michael-garcia - August 16, 2012
During NFL training camps and the preseason, we'll be taking some looks at the local reporting to see what stories the hometown papers and fan blogs are saying about their teams. Today, the Seattle Seahawks and the muddled battle for the starting quarterback job.
Tarvaris Jackson played in 15 games last year for Seattle, and while he wasn't lights out, he wasn't completely awful. Jackson completed 60 percent of his passes for 3,091 yards and 14 touchdowns. He threw 13 picks and his QB rating was a middling 79.2, and Jackson was sacked 42 times, the second most in the NFL.
That kind of season didn't guarantee him the starting job, and now he looks like he's not even in the race. Jackson didn't play in the first preseason game and probably won't see any action in the Seahawks next game either. Head coach Pete Carroll says he already knows what Jackson can do, but come on. We can all see what's going on. Matt Flynn was signed to a huge free agent deal and Russell Wilson was taken in the third round of the draft. See ya, Tarvaris.
Nick Eaton wrote about Jackson's frustration in the Seattle Post Intelligencer, and based on Carroll's quotes, you can see why the former starter is annoyed. Asked if Jackson was still in the competition to start, Carroll had this to say:
'He'll be involved throughout,' Carroll added after Tuesday's practice, in which Jackson took reps with the first team. 'But I want to make sure he gets a good solid day of work before we get into the week's game plan, so that Matt and Russell can have their best chance to show. Tarvaris has played a lot of football for us, so we have to give somewhere — so we're giving that.'
Translation: Jackson isn't starting and might not even be the backup. It gets said all the time, money plays in the NFL. Flynn came over to Seattle from Green Bay based mostly on one game where he lit up the field and set the Packers' single game passing yardage record. Flynn got a 3-year, $26 million contract with $10 million guaranteed. That's not backup money.
Wilson, who was picked higher than pretty much everyone had projected, looked sharp in his first action in the NFL. He ran a bootleg to perfection, finding the endzone and showing how capable he is with his feet. It's Wilson's poise and command of the game that was impressive, though after seeing the numbers he put up in Wisconsin last year, it shouldn't be that surprising.
Wilson threw for 3,175 yards, 33 TDs and only 4 picks in his sole season for the Badgers. Derek Stpehensof fieldgulls.com was impressed with Wilson's decision making in the much faster paced NFL.
As for decisiveness, there didn't appear to be much hesitation with Wilson, and he was quick to let the ball go when he ID'd the preferred target. He delayed throwing on a couple of occasions as he wasn't satisfied with how open his receiver was, and thus, bought time with his feet to extend the play until his man was open (see pass interference call on pass intended for Morrah). No worries there. It's good to see a guy who isn't holding onto the ball and freezing in the pocket (ala Jackson last year, and even Flynn early on in the first half of this game).
So Seattle is basically down to a two man QB race, and Jackson could find himself as trade bait in the next couple of weeks. In fact, I'd be shocked if Tarvaris was wearing a Seattle uniform when the team kicks off the regular season September 9th against division rival Arizona.