It's all about the competition

Posted Jun 19, 2012

Pete Carroll can't escape questions about the Seahawks' three-man competition for the starting QB job. It happened again Monday, when the NFL Network talked to him at a Play 60 event in Southern California.

What is it with the national obsession over Pete Carroll turning the Seahawks’ quarterback situation into a three-man competition?

OK, obsession is a bit strong, considering the amount of national attention the team generates. But most of the mention the Seahawks have gotten this offseason stems from Carroll’s decision that incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson will vie for the job with free-agent addition Matt Flynn and rookie Russell Wilson.

It happened Monday – again, and understandably – when Lindsay Rhodes of the NFL Network caught up with Carroll at a Play 60 event in Southern California. Three of her six on-camera questions – and the first three, at that – involved the QB situation:

Q: Where do you stand right now with the quarterback situation?
A: “We don’t know yet. We’re going to stay with Tarvaris as No. 1; he maintained that through the OTAs. But Matt is really ready to go, and so is Russell. They performed very well in our camps, their numbers were really close. They just deserve the chance to keep battling. We’ll figure it out in time. I keep telling our people up there that I’m going to be patient so you better be patient or it’s going to be hard on you.”

Q: If it’s Flynn or Wilson, do you need to make a decision sooner?
A: “It would help us to make it sooner just to get things together, but I have to wait until we can figure it out. We’re doing everything we can to even out the reps and we’re going to have to get into the preseason to know anything about some games. We’ll try to go from there. We’ll do it when we can.”

Q: Is Russell Wilson’s height a factor?
A: “We’ll find out if it is. Everybody assumes that it is. We haven’t seen any evidence of that so far in the camps that we’ve had. He’s got extraordinary film from his college days; he can do everything that you need a guy to do. He’s a very exciting young man, a very exciting young player and he’s going to get a heck of a shot here.”

Perhaps the biggest misnomer – locally, as well as nationally: Flynn is in; based on the amount of money he received to sign with the Seahawks.

“It has nothing to do with it,” Carroll said. “And I’ve said that from the start; I came into the league saying I don’t care how much you guys are getting paid; it’s who plays the best. That’s free agency, you know? That’s what that is. That’s what it cost to get him in the free-agent market, but on the field, he ain’t carrying around any money in his pocket.”

Of course each QB would like to know now who the starter will be. But they also know that’s not going to happen, so they’re making the best of the situation – which is, of course, intended to bring out the best in each of them.

“It’s nothing for me to decide,” Wilson said Tuesday following the rookies’ workout session at Virginia Mason Athletic Center. “What I can do is just put my best foot forward every single time I step out onto the field. Get tons of extra work. Throw as much as I can. Watch tons of film on my own, and just really study the game.

“Obviously I want to participate and play the game, and I want to be out on the field. But at the same time, I’ll do whatever it takes to win. Whether that’s me playing Day One, Day Two, Day 25, whatever it is, I’ll make sure I’m ready to go mentally and physically.”

Until Carroll and his staff are ready to go, he will be left to answer the questions about just which QB it will be – and when.