Seattle’s three way quarterback competition has certainly been fun to watch this preseason. After two preseason games the most unlikely candidate in the competition sits atop the depth chart. Pete Carroll has announced that rookie quarterback Russell Wilson will start the Seahawks third preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Once again Pete Carroll proves that he is anything but conventional. The announcement means, for this week at least, that Seattle’s biggest offseason acquisition will be standing on the sidelines. In March, the Seahawks signed Matt Flynn to a three year $26 million deal. However, Pete Carroll has said before that money would not dictate his decision. Carroll said. "This is about competition. This is what we've always been about and if somebody doesn't see it that way then they don't understand us and I can't do anything about that.” Here’s a closer look at how each quarterback has performed this preseason.
Current starter Russell Wilson has impressed the coaching staff all offseason. Wilson has played well throughout training camp and during Seattle’s first two preseason games. Although Wilson has put up good numbers, he has yet to face another team’s starting defense. Wilson will get his opportunity to do so this Friday against the Chiefs. In Seattle’s preseason opener again the Tennessee Titans, Wilson was 12 of 16 passing for 124 yard and a touchdown. Wilson also rushed for 59 yards and scored a touchdown on the ground. Wilson was impressive again the next week against Denver. Wilson played the second half against the Broncos completing 10 of 17 passes for 155 with two touchdown passes. When the decision was announced Carroll said, “He's (Wilson) done a very nice job throughout, and we think it's warranted this."
Although Matt Flynn started the first two preseason games, he was not overly impressive in either appearance. In Seattle’s preseason opener against the Titans, Flynn went 11 for 13 for just 71 yards with an interception. He fared no better the following week again the Denver Broncos. Flynn completed just six passes for 31 yards. The Seattle offense has yet to score a touchdown with Flynn leading the team. When asked about how Flynn took the news Pete Carroll simply said, “He took like it a real competitor”. It will be interesting to see how Flynn responds to the demotion. The competition is not yet over, but as of right now Flynn must play catch up with Wilson.
Tarvaris Jackson has been the forgotten man in this competition. Jackson did not play in the preseason opener against the Titans or in the second game against the Broncos. The Seahawks have informed Jackson that they will trade or release him.
Russell Wilson has the opportunity to join Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill, and Brandon Weeden as rookie quarterbacks who will start week one of the upcoming season. If Wilson plays well he should be named the starting quarterback for the Seahawks. Traditionally, the third game of the preseason is used as the “dress rehearsal” for the regular season. Most teams play their starters into the third quarter and then the starters get the fourth game off to avoid injury. Of course no one can guess what goes Pete Carroll’s mind. “We told you we were going to need preseason to figure this thing out and I think we're moving along positively and I have no concern about the timing of this other than we need information and we need to figure it out," Carroll said. This could suggest that Carroll will allow the competition to continue through the fourth game of the preseason. That certainly would be an unconventional move, which is certainly conventional for Pete Carroll.
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