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Sports >  Seattle Seahawks

Geno Smith will start vs. Steelers, but Drew Lock will get playing time, too, Pete Carroll says

Aug. 12, 2022 Updated Fri., Aug. 12, 2022 at 7:31 p.m.

Seattle Seahawks backup quarterback Geno Smith takes over in the fourth quarter against the New York Jets on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020 at Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington.   (Seattle Times)
Seattle Seahawks backup quarterback Geno Smith takes over in the fourth quarter against the New York Jets on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020 at Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington.  (Seattle Times)
By Bob Condotta Seattle Times

RENTON, Wash. – Seahawks coach Pete Carroll announced that Geno Smith will start at quarterback when the team opens the preseason Saturday at Pittsburgh. He also stated that Smith and current No. 2 QB Drew Lock will play a lot against the Steelers as they continue their competition for the starting job.

But other than that, Carroll is remaining purposefully vague about how the two QBs will be used against Pittsburgh.

“You guys will see,” Carroll told reporters after the team’s walk-through Thursday before the team flew to Pittsburgh. “We’ve got a plan. We’ll roll with the game a little bit to make sure that the opportunities (that arise) that we can maximize them. But those guys will play quite a bit.”

The game will mark the most significant step yet in the team’s quest to decide on a successor for Russell Wilson.

Lock, who continues to work almost exclusively with the backup offense, had the better day in a mock game last Saturday. But that was a controlled game with quarterbacks off-limits to contact. Facing an opponent in a live setting will change the dynamic some, Carroll said.

“We’ll see what happens,” Carroll said. “See if that makes some change. … There’s a lot of things that can happen when we go out there. We’ve just got to wait and see and we’ll put it together. We’d love to see the guys execute, and they’ve done really well on the practice field. We’d love to see a carry-over. But at the quarterback position, there are opportunities and if there are opportunities how do they seize them? Do they come through and make the play, make the big throw in the red zone or if it’s third down or whatever it is? We just have to wait and see.”

One challenge for any team with a quarterback competition is creating a fair playing field. That Smith has played mostly with the ones and Lock with the twos in practice raises the obvious question of whether that will continue into the games. Carroll said only “you’ll have to wait and see” to a question about how the snaps for the two could be split, and also if it would mean the No. 1 offense would have to play more than it might in a normal year.

The Seahawks this week did more mixing of the starting skill position players to try to get each QB equal work with receivers such as DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. But each are players who in a normal situation might not play much, if at all, in the preseason.

Asked if he’s been surprised by anything he’s seen from either Smith or Lock, Carroll’s noted Smith’s experience with the Seahawks (this is his fourth year) “so we knew his stuff.”

But Lock, Carroll said, has been a revelation for some of what he has done using his legs “his natural ability, his ability to move and throw the ball with his feet, and in awkward positions at times to get the ball out, the quickness of his release. I saw that stuff (on film) but until I saw it in person, I didn’t know. … So it’s just been kind of the whole package has been a surprise to see that he’s just well-equipped. So now it’s just down to the competition of it.”

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