Pete Carroll Reveals Leader in Seahawks QB Competition

Getty Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks Drew Lock and Geno Smith are still battling to be QB1.

The Seattle Seahawks are less than a week away from their first preseason game, and while it’s still uncertain who will be the starting quarterback by Week 1, head coach Pete Carroll provided an important update at training camp.

Speaking with reporters on Saturday, August 6 shortly after returning to practice from his COVID-related absence, Carroll shared his thoughts on where the QB competition is at right now between Geno Smith and Drew Lock.

“Geno continues to be on top, he’s ahead, he’s been in the lead for all the obvious reasons, and he’s holding onto it and doing a really good job of battling,” Carroll said. “Both guys are communicating beautifully, they’re learning well, we don’t have any issues with anything we’re trying to do. There are no issues here where we have to ‘Oh, we can’t quite do this or that with this guy or that guy,’ it isn’t like that…Getting out there, now we’re in the middle of it, and we’ll see what happens.”

It’s currently Smith’s job to lose, but with three preseason games still to be played and a month left of training camp, Lock has plenty of time to try and win the QB battle.

Is Geno Smith a Starting-Caliber NFL QB?

Smith hasn’t been a team’s preferred starting quarterback for nearly a decade, but the 31-year-old has an opportunity to finally show the rest of the league that he’s more than capable of running an offense. While it’s been a long road to this point for Smith, the talent has always been there.

A top-100 recruit coming out of high school in 2009, Smith received offers from top-tier programs including Alabama, Clemson, and Florida, but ultimately decided to play for the West Virginia Mountaineers. By the end of his college career, Smith was leading one of the most exciting offenses in college football, throwing passes to Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey.

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All three Mountaineers are headed to the West Virginia Hall of Fame, showing just how impactful they were to the football program. Over his final two seasons, Smith threw for 8,590 yards, 73 touchdowns, and just 13 interceptions.

Smith’s college success led to him being selected by the New York Jets with the 39th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. While he became the team’s starting QB by Week 1, he struggled to take care of the ball, throwing 34 interceptions in 29 games over his first two seasons.

The Jets benched Smith after two inconsistent seasons, leaving him on the bench until he reached free agency in 2016. Smith then spent time as a backup for the New York Giants and Los Angeles Chargers before signing with the Seahawks to serve as Russell Wilson’s backup in 2019.

Smith was virtually no action with the Seahawks until 2021, coming in for an injured Wilson. He played in four games last season and played at an exceptional level, posting a 103.0 passer rating with five touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Considering how well he played last season, and how long he’s been with the team, it makes sense why Smith is leading the QB competition heading into the first preseason game.

Could the Seahawks Make a Move for Another QB?

Trade rumors swirled around the Seahawks all offseason after trading away Wilson. There are very few options remaining in the trade market, however, making it increasingly unlikely that the team makes a move for a starting-caliber QB.

The Seahawks remain the Vegas favorites to land San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. However, with the veteran QB’s offseason shoulder surgery, hefty contract, and him currently playing for a divisional rival, there are a lot of hurdles the two teams need to navigate to work out a trade.

More than likely any quarterback that the Seahawks bring in this late will be competing for a backup role. The team already brought in free agent quarterback James Morgan for a workout during training camp, so that seems to be a more likely scenario for the team.

Fans hoping for another starting-caliber quarterback will likely have to wait until 2023.

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