Seattle’s 3-way QB competition filled with debate

RENTON, Wash. – Every day since the start of training camp, either Matt Flynn, Russell Wilson or Tarvaris Jackson have cycled to the podium in front of a Seahawks backdrop and been asked to handicap the three-way race to be the starting quarterback in Seattle.

And each day one of the trio stand before the bank of microphones and say the right things about enjoying being a part of the competition and doing their best to try and impress head coach Pete Carroll and the rest of the Seahawks staff.

Realistically, the competition will need to start getting paired down soon. Seattle has completed one week of training camp with no clear-cut favorite in the competition between the incumbent (Jackson), the high-priced newcomer (Flynn) and the upstart rookie (Wilson).

Some type of resolution – whether it’s naming a starter or just dropping one from the competition – most likely won’t come until after the first or second preseason games.

But an indication of where Seattle may be leaning, or who is stepping out ahead could start coming into focus on today when the Seahawks hold a mock game in preparation for their preseason opener Saturday against Tennessee.

With no timeline and lack of clarity from Carroll, every move, every snap the three take in practice is open to interpretation. Was it telling that Wilson got seven fewer snaps than Jackson on Saturday? Or was it more important that Flynn took significantly more snaps during 7-on-7 than the other two?

Even the slightest phrase uttered can be analyzed as a possible signal. When Flynn was asked Saturday if he was tired of being asked about the competition, his reply started with “I’m not looking a couple of weeks ahead right now.”

Does that mean the Seahawks are still two weeks away from a decision? Or do they already know and are waiting a bit longer before making that proclamation public?

It’s enough to make an analyst go batty. But the trio seem to understand it’s part of being an NFL quarterback.

“It’s definitely the nature of the position, but obviously this is for a starting spot in the NFL so it’s going to get more attention and you see that all over the NFL,” Flynn said. “Just have to take it step by step.”

For most of a decade who would be the Seattle quarterback was never in doubt. From 2003 to 2010, Matt Hasselbeck was the quarterback.

When the Seahawks moved on from Hasselbeck before the start of last season, they chose Jackson as his initial replacement because of his knowledge of the system offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell runs from their time together in Minnesota. And while Jackson won over his teammates by playing through a painful pectoral injury, he didn’t do anything to wow coaches or fans.

Therefore, the Seahawks made the decision this offseason to sign Flynn and draft Wilson.

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