Geno Smith making sure Pete Carroll is not forgotten in new Seahawks era

Smith is bringing this mentality to the Seahawks in 2024.
Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

Former Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll gave Geno Smith chances that maybe no other team would have. Smith began as a backup with the team in 2019 and served in that spot for most of three seasons before he finally got his chance to start. He might have earned this by his play in the three games he started in 2021 when Russell Wilson missed time with a finger injury.

Smith knows, however, that much of the reason he is where he is now - the presumed starter for Seattle in 2024 and likely beyond - is because Pete Carroll believed in him. Smith has never acted like a person who is not grateful for his opportunities and has always been appreciative of those who allowed him to have his chances. The quarterback understands he must adjust and adapt to be successful, but he also is not going to forget his past.

This week, Geno Smith and many of his other teammates met the new Seattle Seahawks coaches for the first time. This included meetings and direction on what is expected moving forward. But there will clearly be changes. One of the first things Smith noticed was the basketball goal, which Carroll saw as a symbol of his laid-back regime, was gone.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith likely successful because of Pete Carroll

Just because there are new coaches and maybe a new philosophy in Seattle, that does not mean that Smith is going to not borrow from his recent past. Some of that is the mantra that Pete Carroll brought to his teams: Always compete. Speaking with reporters this week and asked what he learned from Carroll, Smith answered simply, "Always compete. Always go for it. Never back down."

Smith lives the mantra as well. He does not see himself as easily the first choice for starting quarterback in 2024. He understands the team traded for Sam Howell this offseason. Even though Smith has been told he is the starter and Howell is the backup, that does not mean the same will always hold true. Should Smith not come into training camp prepared and playing at a higher level than Howell, Howell could replace him.

Whether that is a real possibility or not, Smith thinks it could be true. That motivates him. There is nothing wrong with that, either, as every person, every athlete, needs to be motivated by something to reach a goal. Plus, Howell is the far less costly option as the starter beyond 2024 so Smith might feel he needs to prove himself for the immediate future and for the long term.

Of course, Pete Carroll is no longer coaching the team. This means Smith does not have a built-in fan. He needs to show Mike Macdonald and new offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb what he can do. Smith being aware of that is likely going to help him be successful now and into the future.

More Seattle Seahawks news and analysis