Transparency is key, and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has been honest and fair about the quarterback competition between returning starter Geno Smith and trade-acquisition Drew Lock. While Smith has been getting the bulk of the first-team reps so far in training camp, and started the preseason opener, Lock has impressed Carroll throughout the summer as well.
Saturday, both Smith and Lock impressed Carroll, even in a losing effort.
The Seattle Seahawks were defeated 32-25 by the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road. After a slow start, Seattle clawed back, losing by a last-second touchdown. Following the game, Carroll took to the podium to discuss the game. Carroll said there were "A lot of positives" for Seattle in their preseason opener - pointing out the quarterback duo.
"I thought the quarterbacks were really efficient," said Carroll.
Geno Smith started the game for Seattle, going 10-15 for 101 yards and a rushing touchdown, numbers that would have been better with a little more help from his pass catchers. The carry for a score came during Seattle's two-minute drill to end the first half, as Smith kept a run-pass option for a two-yard score. The 9-play, 67-yard scoring drive took just 1:27.
Lock kicked off the second half for Seattle, going 11-15 for 102 yards and two passing touchdowns. Neither quarterback threw an interception
"Both quarterbacks were efficient, really Geno could've been 10-for-10," said Carroll "He had two drops, and Noah (Fant) has got to stay inbounds on the ball on the sidelines, and he hits them all. And we moved the ball around pretty good with Drew also. So I can't wait to get after the film and all that."
Carroll took a moment to discuss Smith's two-minute drill.
"Two-minute drill was excellent," said Carroll "It was just done exactly the way we wanted it to. Great calling job by the offensive coaches. And then Geno executed the whole thing and guys came through and made their plays. Protection was great in the drive too."
With the game tied at 25 in the fourth quarter, Lock was sacked from the blindside and fumbled, with Pittsburgh recovering.
"As a quarterback, you're always able to fix those things," Lock said. "Always take it on the chest I could've been better."
When asked about whether the plan was for Smith to start for the entire first half, Carroll discussed the need to see his returning starter in certain situations.
"Well we didn't get as many plays as we'd like in the first half," said Carroll. "And as it turned out, Geno had 15 plays with about eight minutes left or something like that. And it just wasn't enough and kinda hoping he could get a situation and he did and he really executed it well. Like I told you guys we'll have to play off how the situations arise. And as it turns out, both guys, that was a good outing because they had a lot of pressure on them to have to get things done. We were coming from behind, and drives to go-ahead and all that kind of stuff. I'm anxious to see how it looks when we break it down. But that's the kind of options we were looking for, to see how the guys were doing."
With Smith and Lock splitting the two halves, the competition is definitely on with two preseason games still to play. The Seahawks come home to face the Chicago Bears on August 18 at Lumen Field, and wrap up preseason play the following weekend at Dallas.