The competition for the Seahawks’ starting quarterback job has moved to the next level.
Coach Pete Carroll said after practice at the team’s Bing training camp on Tuesday that free-agent acquisition Matt Flynn will start the preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans at CenturyLink Field on Saturday night, and also get the reps with the No. 1 offense in practice the rest of the week.
This is a departure from the way the three-QB competition has been handled to this point, as incumbent starter
Carroll said that Wilson will play the second half against the Titans as his evaluation process also is ratcheted.
“We have a plan in motion and we’re to a point where we are making a little transition,” Carroll said. “We wanted to make sure we have a good physical evaluation on the guys up to this point.”
Jackson is stepping back, for now, because Carroll, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and QB coach Carl Smith already had a good feel for him and he came to camp much healthier after playing most of last season with a torn pectoral in his throwing shoulder.
“Tarvaris came into camp in great shape,” Carroll said. “He’s a lot quicker than he was and he worked his tail off in the offseason. His arm is strong and fully recovered. He knows what we’re doing and is solid with everything.”
While Jackson started 14 games last season, and has 34 starts in his six-season NFL career, Flynn started two games the previous four seasons while backing up Aaron Rodgers with the Green Bay Packers. So the coaches need to see him at the next level – against an actual opponent, even if it is just a preseason game.
“Matt has done a great job so far,” Carroll said. “He’s learned the system and he’s on it. He can make all the adjustments and all the calls. He can read the defense very well and he’s moving very well in the pocket.
“But now I need to see him in a situation where he takes over and see what that looks like.”
It’s the same with Wilson, who played and produced at Wisconsin and North Carolina State the past two seasons. Any action he gets in the preseason will only enhance his adjustment to the next level.
But the competition has not been decided as far who will be the starter in the Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the Cardinals in Arizona. When will Carroll make that decision?
“As soon as possible, but I’m not going to rush it,” he said. “I’m going to take my time and get really good information on what I need first.
“To make a debate decision like this it’s about the information that you gather and I really want good information coming in so we can really make a clear choice.”
And when might Jackson return to work with the No. 1 offense?
“You’ll have to wait and see,” Carroll said. “Take it one week at a time.”
And this week, it’s Flynn’s time.