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A Grip on Sports: The Seahawks make a change on offense after scoring more points in a season than ever before

The Seahawks ranked in the top nine in NFL scoring all three seasons Brian Schottenheimer was offensive coordinator.  (Associated Press)
The Seahawks ranked in the top nine in NFL scoring all three seasons Brian Schottenheimer was offensive coordinator. (Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • The wind has made its presence known in the Inland Northwest, toppling trees and causing power outages all over. We are OK as we type this, but there have been innumerable ominous flickers, so we’ll move forward as fast as we can.

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• The Seahawks’ decision to fire offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer dominated the social media conversation Tuesday afternoon, as well it should. After all, the move came a day after Pete Carroll had expressed his support of all his assistants. And within a week of me being able to type “Schottenheimer” correctly for the first time.

The idea Carroll and Schottenheimer – see, I didn’t even have to double-check – met yesterday and not long after the Seahawks released a statement that included the words “philosophical differences” tells you everything you want to know.

Carroll wanted to go in one direction with the offense – ground and pound – and Schottenheimer didn’t.

Guess who is the boss?

One has to wonder, however, how the most important player, aka Russell Wilson, feels about all this? It’s hard to believe, in this day and age, Carroll would make such a change without the, at least, tacit approval of his highly paid quarterback. There is no good reason to alienate someone who is held in such regard throughout the team.

And yet one wonders, after the Seahawks scored the most points in its history, what would motivate Wilson acquiescing? Is he tired of the vanilla nature of the passing attack – and yes, many NFL observers saw it that way even when Seattle was hitting on all cylinders. Or was it something else?

We will probably never know. With “never” being interpreted as lasting until Wilson writes his autobiography. Or maybe a Food Channel-sponsored cookbook.

We do know this: The Hawks need a new offensive coordinator. And when Carroll makes the hire, it will tell us a lot about the future direction of that side of the ball.

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Gonzaga: If you have happened to tune into a game for the No. 1-ranked Zags, you know, for sure, about Jalen Suggs’ football history. It’s been front and center in every broadcast. How does it help the freshman guard navigate the world of college hoops? Jim Meehan explains. … If you had adjusted your Thursday schedule to be available for a 2 p.m. tip time against Pepperdine, you wasted the effort. The game has been moved to 6 p.m. on ESPN. Jim has more in this story. And now we have more work to do to free up our evening. … The guru of college hoops stats, Ken Pomeroy, has some good news for Gonzaga fans: It’s offense that really wins championships. … Elsewhere in the WCC, the worst has been confirmed for Wyatt Lowell of BYU, who went down with an injury against GU. He has an Achilles tear.

WSU: Anthony Gordon’s NFL dreams just received a big boost, as the former Washington State quarterback has signed a futures contract with Kansas City. The Chiefs aren’t looking for a starter, duh, but it’s a great place for Gordon to develop his skills. Theo Lawson has the story. … Theo also shares the news Trinity Rodman is on her way out of Pullman after having not played a soccer match for the Cougars. She’s turning pro. … Larry Weir spoke with his buddy Paul Sorensen yesterday about the Cougs and other subjects. That’s part of the latest Press Box podcast. … Around the Pac-12 and college basketball, who is the best in the conference right now? … The Huskies still don’t have a consistent rotation. … Oregon has paused all team activities due to COVID-19 issues. That impacts Arizona State and Arizona this week. … Oregon State, on the other hand, is ready to go. … Colorado is looking forward with optimism. … Utah is too but without the same resume to back it up. … UCLA has figured out how to close games. … USC had a close one last night and held on to top UC Riverside in overtime. … In football news, the Pac-12 had one team (USC) show up in the final AP rankings. That’s not good. … Where is Washington headed in 2021? … Oregon State is going to use the transfer portal as an important recruiting space. … The defensive coordinator is out at Colorado. … UCLA has made a promotion on its staff. … Just by playing a few games, Utah has cut its projected deficit. … A former USC running back is headed to Nebraska. … Another former Michigan coach might be headed to Arizona.

EWU: Around the Big Sky, there will be changes in the membership come Thursday. That’s when the Western Athletic Conference is going to announce it is bringing back football, albeit at the FCS level for now. Southern Utah is reportedly leaving to join with quite a few Texas schools. … Montana has lost a high-end receiver to Nebraska. … The Griz have picked up a nonconference game. … Weber State picked up two for this weekend. … Montana State’s success has made Jeff Choate popular with bigger schools.

Preps: Spirit games are a big part of the high school basketball experience. Not this year, however. Ryan Collingwood looks at how different the Idaho season has been in that regard. … Arizona’s governing board has reversed itself (and ignored its health advisory board). There will be winter sports albeit with everyone wearing masks even during competition.

Seahawks: As we said above, the big news early yesterday was the Hawks and John Schneider agreeing on a contract extension, keeping the general manager in Seattle for the foreseeable future. Now he and Carroll can begin making changes. Which brings us to the really big news that broke later in the afternoon: Schottenheimer firing as offensive coordinator. The club cited “philosophical differences” when announcing the firing. What those are was left unsaid. We all have our opinions, don’t we? … There are always questions, though.

Mariners: Hisashi Iwakuma is back. As a coach. …The M’s will rely even more on its young core this season.

Sounders: Seattle has reportedly made an addition to its roster.

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• The power stayed on. We are grateful. Our son, however, has been scrambling at his house. We’re off to help. Until later …

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