Pete Carroll: Geno Smith still leads quarterbacks competition

USA TODAY Sports

When Seahawks coach Pete Carroll took a temporary leave from practice due to a COVID diagnosis, Geno Smith was leading quarterback competition. Now that Carroll is back, Smith continues to hold the top spot on the depth chart.

Carroll addressed the quarterback competition with reporters on his first day back with the team. He confirmed that Smith remains the favorite, for now.

“They’re still doing things every day and they’re making plays,” Carroll said of Smith and Drew Lock. “They both play games every day. I watch to see how it oscillates; if it goes heavy one way, heavy the other way. The guys are doing a good job. We’re working hard to match the reps with the guys that are playing up front, and the receivers, we’re working to achieve that, and it will happen, and you’ll see how it happens again tomorrow, how the reps are distributed, just so we can get some really even competition.

“Geno continues to be on top, he’s up front, he’s been up front for all the obvious reasons, and he’s hanging on there and doing a really good job of fighting. Both guys are communicating beautifully, they’re learning well, we we have no problem with anything we try to do. There are no problems here where we have to “Oh, we can’t quite do this or that with this guy or that guy”, this n “It’s not like that. They’re very talented in the arms and the ability to throw the ball down the field is there. So let the games begin. Get out of there, now we’re in the middle of this, and we’ll see what It’s a very big day tomorrow It’s going to be a very big day tomorrow.

So why is Geno still the #1 guy?

“He just does it right,” Carroll said. “He manages the system, he does the checks on the line of scrimmage, he is able to control the protections and work with [center] Austin [Blythe], those guys hit him really well, and he’s really, really talented. He made great throws every day. I’m always looking for them to really come in, and really own that, and have days where they don’t have the negative games, the games that they want to have in return. So, in a way, there were openings for both guys in not having all day, doing everything and finishing the day almost perfect.

This implies that there is still a path for Drew Lock to win the job. What must he do for this to happen?

“Just stay there,” Carroll said. “He just needs to stay out there and show us how he’s going to make his decisions when the big opportunities come around. He’s made a ton of plays already. He’s made a ton of good throws, he runs really well, he’s elusive he’s got a really quick trigger his ability to unleash the football is showing he’s got a lot of talent now so we just need reps we need turns we just need to see more situations to really find a reason to see a difference between guys. There just isn’t enough of it yet.

A lot of that stuff will come in the preseason, apparently. The Seahawks continue to keep the schedule to make a decision for Russell Wilson’s first-week return near the vest. It will be interesting to see who starts each of the first two preseason games and whether the Seahawks will lead the competition through Expo 3.

The possibility of the final answer being “none of the above” looms vaguely above the competition, with an effort to pursue someone like 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo if he’s not traded to another team. Eventually it will be cut. Until then, however, Garoppolo won’t have much time to walk through the door and prove he’s the better option – even if on paper he’s arguably a better choice than Smith or Lock.

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