The 2022 Seahawks Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Geno Smith

Taught from the school of Hard Knocks

Dear Seattle Seahawks Fan,

Are you feeling down in the dumpsters that Drew Lock failed to beat out Geno Smith?

Is it frustrating the Pete Carroll chose to go with a more mature quarterback who understands the ins and outs of the Shane Waldron offense better than a young cat with higher upside?

Was it also deflating when Jimmy Garoppolo looked at the situation in Seattle, and decided that he would be better served taking less money in San Francisco and being Trey Lance’s backup than being a starter up here?

Well, maybe I got this piece here for you.

Like you, I have been entirely dismissive of Geno Smith as the best option at QB1 for these 2022 Seattle Seahawks. Like, it was just a thing I never entertained.

I’ve written about supporting Drew Lock, and giving him a second chance. I thought it would be a great story to get a young guy from the team that traded for Russell Wilson, if he were to turn it around in Seattle. I also believed enough in Lock’s potential upside to champion it, even just for a look-see.

I’ve also, at one point, clamored for Baker Mayfield, and up to a few days ago, I called “bluff” on Pete Carroll’s designs of Geno being QB1, and I suggested that perhaps Garoppolo was, in fact, the real starter in play. In fact, I felt pretty certain he was.

Well, maybe he was, or maybe he wasn’t, but with Jimmy G taking choosing to take less money to stay in the Bay Area serving as a backup, I’ve thrown my hands into the air in submission. I’m going to stop watching Tyler Huntley highlights, as well.

From where I now perch as a Twelve, Geno Smith is the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks in 2022, and gosh dang it, I’m all in on him now. I’m rooting for Geno Smith, and I really hope you are, too. I think he’s earned it.

He’s been around the league for a long enough time after being kicked to the curb by the dysfunctional NY Jets a few short years after selecting him with a high second round pick in the 2013 draft, and making him their instant starter. Since then, he’s floated around, but he has earned gigs that has put him in quarterback rooms that include Eli Manning, Phillip Rivers, and Russell Wilson. Those are good quarterbacks to soak up knowledge from, and let’s be clear, Geno Smith and Pete Carroll know a whole lot more about football than the average fan scoffing at this present QB situation in Seattle.

This leads me to why I think Geno Smith is the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks for this season. I think Geno vastly outperformed Drew Lock in the quarterback room. I think his overall football IQ is likely significantly higher than Lock’s, and while Lock’s upside is probably quite a bit higher than Geno’s, I also think Lock’s downside is probably much lower.

Geno Smith is the safer choice at quarterback, and for this year, I’m starting to see the reasons why that is likely more important to this club. The Seattle Seahawks are starting a youth movement on both sides of the ball, and they need a steadier leader on this team.

They are starting two promising rookies at offensive tackle, and they need a quarterback who will properly see pressure, adjust protection, and change out of plays, as needed. It’s also vitally important to have a quarterback get the ball to the right spots on the field for receiver development.

On the other side of the ball, the defense needs to be off the field more, and rest to play at its best, and a good way of doing that, is having a quarterback who will protect the ball. While Geno Smith was initially a turn over machine his first couple seasons in NY, as demonstrated last year subbing in for Russ, and again during this preseason, Smith has been pretty good here protecting the ball. He understands what Carroll wants his quarterback to do, and he’s more than willing to do it.

Also, as much as we have talked about upside with Drew Lock, I think many of us have been pretty dismissive of the pretty passes Geno is fully capable of making. Geno can throw a pretty dime from the pocket. He put up crazy numbers in college at West Virginia in a wide open passing attack, and he knows how to throw the football.

In fact, Pro Football Focus has him rated as the third best quarterback all throughout the preseason, and I don’t think these ratings should be entirely discredited. While his QB ratings were never that high, a lot of Seahawk receivers not named Tyler Lockett dropped good passes from him, and PFF noticed this.

It’s also been said from former coaches of his that he is an absolute film junky and just LOVES the game of football. Some feel like he got a raw deal from the Jets (go figure), and Ryan Ryan kinda ruined him early there, and the next coach (Todd Bowles) never had a strong attachment to him.

I don’t know if Geno Smith is going to be super successful in his second chance at being a starting quarterback now here in Seattle, but like I said with Lock a while back when I wrote my piece about him, I really think is would be a fantastic story if it did work out for Smith. In fact, in many ways, I think it might be a better one than if it were Lock.

And I think Geno has many fans inside, and very close to the Seahawks organization. KJ Wright went on a podcast earlier this Summer, and he put in his vote of confidence in Geno. He felt Geno should be the guy. From what he has seen from Geno within the organization, he emphatically felt Geno was the best choice over Baker Mayfield and Drew Lock.

Now, KJ Wright isn’t stupid about football. He played a long ten year career that was largely backed by his football intelligence over his physical skills. Wright has seen Geno as a performer in practices and as a teammate in this locker room. Folks who host football podcasts and who are on the NFL Network have not.

Maybe Pete Carroll knows more about NFL quarterbacks than keyboard cowboys do. Maybe Geno Smith is a better quarterback than most are giving him credit for.

One thing I know for certain, over these next three months, we are going to find out, one way, or the other.

If he fails, then there is always seeing what is there with Drew Lock during a transitional season where Carroll won’t likely feel any pressure of being on the hot seat, but if he exceeds expectations, well, then.. I think we could be in for a treat. I’m ready for the possibility of that treat, personally.

The cupboards of this team are not barren. Seattle has two of the brightest starting receivers in the league. They are have was looks like a deep running back group, and an offensive line that sports two super promising young tackles. They also have a uniquely athletic tight end, a group of young corners who’s potential continues to intrigue, two of the best safeties in the game, and a couple young edge rushers who could become big time stars in short order.

If Geno Smith can efficiently game manager this roster through this season, Seattle has makings of being a sneaky team to watch. I believe that.

And if Geno Smith really breaks out, then all of a sudden Seattle would have to have the NFL Comeback Player Of The Year on its roster, and that would be a truly incredible story. For as fun as the 2022 Seattle Mariners have been, and the Storm have been in Sue Bird’s last season, for my money, Geno Smith being the Comeback Player Of The Year, and guiding the Seahawks into the playoffs would hands down be the most gratifying feeling for me, personally.

It would be this way for me not because I am a bigger Seahawks fan than a Mariners or Storm fan (I am). No, it would be that way because I would be beyond happy for 31 year old Geno Smith who stayed with it, and didn’t give up on a sport where an entire league pretty much gave up on him.

Geno Smith sat for months in free agency this Spring after putting up positive stats in three and a half games in place of Russell Wilson last year. No team, outside of Seattle, even considered him as a worthy backup, much less a potential starter.

Only Pete Carroll stayed with him, and gave him this chance. Now, as the dust of the preseason as settled, I really want him to succeed.

I don’t think it would prohibit Seattle from finding a young quarterback in next year’s draft, either. I’m not convinced the Denver Broncos with Russell Wilson are going to be the class of a brutally tough AFC West division.

Geno Smith could play really well, return as the presumptive starter the following year, and Seattle could still draft a young cat to properly groom behind him. If Geno Smith reaches this sort of success, Geno Smith, with his story, would absolutely be the right guy for any young quarterback to learn from. There can be no debate about that.

Therefore, I humbly submit to the idea of Geno Smith being my quarterback this year, and maybe beyond.

I want Geno to succeed. I really do.

Go Hawks.


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