Mike Macdonald has unique way of describing Seahawks QB Geno Smith

Seattle does not have a quarterback battle and some recent comments by Macdonald emphasized that.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Geno Smith is QB1. There will be no quarterback battle in training camp between Smith and backup Sam Howell, nor should there be. Smith has a top-half-of-the-NFL Total QBR over the last two seasons and he should be even better under the direction of new Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb. Smith could have the best season of his career in 2024.

New head coach Mike Macdonald, for one, is counting on that. But besides Smith being productive on the field, Macdonald needs something else from the QB. He needs Smith to become the best leader of the team he can be.

Former head coach Pete Carroll said of Smith last year that the quarterback is passionate and driven to succeed, but that he also has a bit of a temper. This might imply that the quarterback does not have a proverbial "off" button. A leader needs to know when to be direct but they also need to know when to find the gray areas of management that make those around them want to succeed as well.

Mike Macdonald believes Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith can be the true leader of the team

After mandatory minicamp earlier in June, new head coach Mike Macdonald said as much. According to ESPN's Brady Henderson, Macdonald said, "I think when things start to happen, he needs to be the voice of poise in the room (and) he's doing that...(Smith is) the tip of the spear on our operation, and just to understand when to step on the gas (and) when not to."

There are a couple of things to note there. One is the interesting description of Smith being the "tip of the spear." This clearly defines Smith's role as a leader of the team. Quarterback battle? That is not going to happen. The offense currently belongs to Geno Smith until Smith proves he is entirely incapable of getting the unit to be productive.

While Seattle's offense digressed in 2023 - the team was 17th in points scored - this was probably more due to former OC Shane Waldron's bad scheme and horrible play-calling. In Smith's first season as the starter in Seattle, the Seahawks were ninth in points scored in 2022. He has the ability to lead a good offense. Grubb will make him better.

Next. Seahawks urged to go all-in for this QB in 2025. Seahawks urged to go all-in for this QB in 2025. dark

The other aspect is that Macdonald is obviously aware that Smith has the capability of being a leader, but that the quarterback needs to know when to back off just a little bit. Too much confrontational aggression can cause a player to get worse in performance and not better. Smith will get automatic respect by being the team's quarterback; he does not need to try to earn that respect every second of every day the team is together.

Geno Smith has been to back-to-back Pro Bowls. He can help a team be good. If he can fine-tune the offensive scheme and become the leader that Macdonald needs, Smith can help his team be great.

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