The Seattle Seahawks do not like to change QB1s very often. How shocked were 12s on March 8, 2022, when news broke that the Seahawks had traded quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos for a bunch of draft picks and a trio of players? But the trade had more to do with Wilson's attitude toward Pete Carroll and John Schneider than his play on the field.
Seattle has been pretty lucky since 2012 at quarterback. Wilson had some excellent seasons and made the Pro Bowl nine times. In Geno Smith's first year as the full-time starter in Seattle in 2022, he also made the Pro Bowl. But 2023 has been a different season for both player and team.
Still, it is easy to forget that through 12 games last year, Seattle was just one game better than they are right now. The Seahawks were 7-5. Seattle also lost five of six between Weeks 10 and 16 and eventually fell to 7-8 and still made the playoffs. But Geno Smith was not quite as inconsistent late in 2022 as he has been for much of 2023.
But if Smith over the next two games lays proverbial eggs and throws 4 or 5 interceptions while the season hangs in the balance even if Seattle is 6-8 (assuming Smith plays as he is currently dealing with a groin injury that happened in practice this week), would Pete Carroll make a quarterback change?
Could the Seattle Seahawks make a quarterback change before the end of the season?
If there is any thought that Drew Lock might actually give the team a better chance of winning, wouldn't Carroll have to make the move? There is also no guarantee that Carroll's job would be perfectly safe if the team loses the next two games as expected but then also loses to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have a good defense, and then gets stung by the Tennessee Titans as Seattle has to travel to Nashville for a Christmas Eve game. A 7-10 finish is as much of a possibility as 9-8.
Would Carroll replace a struggling Smith with Drew Lock if Carroll thought he might lose his head coaching gig? And is anything in this paragraph or the last even a realistic possibility?
First, my guess is that Pete Carroll is the Seahawks head coach in 2024, if he wants to be, whether the team finishes 7-10 or 11-6. He has too much time with the organization and he is also the Vice President of Football Operations so he is much more than just the head coach for the Seahawks. Carroll is not going to make a quarterback change because he feels pressure about his job.
Secondly, Seattle will very likely stick with Geno Smith no matter if he struggles or doesn't. Plus, if he has issues against the San Francisco 49ers and then the Philadelphia Eagles, those are forgivable sins. Both those teams have great defenses that can give any quarterback problems. Even if Smith cannot play on Sunday versus the 49ers, no matter what Lock does, Smith is not going to lose his starting gig due to being hurt.
Lastly, Drew Lock has not shown in training camp, practices, or in limited snaps in games that he would offer an upgrade over Smith - he has an 18.1 quarterback rating this year. Unless Smith is injured, he isn't coming out of the game. Not now anyway, though the Seahawks could draft his replacement in the 2024 NFL Draft.
So would Seattle make a quarterback change with a potential playoff spot on the line? That is very unlikely.