May 30, 2012; Renton, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Flynn (15) participates in a passing drill of an OTA practice at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

Seahawks QB Competition

A couple days ago, I posted a quartet of polls about the Seahawks QB competition, and the result came in pretty much how I expect them to. I’ll get to that in a moment, but first I wanted to talk about something else.

Bob, from KJR’s Bob and Groz show said he thinks this is really a 2 person competition between Wilson and Flynn, because we already know what Tarvaris Jackson is. He couldn’t be more wrong. While it’s true we do know what Jackson is, that doesn’t mean that he’s worse than Flynn and Wilson. He’s worse than what we need in a starting QB, but until we learn what Flynn and Wilson really are, Jackson may turn out to be the best QB on the roster.

So this truly is a 3-way competition. Jackson has as much of a right to win it as anyone, provided that he outplays Flynn and Wilson. And while a good number of you are probably rolling your eyes at that possibility of Jackson beating out the other 2 guys, it is a possibility until one of the other 2 shows that they are better. I know that we all want them to be better, but that doesn’t mean that they will be.

And as much as none of us want to admit it, that is actually a possibility. Perhaps Matt Flynn is nothing more than another Kevin Kolb. Perhaps Russell Wilson’s fate is to spent most of his career in Canada like Doug Flutie did. I don’t think that’s the case. Most of you dont think that’s the case. But no one in Arizona thought that Kevin Kolb was going to turn out to be… well, himself… either.

And that is why Jackson is here, and being given the same chances as the other 2 guys. He’s the fall-back. The safety net. The Seahawks QB position in 2012 can be no worse than it was in 2011 as long as Jackson is in the running. And that is why I expect him to stay in this competition longer than most of you think he will.

From everything I’ve seen and read, I don’t expect this to remain a 3 horse race for much longer. Wilson appears to be slipping, and I expect Pete Carroll to pull the plug on the idea that Wilson will start week 1 as a rookie fairly soon, so that the other 2 can get more reps during camp.

Speaking of which, our polls say that most of you believe that Matt Flynn should be the starting QB, and you expect the team to make that call in the end. I entirely agree with you. I’m a bit surprised that Jackson (11%) beat out Wilson (9%) for 2nd place, but the fact that both of them got so few votes says a lot about the expectations for Flynn.

Unless Wilson “wins” the competition by a significant margin, and right now he’s falling further and further behind, I don’t think he’s the starter in 2012. If it’s a tie, I think the team goes with Flynn over Wilson, just because Wilson still needs to adjust to the speed of the NFL. A year from now, Wilson would be given the nod in a tie, but right now I think the Seahawks go with the more “ready” Flynn since this team is poised to win now.

I also found it interesting that most of you thought that Jackson should be the QB cut, but also thought that the team would instead keep Jackson and cut Portis instead. This is what I meant when I said Seahawk fans were smart. The idea that fan can recognize that team might value Jackson isn’t something you’ll see from most NFL cities.

I will say, that the longer Wilson remains in this competition the more likely it is that Jackson find himself unemployed. If Wilson bows out early and thus shows he’s not ready to play at this level, then Jackson will be kept around in case Flynn gets hurt. This team is ready to win now, and will want to solid backup in place to make sure the season isn’t derailed by one quick injury. But if Wilson can keep up with Jackson well into training camp, then it’s likely that the team will see Wilson as an adequate backup and chose to save the $4.3 mil owed to Jackson and cut him loose. I don’t think the Seahawks keep Jackson as the #3. In that case, I think Portis wins the jobs.

One factor working in Jackson’s favor is that his teammates love him. Jackson earned a ton of respect playing through a nasty injury last season. Don’t under sell what he did. That injury puts 99% of players on IR, and Jackson continued to play through it. Even before that, Jackson was voted to be one of the team’s captains. Clearly he won over the locker room. Flynn and Wilson will have to show they can lead this team in more then just their on-field performance.

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Tags: Matt Flynn Pete Carroll Russell Wilson Seahawks Seattle Seahawks Tarvaris Jackson

  • Hawkman

    Good article- not nitpicking but Bob & Groz are on Kiro. Go Matt- Go Hawks

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  • deft

    One of the Hawks starting linemen lives next door. When I asked about the situation yesterday, he told me that Flynn has pretty much won the job, and that he doesn’t know why they haven’t announced it yet. He commented that it’s frustrating as a player to be in limbo, and wished they’d just make up their minds already.
    I just don’t think this is a discussion worth having. The Hawks didn’t pay 26 million for 3 years if they didn’t plan on starting the man.

  • Keith_12thMR

     @Hawkman facepalm… I knew that… sigh…

  • Keith_12thMR

     @deft I’m not sure if that’s completely accurate. I talked with Doug Baldwin on twitter and he told me that Jackson and Flynn were equal. That was before this last mini-camp, but I doubt that Pete Carroll has made up his mind just yet. 
    Besides, the contract is front loaded. If Flynn doesn’t work out they can release him after this season w/o much left on the books. It really was only a one year investment to see if he can win the job.

  • deft

     @Keith_12thMR 10 million is gauranteed, which means he’ll be here for 3 years unless he plays about as well as Whitehurst. Moot point.
    Doug Baldwin loves his buddy Tavaris. Tavaris struggled all season passing, and his favorite target was the easy slot route in Doug Baldwin. Of course he’s going to talk up Tavaris as much as possible.
    I met Baldwin in Factoria for signings, he said the same thing. I don’t believe him. He’s just on the bandwagon with Carroll’s “It’s anybody’s job” mentality. It will end soon, and Flynn will start. I have no doubt about it.

  • Hawkman

     I hope your correct. I do remember back in the early 80′s I had an O lineman tell me ( was doing work on his house in Timberline #3) that if Zorn made practiaclly any screw ups it was going to be Kreig’s job, GUESS WHAT he was right, so I hope the O lineman knows his stuff!

  • HanleyBonynge

    Baldwin gives me worry because he is a receiver that is ideal for the slot position but has the mindset of someone who wants to be a primary receiver.  So a QB like Jackson will inflate his numbers due to his inability to look downfield or make a more sophisticated throw.  Baldwin is not built to be a deep-threat receiver and most likely never will be.  The sooner he embraces his slot position and owns it even though his numbers might drop a little due to better ball distribution the better for everyone. Otherwise he will take a big contract somewhere and probably hurt his career.  Kind of a backwards Wes Welker from Miami to NE.

  • Eightball1

    Give Flynn the ball and you won’t regret it.  This kid is the real deal.  I’ve seen all three quarterbacks (Jackson with the Vikings, Wilson at UW-Madison and Flynn playing both the championship game on TV and in person at Lambeau last season).  Jackson had to work to be average in MN.  I think Wilson is the more physically gifted quarterback but Flynn hands down wins the intangibles battle that makes or breaks NFL starting quarterbacks. 
    He led his team to a national championship as a one year starter at LSU.   He beat out a 2nd round draft pick for the 3rd string quarterback spot as a 7th round rookie and each game he’s played he’s only gotten better.  I saw Flynn walk onto the field for his first preseason game as a Packer with a swagger he still plays with and I saw him walk off Lambeau as a winner in his final game as a Packer.   Good luck Mattie Ice!
    And Seattle fans – buckle in and enjoy the ride.   You too are gonna love this guy.