You have to give Pete Carroll and the Seahawks a little credit for the way they are trying to manage the perception of the QB race the team is having. Publicly they have given off the perception that it is a three-way battle between incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson, free agent pick up Matt Flynn, and 3rd round draft pick Russell Wilson.
I don't think anyone is fooled though. Jackson did not play in the preseason opener against Tennessee; he's not going to play in Week Two against Denver either. Carroll says that he knows what Jackson is capable of and doesn't need to see him. Hmmm...I wonder what the over/under is on who actually believes him?
Jackson signed just a two-year deal back when he joined the team in 2011 so it will not be too hard to get rid of him should the team decide not to keep him. The real question is who they should go with--Flynn or Wilson.
Flynn set the NFL world on fire when he set a single game record for the Green Bay Packers with 480 yards and 6 TDs in Week 17 last year. He has been sitting behind Aaron Rodgers since the Packers drafted him in the seventh round of the '08 draft after he led LSU to a national title. With Rodgers being Rodgers he would never play much in Green Bay so it made sense to move on.
Thanks to his one big game he became pretty enticing to teams. Seattle signed him to a 3-yr deal worth $26 million ($10 million guaranteed; kudos to his agent). The investment makes him the front runner for the job, but should that be enough to make him the starter?
He played well overall against the Titans last week making good, quick decisions with the ball. On the night he was 11-13 for 71 yards, but did throw an interception. What the team did not see and likely would like to is him throwing the ball down field much like he did in that aerial fest last season in Green Bay that made him famous.
Picking up Wilson in the draft was a bit of a shocker to most people. That's because we all assumed that Jackson would be the back-up and Flynn the starter making it rather foolish to take a QB with a 3rd round pick. Little did we know that the team doesn't plan on keeping Jackson (this is not official, but the writing is on the wall).
His ability is without question. Whether you look at his stats from NC State or Wisconsin, he played well. He definitely saved his best for last throwing for just over 3100 yards and 33 touchdowns (next to just four interceptions) his senior season with the Badgers. Having a top-notch running back helping take the pressure off him certainly helped during his one season at Wisconsin (RB Monte Ball, future first round pick).
What stood out about him was his athleticism, strength, accuracy, but most of all his football intelligence. Wilson was able to pick up the Badgers offense well enough in one summer that he was made the opening day starter. Standing just 5-feet 11-inches tall caused him to fall to the third round. Had he been at least three inches taller he would have been a first round pick.
Wilson made people stand up and take notice with his performance against Tennessee. Playing in the second half he went 12-16 for 124 yards with one touchdown and interception to go with 59 yards rushing. He showed the athleticism and arm strength that he was drafted for, and proved to be adept at play action pass plays and design roll outs.
So the question becomes do you go with the guy you are paying or with the guy that impresses. Luckily the Seahawks don't have to make a decision anytime soon.