I promised myself one thing this football season when it comes to my Seattle Seahawks. I promised that I wasn’t going to sweat the quarterback situation.
Nope! Not after all that weird Russell Wilson stuff over the past couple seasons. I just wanted a season long reprieve from the position, you know?
“Let’s build it up for the next guy next year!”
All I thought I wanted was a simple return to being good on defense, on special teams, and I wanted to see positive growth with the offensive line and run game. Anything positive that the Seahawks could muster from the quarterback position would be a bonus, in my mind.
So, as I sit here, a day before they play their final preseason game, I’m surprised to find myself annoyed at their QB situation. In fact, I’m annoyed that I’m so annoyed.
As I process these emotions, I land on this one horrific thought that gives me to which gives me instant, unpleasant, and very painful gas.
What if Pete Carroll is absolutely the wrong head coach to bring on a new franchise quarterback?
The reason why I am finding myself asking this question more so today has everything to do with one Drew Lock, and how Pete has handled him through training camp. It all boils down to that.
Even though I haven’t put great stock into the idea that Lock will become the next long term starter at quarterback in Seattle, I thought the plan going into camp was for an honest competition between him, and Geno Smith in order to give him (or Geno) the chance to earn the starter spot, and basically to have a full season of seventeen games to audition for the long term gig. This idea made all the sense in the world to me, especially with Lock who is still only 25 years old.
In order for a team to land a franchise quarterback, it often requires a franchise to take many bites from the QB apple to get it right. Bites can involve free agency such as the famous case of Drew Brees and the Saints. They can obviously include the draft where there are countless examples, but they can also include trades such as Steve Young with the 49ers, Brett Farve with the Packers, and in terms of the Seattle Seahawks, Matt Hasselbeck from the Packers to Seattle.
Drew Lock, if anything, should have been considered one bite at the apple for the Seattle Seahawks the minute they got him here from Denver in the Russell Wilson trade. That would be the prudent expectation for him. At least, that’s what I thought.
Giving Drew Lock an honest opportunity along with Geno Smith to “be the guy” this year makes logistical long term sense, and while he doesn’t know this offense as much as Geno Smith does, I would think that the only way he learns it is to play through the rough patches. I think that starts by sharing equal reps with the first team offense, and to be embraced by his head coach.
Pete Carroll, however, has done anything but embrace him, and it gives me horrendous gas.
I have no idea what Carroll is doing by continuing to label this situation a “quarterback competition” when everything suggests that it is not a competition at all. I mean, what’s his plan? Does he have a plan?
In fact, it’s gotten so agitating for me that, every time I turn on sports radio and hear about Geno getting all the first team reps yet again, it requires me to immediately roll down my windows in traffic because of the amount of explosive gas shooting out of my ass, thus making the cab of my truck more toxic than the ozone destroying diesel vehicle that I am stuck behind.
Yet, here we have it. There’s been no equal reps between Drew Lock and Geno Smith with the first team offense, and because of that, there’s been no opportunity for Lock to build chemistry with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. That’s a big determent to any chance of him having any immediate success this season, should he have to start.
Even if Drew plays the majority of the time agains the Cowboys on Friday, and balls the F out, and forces Carroll’s hand in naming him the starter, he will go into a hyped up season opener against his former team in front of a sold out crowd in Seattle, facing Russell Wilson, without being given every opportunity from Carroll to understand how each of his star receivers break on their routes, and build a functional chemistry. That’s not a great recipe for success in front of a fickle mob of sixty thousand Twelves.
At this point, it’s probably way more reckless of Carroll to not name Geno the starter for the week one opener, and beyond. My hunch is that I’m not the only Twelve feeling a little gassy over that prospect.
And all of this begs the question as to why Pete Carroll has been calling this a QB competition between Lock and Smith in the first place. By the way he has shaped these practices, it looks very clear that Carroll has long made up his mind that Smith is his starter.
The thing of it is, though, and all positive PFF preseason grades of his aside, is that Geno Smith is most likely just a backup quarterback in this league. No team this off-season viewed him as a starter outside of Seattle, and he hung out there in free agency a long time before finally returning here.
It’s not just me saying this either. Just the other day on KJR 950, legendary former Seahawk head coach and quarterback guru Mike Holmgren said the exact same thing.
When asked about how he would have handled the quarterback situation for Seattle this year given the three guys that they have in camp, Holmgren said that he would have planned for Lock to be his starter, and given him most of the reps all throughout camp. He would have done everything he could have to coach him up and build him up in front of his teammates.. because he sees Drew Lock as a potential starting quarterback, and Geno as nothing more than a decent backup.
This is the same coach who was responsible for recycling Steve Young as a young busted player out of Tampa Bay, and making him into a pro bowler for the San Francisco 49ers. I think Mike Holmgren knows something about grooming a young quarterback into success.
My question is whether Pete Carroll genuinely knows how to do it, or even wants to do it.
I would also say that, for those Seahawk fans who are assuming that this team is going to pluck a quarterback out of next year’s draft to be the next franchise guy, these signs from Pete Carroll in relation to Drew Lock should give you cause for concern about that idea. They give me a lot of concern.
I think it is entirely possible (and probable given his age) that Carroll would much prefer to go the veteran route in Seattle for his last remaining years as head coach through 2025. Honestly, if Jody Allen isn’t interested in moving on from him (I don’t think she is), it might be the right call for the team in the immediate future seasons.
In fact, I think there’s now signs that point to a real possibility that we could see Jimmy Garoppolo here in Seattle within a week to be the next starting quarterback. A week ago, I wouldn’t have put much stock in it. Now, after seeing Geno getting all first team reps again this week, when it was presumed that Drew would have gotten some of those, I’m buying more of the Jimmy G to Seattle online chatter.
I’m especially buying into it now because of Carroll, himself, still refusing to name a starter now, or to even be in any hurry to name one for the next couple weeks, if needed. Why is that when it is clear that it looks like the gig is Geno’s?
Well, maybe the answer is that if he outwardly proclaims Geno his starter now, and then the team signs Garoppolo next week, he would have to take that status away from Geno because, frankly, Garoppolo is vastly the superior veteran quarterback. Pete Carroll is not going to do Geno Smith dirty like that, if his intention is to try to get Jimmy G here in Seattle next week.
Also, listening to Carroll continually backing Geno, and then say that Lock has done nice things “to put on his resume” more than suggests to me that Carroll doesn’t see Lock as being anything long term here, or even short term. It honestly makes me think that Carroll would rather cling onto Geno, who knows this offense better, while maybe planning to convince Garoppolo to come North on his 2022 NFC West revenge tour the minute he’s released by the 49ers next week after that rival team fails to strike a trade with another club.
At age 72, having a quarterback room with two veteran guys who understand the deeper nuances of NFL quarterbacking does seem like a reasonable desire for an old school defensive minded head coach. This thought, honestly, gives me less gas, actually. It’s kind of a Tums thought, sorta, or so I blindly hope.
I know one definite thing in all of this, though. Pete Carroll, at age 72, with his reluctance to fully embrace Drew Lock for a season is a massive red flag if this team has designs on spending a first round pick on a quarterback next year. It’s a MASSIVE RED FLAG.
If Pete won’t willingly ride with Lock this year to see what potential is there, when they are not expected to be any serious contender, what makes you think he will ride comfortably with a rookie next season when maybe more chips on on the table?
This is a very fair question to ask at this juncture.. and it give me the type of gas that reminds me that I should eat more vegetables.
So, maybe just go get Jimmy, and if all goes really well, extend him for a few more years.
And yes, it’s all comes to that final thought in all of this. I’m going to eat come carrots and celery now.
Have some yogurt, maybe it would settle your stomach or maybe it’s better not to watch the pre-season games!