The Seattle Seahawks have one of the most intriguing quarterback competitions in the league. This summer, Tarvaris Jackson, Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson will compete to be the starting quarterback of the Seahawks. What adds to the intrigue of this competition is the fact that Seahawks’ head coach Pete Carroll is always willing to pick his guy and not the guy whose “supposed” to be the guy. Last month Pete Carroll told Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune, "Draft picks and money and stuff like that is not going to play in the decision at all, we’re going to go with what it looks like through the competition and how they play, and the results of that, and how we feel about that”. Carroll has stuck to this mentality since coming to Seattle. For instance, in 2010 Carroll traded for quarterback Charlie Whitehurst and many believed that Whitehurst would become the starter. However, Matt Hasselbeck kept his job even after Whitehurst played well while he was injured. In addition, the three quarterbacks battling all have different abilities and resumes. Here’s a look at what each quarterback brings to the competition.
Pete Carroll has said that Tarvaris Jackson will enter training camp as the number one quarterback. Jackson is the incumbent starter after the Seahawks went 7-7 with him at quarterback last season. Although statistically Jackson had an average season in 2011, throwing 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, he earned the respect of his teammates by playing 10 games with a torn pectoral muscle. In addition, Tarvaris Jackson has the most NFL experience of the three quarterbacks and the best knowledge of the play book. Jackson arrived in Seattle last year after five seasons in Minnesota. For his career, Jackson has a starting record of 17-17 and completion percentage of 59.4%. Entering his seventh season as a pro, Jackson is not phased by the competition. Jackson told reporters after minicamp, "I've been around long enough to know how things go, I'm just coming out, competing every day and just trying to do my best and let the coaches make a decision on what they feel is best for the team."
Matt Flynn enters training camp as the guy who is “supposed to be” the starting quarterback. However, Matt Flynn will come to camp as the second quarterback. In March, Flynn signed a three year $26 million contract with the Seahawks. In college Flynn was the starting quarterback for LSU when they won the National Championship. After college, Flynn was drafted in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers. As a rookie Flynn became the Packers backup by beating out fellow rookie Brian Brohm, who was selected in the second round. Flynn made only two starts in his four seasons as a Packer, but played well in each of them. Against the Patriots in 2010 Flynn threw three touchdowns and one interception in a 31-27 loss to New England. His second start came last season in week 17 against the Detroit Lions. Flynn threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns in a 45-41 win over the Lions. When asked about the competition Flynn responded, “I’ve been fortunate enough that I’ve been in a lot of competitions through high school, college, even in Green Bay my first year. So I’ve been there and I know that the first thing you learn is you can’t control what they do. You can only control what you do”.
The Seahawks drafted Russell Wilson in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft. In his senior year, Russell Wilson led the Wisconsin Badgers to the Big-Ten Conference Championship. Wilson also set a school record with 33 touchdown passes and was named First-Team All-Big Ten. Heading into the NFL Draft, scouts were concerned with Wilson’s height. At the combine Wilson measured in at 5’11, which is considered short for a quarterback by NFL standards. However, Pete Carroll is not concerned with Wilson’s height. Pete Carroll told NFL Network, "He can do everything that you need a guy to do. He's a very exciting young man, a very exciting player, and he's going to get a heck of a shot here”. Although he’s just a rookie, Wilson is not backing down from the competition. “No, I’m not afraid at all of being a starter at all, I’ll be ready to go whenever my name is called”.
All three quarterbacks are ready to compete for the opportunity to be the starting quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks and it will be interesting to see how the competition plays out in training camp. Carroll is likely to stick with the three day rotation used during OTA’s. Carroll told reporters, “We’re rotating all the guys, to present really the competition as balanced as we can we need to see them with all the guys”. The competition begins on July 28th when the Seahawks open training camp.
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