Nick Mullens as he digested the Vikings’ new offense this summer.

“In late August and early September, I was really struggling and it was really hard for me to get to a place where I could spit out the script with full ownership,” Cousins ​​said. He recalls Mullens telling him, “I just record tricky games on my phone, and instead of listening to music or the radio on my commute, I just listen to game calls.”

“I started doing that and my driving was kind of boring,” Cousins ​​said, “but I found myself back in the garage and I felt a lot better about the race plan and my command of the race plan.”


AP Professional Football Writers Dave Campbell in Minneapolis and Teresa Walker in Nashville and AP Sports Writer Larry Lage in Detroit contributed to this report.


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