Was Wilson ever really considered for the role of Qb1? Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Was Russell Wilson Ever Really A Part Of The Seattle Seahawks 3-Way QB Competition


Before I start, I have to preface this with the fact that it is my opinion. I can’t get anyone with the Seahawks to comment on the record, though at the same time no one dissuaded me from writing this when I made my inquiries. So take this for what it’s worth. It’s my opinion, and I’m not presenting this as fact.

I don’t believe that Russell Wilson was ever in consideration to be the week 1 starter. I did at the start of camp, but my opinion has changed. The way the competition has progressed in camp suggests that the battle was really between Flynn and Jackson to be the starter, and between the loser of that battle and Wilson to be the backup.

For starters, Wilson hasn’t had a rep with the first team since day 6 of camp, August 3rd. Since then he’s have 4 days with the 3rd unit, and the rest have been with the 2nd unit. With off days scheduled today and tomorrow, even if Wilson gets the first team reps on Tuesday (which is unlikely), it will have been almost 3 weeks since he last rep with the starters. That isn’t a good way to see if he’s ready to take on that role.

Contrast that with Tarvaris Jackson, who appears to be the odd man out in this competition and is currently being shopped for a trade. Jackson has had 4 days in that same time period where he worked with the 1st unit offense. If Wilson was really in a competition with a chance at being the week 1 starter, doesn’t the discrepancy there seem very odd?

August 18 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Flynn (15) in the second quarter of a preseason game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Instead, consider that the competition was, in fact, as I proposed above with Wilson only competing for the job as the backup. In that case, Wilson doesn’t need reps with the 1s, but instead needs as many reps with 2nd unit as he could get, and that has been what has happened.

Also consider the preseason game rotation. If Wilson was going to get a shot with the first unit offense, it needed to happen in yesterday’s game against the Broncos. The competition must be over by the third preseason game, otherwise the week 1 gameplan wont be in place on time. Week 3 is the “dress rehearsal” game, and week 4 is about resting the starters and getting them healthy. Week 4′s main task is to get the players on the “bubble” as many reps as possible so the final roster decisions can be made. Failure to use those 2 weeks of the preseason properly could really hurt the Seahawks this year.

There really wasn’t any reason not to start Wilson yesterday if the coaching staff wanted to see him with the rest of the starters. The fact that they didn’t tells me that they were more interested in getting Flynn more reps to help him prepare for week 1, than they were interested in truly evaluating Wilson. As I said in the paragraph above, continuing this competition into next week hurts the team as a whole. If they were going to give Wilson a shot, it needed to be yesterday. The team simply chose not to.

Jan. 1, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback (7) Tarvaris Jackson throws a pass against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Seahawks 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

So why have the “3-way” competition at all? Because there wasn’t time to have 2 separate competitions. There would be no way to evaluate Wilson properly with him playing only with the 3rd unit. His turn to compete for the backup job would have had to wait for either Flynn or Jackson to win to starter’s job.

Back in the offseason program, there was no reason to think that Jackson and Flynn were going to be pretty equal, and that the competition wasn’t going to be a quick one. It looked very much like we were going to get to this point in the preseason and then Carroll was going to have to make a choice between Jackson and Flynn. That would have left just the next 2 weeks to figure out who the backup was going to be, which wouldn’t be enough time to do it right.

And thus we have the three-way QB battle isn’t really a three-way QB battle. The only way to give Wilson a real chance at the backup job, was to put him at least partially into the rotation for the starter’s job as well.

Hopefully you’ve noticed that I haven’t given my opinion on whether or not denying Wilson a real chance at the starting QB job was the correct call or not. That is an entirely different issue, and I didn’t want to cloud this issue by bringing in an entirely different discussion.

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

  • Hawk_Eye

    Will your opinion change if Russell Wilson is given first team reps this week and will play the first half against Kansas City? I said last week, if Russell gets 150+ yards and 2 td’s in a half, he deserves the chance to start week 3. I think Pete will give him that chance. If this doesn’t happen this week, then I agree with you.

  • Hanley H. Bonynge

    I agree with your assessment. I think another factor is that this is Carroll’s third season and while he isn’t on the proverbial hot seat, he needs to get an above 500 record. Wilson is a high risk, high reward proposition and I would say the timing to start him isn’t right. Flynn might not appear to have the upside, although his two NFL starts might argue otherwise, but I would say that the downside risk is much less. Therefore I think it makes sense that Flynn will be the starter at the beginning of the season with Wilson as a very close number two. I do think that the Seahawks also need to make sure that they give Flynn the chance to make mistakes without him feeling like his neck is on the line with every pass. Either way, it will be better than walking Jackson in the pocket all season.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10716205 Michael Bernazzani

    I think that Russell has done exactly what they had hoped… but so has Flynn. Am I the only one who thinks he looked good yesterday? The one “bad” throw I can remember was the one way out of the endzone to Edwards that may have just been a throwaway. The 2 back shoulder throws to T.O. were Rodgers-esque, lest we forget he also would’ve had 2 TD’s IMO to Owens, not just the drop, but the 2nd back shoulder throw that would’ve beaten Champ Bailey for a TD. I love Russellmania though & think he’s the best QB on our roster. The right time to start Wilson IMO is if Flynn goes down. If that happens, I don’t think Flynn will ever start another game here, unless of course Wilson got hurt or whatever. #12thman

  • http://twitter.com/NautieWon Tommy

    for starters I am not a Carroll fan, NEVER have been after all he’s a USC guy. having said that, carroll was either very decisive or was told that Tjax was HIS GUY when it’s crystal clear to the most average of average football people Tjax is on the same skill/head level as Charlie permanent backup–I had felt that Josh was the better of the 3. NOW there’s a 2-1/2 QB battle w/Flynn & Wilson looking very strong as starters on ANY NFL team. there’s a HUGE difference between workout w/your own team and real time play, there are guys who just step forward and shock the heck out of you in real game situations,,,like Wilson~size & all. This isn’t taking anything away from Flynn,,,Seahawks have a very nice problem. Flynn WAS WAS WAS not on a different page than T.O.,,,T.O. WAS on the WRONG page ALL 4 times and when T.O. got the route right well you know what happened, it wasn’t Flynn’s fault. Seahawks will do much better than I had expected this year w/ either Flynn or Wilson as starter,,,,if it’s Tjax~~~the next game I’ll watch will be the one W/O Carroll!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/andy.lundman Andy Lundman

    Russell Wilson needs
    to be the starter. I think that arguing upside vs downside of the decision
    based on Flynn’s paycheck or “permanently affecting his confidence”
    as many “experts” have said is not taking in the factor that this is
    a business. You put Wilson in and he wins ball games, NOBODY will be thinking
    about Flynn’s paycheck. Ever since Flynn has played high school football, he’s
    faced the possibility that someone could come in and be better than him making
    him lose a starting QB position. It’s the reality of playing competitive
    sports. Also, any talk about Wilson’s height needs to stop immediately. He’s
    proven, already, that it isn’t a factor. At Wisconsin, their Oline was bigger
    than all but 4 NFL offensive lines and he has fewer balls knocked down at the
    line that the golden boys, Andrew Luck and RGIII, both of which are guaranteed
    starters right now. “Experts” have also said that if Wilson was
    3″ taller he would’ve been a first round pick, maybe even top 10 pick in
    the draft because of his skills, talent, experience, and football IQ. That being said, proving that height isn’t an issue, he should be in
    the same boat as Luck and RGIII.

    After Saturday’s game,
    Carroll said that they didn’t really give Flynn a chance to succeed in the game
    because they didn’t protect him very well. Wilson was protected even less but
    he made something out of it. He continually made things happen with his feet,
    but picking up yardage and first downs, but more importantly, he moved while
    continuing to look down field for WR’s getting open, and finding them on the
    run and making the throw.

    The misconnections
    with TO were a mixed bag IMO. I think the first back shoulder throw wasn’t a
    good choice because the CB wasn’t over-pursuing, that’s why TO went for the
    back of the endzone where he was wide open. Also, there’s no way it would’ve been a TD because it was thrown 3 yards short of the endzone. There were other routes that he ran
    wrong but 3/5 were bad throws or decisions by Flynn and the other 2 were on TO.

    I’ve also heard
    “experts” say that Wilson is a better choice but Flynn should start
    until he’s injured and that when Wilson takes over, Flynn wouldn’t be able to
    get his job back because Wilson will be better. That statement is stupid then
    and Wilson should start right away.

    Overall, Carroll hasn’t made many decisions based on what people
    will think of him so he shouldn’t start now; which, obviously, should make this
    comment irrelevant.

  • FreakSammy

    I think fans need to slow down. Remember these names: Justin Forsette, Maurice Morris, Seneca Wallace? All looked like starters in preseason games. We have to remember Wilson is only a rookie, playing against a lot of guys who won’t make rosters by opening day.