RENTON, Wash. – Even with a full offseason of OTAs – Organized Team Activities – plus individual workouts and minicamps, the Seattle Seahawks will still head into training camp next month with a three-way competition at quarterback.
That was the word from Seahawks coach Pete Carroll after Seattle wrapped up its three-day mandatory minicamp Thursday. Seattle will continue with its plan of trying to evenly split reps between incumbent Tarvaris Jackson, free-agent addition Matt Flynn and rookie third-round draft pick Russell Wilson when training camp opens next month.
The QBs all got turns working with the No. 1 offense this week, each taking a day of reps. But only Carroll knows when a final decision will be made on a starter.
“I’ve been really pleased with the way they’ve worked. They’ve busted their tails to get their stuff done. They’ve all been able to run the club and function in the huddle and make their adjustments and the calls,” Carroll said. “… We’ll stay with the same format going into camp. I don’t think that will change. (Jackson) will go first and away we go, but other than that let the games begin and we’ll see how it goes.”
When Seattle signed Flynn in the offseason, it was believed that was done with the intention of having him take the starting role. But then Carroll said it would be an open competition, not only between the two QBs with NFL experience, but also involving Wilson.
“There’s a lot of traps you can fall into when you do a competition for anybody at any position. 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,” Flynn said. “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. You’ve got to try to compete against yourself the day before. You’ve got to be better today than I was yesterday.”
One thing Flynn and Wilson have to overcome is the respect Jackson gained in the locker room last year while playing through a painful pectoral injury and recovering from a poor start to help Seattle finish with seven wins. The counter is that Jackson failed a number of times during the season to lead potential fourth-quarter rallies.
Carroll said some determinations about the offseason work will be made soon, but the likelihood is they will need to see all three in preseason games before a final decision.
“However the coaches put us in, we just try to take advantage of every rep we get,” Jackson said. “It’s fine. It’s great competition. It’s a healthy competition. Pretty much all the guys get along in there.”
Carroll also said Thursday that he was impressed by Brian Banks during his two-day tryout this week, but no decision has been made on whether he’ll be invited to training camp. Banks has also worked out for San Diego and Kansas City and may have more tryouts on the horizon.
“He looked much more comfortable than I thought he would. He’s not in good shape yet and he’s a ways from that, but I was really, really surprised he fit in as well as he did. Size-wise, strength-wise, he really is in the right kind of profile. He did a good job,” Carroll said.
Carroll had no more updates on DE Chris Clemons, who skipped the mandatory minicamp, presumably because he wants a new contract. Clemons is entering the final year of his deal that will pay him $4 million. … Carroll said the only player the team believes will not be able to go at the start of training camp is LT James Carpenter, who suffered a serious knee injury late last season. CB Walter Thurmond (foot) could be limited at the start of camp.