As Seahawks fans, we can only hope that Pete & John have finally figured out the QB position. Their ability to draft every other position is Bill-Walsh/Jimmy-Johnson-like. It seems as if every guy they have drafted has pro bowl potential, even the ones like Okung and Carpenter, where they have had terrible injury luck. And their ability to identify DBs is truly amazing, not to mention their free agent gems. QB is obviously the only blot, but it is a stain so big it ruins the entire outfit. Their first mistake was to fail to sign Matt to a reasonable 3 year contract to transition to the next guy. Going with T-Jack and Whitehurst instead was a huge error, and Matt has performed at a playoff level for the Titans, so that decision cost us a number of wins last year and again this year. The other mistake was to pass on Andy Dalton. He may not be the next Aaron Rogers, but he is certainly better than what they had last year or will have this year. Dalton projects as a playoff QB, if not the elite franchise guy, and he would have been a major improvement for the Seahawks. I doubt very much that Matt Flynn will ever be better than Dalton, so all our hope rests on Russell Wilson as the next Fran Tarkenton/Drew Brees magic-man. I am a Wilson believer, because his college play showed that his height was not a factor, and that he has the natural aggression, passing efficiency, arm strength, accuracy and leadership to be an elite player. Even so, I am not sure he would be well-served to start this season, though I have to admit it would make this year far more interesting than it will otherwise be. With our schedule, even with improved QB play and some injury luck on the offense, it will be tough to break even, so watching Russell would at least allow us to hope for the future. If Russell is the third strke at QB for Pete & John, it will cost them their jobs, and cost us the next 5 seasons as fans, so pray they have finally gotten it right!
My 2 cents on QB- with the exception of Whitehurst, I actually like the moves they’ve made at QB. Matt is my all-time favorite Seahawk, but it was clear that his time as an NFL QB was drawing to a close. The team did try to retain him, actually, but didn’t want to outbid the Titans who gave him $21 million. I think that was the right call.
They turned around and grabbed T-jack for less than half the money and T-Jack actually gave us a better performance statistically in 2011 than Matt did in 2010.
I LOVED the Russell Wilson pick, and I think the addition of Flynn in free agency was a case of not passing on an opportunity when presented with one.
As far as passing on QBs in 2011 and 2010 I think they made the right call there as well. The only first round QB they passed on in those drafts was Tim Tebow. Among the rest, they passed on Kaepernick, but later got a comparable talent in Portis for free. They passed on Mallett, but Mallett was a huge character risk and not a scheme fit. They passed on Dalton, but Dalton has mental limitations much like Whitehurst and has a bad temper too. IMO, Dalton’s ceiling isn’t much higher than T-Jack’s, even though they are different types of QBs.
Overall, I’m very happy with the direction of this team and thrilled to be in the position we’re in at QB. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see Flynn or Wilson holding the Lombardi trophy some day if the defense and running game are among the elites in the game as we expect them to be. And if not, next year has a deep first two rounds for QBs. Considering how difficult it is to find a QB, I’m actually pretty impressed with the job they’ve done to this point.
…thanks, Kip. The biggest problem if they had retained Matt is that he would have been pulverized during the first half of the season last year when the OL was so bad. Are you of the view they should go with Russell Wilson as a rookie if they do indeed believe he is the future, or let him listen and learn from the bench for a while?
Sorry for the late reply.
We haven’t seen any games yet, so my position could change, but my position right now is that if Russell Wilson looks ready, I’d start him. His ceiling is much higher than Flynn’s and he’s a better fit for the offense. He also has the “Tim Tebow factor” when it comes to willing his team to victory. He’s got a real chance to be special.
I wouldn’t rush him, but if he looks ready I don’t see much point in delaying things, unless Flynn is just blowing us all away. Wilson’s somewhat old for a rookie. I think the clock is ticking. He seems like the kind of rookie that could do well immediately.
My contention is that unless a QB shows us an awesome amount of talent, competitiveness and ability to win – we will have to keep drafting until we find that person. I fully expect us to be drafting a first round QB next year – when there will be a stronger QB class.
Personally I have a lot of faith that Flynn will prevail. Whether Flynn or Wilson, most of us would agree that a 10-6 record would be pretty good. But probably not good enough the QB controversy. My contention is that unless a QB shows us an awesome amount of talent, competitiveness and ability to win – we will have to keep drafting until we find that person or someone we already have improves to that standard.
Even if we had a 10-6 record I fully expect us to be drafting a first round QB next year – when there will be a stronger QB class.
Good find. I like Merrill Hoge, but he almost seemed “tipsy” in this bit. Regardless, he still provided solid commentary. All of them did. I always enjoy listening to Mark Schlereth. He grew up an Alaskan Seahawks fan and as such he always seems to know the team the best out of all the national talking heads. If he’s still a Seahawks fan, I’m glad to have him representing us as he always provides quality insights without ever failing to act like a professional on camera.
I would’nt shop at TJ Max for a tuxedo, That is what it seems the FO has been doing.
Like George Gobel said, ” Do you ever feel like the world is a tuxedo and you are a pair of brown shoes?”
90% of the NFL Qb’s probably feel like that.
Without a lottery ticket it’s hard to win the prize.
PC has gone out of his way to dispense any notion that Flynn has a job (“he’s not carrying the money around in his pocket during practice”).
PC wants to see if RW can succeed in a real NFL game. If he can (and PC probably believes he will) than PC can comfortably start him this year. RW has everything that PC wants in a QB, and then some. The outstanding question, one that can only be answered in real NFL games, is if RW can transition his ability from the college field to the pros. Odds are he can, and do so very well. We can also expect RW to continue to get better. Whether PC starts Flynn or RW, he needs to invest a full season for both players for them to reach their potential, as by the third game of the regular season, RW will have as much real-game experience as Flynn.
If PC starts RW, then suddenly TJack looks much better as a back-up than Flynn. He knows the offense, fits the QB prototype PC likes, and won’t require as many reps during the season to remain ready. Given that Flynn remains inexperienced, having him as the back-up poses a risk.
They like Portis as the developmental guy. Cheap, young, athletic, lots of upside, and based on PC’s comments, a player who has steadily improved.
So that’s what I believe is the likely roster beginning the season: RW starting, TJack the backup, Portis number 3.
If Flynn doesn’t make the team, does that make his aquisition a pure waste?
I don’t think so. At the time, he was the best FA available. Without having signed him, Seattle enters the draft desperate for a QB. Without signing Flynn, they probably don’t get Wagner. They already paid him the bulk of the guaranteed contract – sunk cost.
The signing made sense at the time. But as we have seen countless times, what matters for PC is what happens on the field. If Flynn can’t beat out TJack (or a rookie, for that matter), nobody here should be sorry to see him go.
Good to see you are still beating the cut/trade Flynn drum. I offer the following as evidence that Flynn is not going anywhere this season, and that he is completely the odds on favorite to be the starting QB –
Does there have to be a favorite? The way I see it… this is as described – a wide open three-way competition.
I agree. Wide open competition. I don’t think PC plays favorites, although he clearly believes in loyalty… but that is different than what I meant in the comment. “Odds-on favorite” meaning – If you had to bet all of your worldly possessions on one the the three players to win the starting job, which one would you pick? I’d love if Wilson would beat out both other QBs for the position, but you better believe I’d put my money on Flynn 100 times out of a 100.
If you don’t mind, let me pose a few questions for you (I’d really be interested what you think):
1 – from PC’s perspective, who do you think is the best QB in absulute terms? What I mean is, who do you think he thinks is the longer-term solution at the position, Flynn, Wilson or TJack?
2 – do you think PC would be willing to build his team, and the team’s future, around Matt Flynn?
The reason I pose these questions is to consider the possibility of PC naming Flynn the starting QB (the third starting QB in 3 years for PC) and then having to decide at some point to start a 4th, namely Russell Wilson.
Rob here originally argued that PC needed to start RW in order to determine next year’s draft strategy relative to the position. PC needed to determine if he had a long-term solution at the position in RW or not. I countered at the time that such considerations aren’t what PC would consider the most important. Instead, I argued that PC would focus on identifying the best starting QB NOW.
But consider what happens if Flynn starts and he performs:
1 – really well. Wins 3 our of 4 of his games. Maybe even takes the Seahawks to the play-offs. But all the time, PC thinks RW can do even better, and that much of Flynn’s success is team success, and the team would ultimately do better with RW. What does he do? And when? A pickle.
2 – mediocre. Wins half his games. Fans chant for RW. Another pickle. Maybe it’s Flynn, maybe it’s the WRs. The debate continues. What does PC do, and when?
3 – poorly. Loses 3 our of every 4 games. PC gets criticized for starting Flynn at all. Now he has to substitute RW way behind in the standings. The worst pickle.
If PC thinks RW is the future, he will start him. Just like he did Earl Thomas. And for the same reasons. He’s not going to go with a guy he knows he doesn’t want to keep for the long-term. While traditional NFL wisdom would support the idea of starting Flynn and allowing RW to develop, PC knows better, and has demonstrated time and again his willingness to defy conventional wisdom.
If I’m right about him starting Wilson, what does that mean for Flynn? It’s very possible he remains the back-up and TJack cut, but maybe not. I am less sure about the number 2 spot than the number 1 and number 3 (Wilson/Portis respectively). Could be Flynn or TJack, but at the moment, based on PC’s most recent comments, leaning heavily towards keeping TJack for that role.
(By the way, of those Flynn scenarios above, I consider the first one the most probable. I think Flynn will do very well with the team PC has built.)
I’ve heard both Pete and John talk about quarterbacks being thrown out there too soon and “exposed” too early. I believe they approach each player uniquely and would not commit to not playing a rookie as a rule, but they are both clearly aware of the risks involved with playing a young quarterback before he is ready.
This year PC has also said his attitudes on QB’s has changed, and he believes they can start right away. No way to know what PC really is thinking, but it sure is interesting to talk about. I see both yours and Hawksince77’s points of view. I personally hope RW starts, but will be ok if Flynn does too. I think they will both be good in this offense that PC has built.
Cutting Jackson = save $4 million
Cutting Portis = nothing of relative importance
Cutting Flynn = -$10 million sunk cost
I doubt Mr. Allen would appreciate his money being thrown around so carelessly. Flynn’s not getting cut. The only QB roster decision to be made is whether Jackson is worth $4 million more to the team than Josh Portis.
If I am correct, the Seahawks are in to Flynn for $6mil, not $10mil. As I recall the terms of his contract, he is guaranteed $2mil/year in salary for the next 2 years. He was paid $6mil as the signing bonus. If they trade him, the new team pays the salary, not Seattle. If they trade him for a 4th round pick, say, they would have ended up paying $6mil for the pick. Probably more than they’d like, but whatever.
As far as Allen living with sunk millions, remember how much they paid Housh not to play (more than $6mil, if memory serves) or Mora not to coach (much more than $6mil). Cost of doing business, and building a championship team.
As far as Jackson goes, there have already been talk of restructuring his deal (rumors, I think). If he remains as the number 2, that would make sense.
We differ on our assessment of what PC thinks of Portis. I think his roster spot is more secure than Jackson’s or Flynn’s. I think they think he’s a keeper. Cheap, young, athletic, and making progress.
If Flynn wins the starting job, then of course, I am mistaken and you are absoluletly right, and it works out just like most people think it will. Jackson probably gets cut, with Wilson and Portis as the 2/3.
If Flynn doesn’t win the starting job (the more likely scenario in my opinion) then it gets interesting. If Jackson beats him out, then who is the number 2? I don’t really know. I have trouble seriously considering that scenario. But if Wilson wins the job (what I consider more likely) then you have to ask yourself, who makes the better #2? I think PC thinks Jackson is better suited for that role, due to his team experience and the respect he has. If that’s true, then what do you do with Flynn? He’s not going to be the #3.
You and the majority of Seahawk fans (along with the national media) are fairly certain that Flynn will end up as Seattle’s starting QB. You could all be right. Sometimes what everybody thinks will happen actually happens.
When did I say I was fairly certain who would be named starting QB? Far as I’m concerned there are three guys with a 33.3% chance.
You’re right – I stand corrected. I was crediting you with a position you haven’t taken.
The Seahawks didn’t sign Housh or Mora and then dump them before a single game. That would be a humiliation for the organization.
What’s more humiliating is losing football games.
If I’m not mistaken, JS takes the lead on player aquisition, contracts, scouting, etc. I recently read that Flynn was signed more based on his relationship with JS than the Detroit game. In any case, not unlike CW, Flynn is more a JS guy than a PC one. In fact, we don’t really know how that decision was made, and who crafted the contract.
In any case, PC has made it clear that all he cares about is fielding the best possible team, and winning games. He has made it clear that it doesn’t matter what a player is paid, or when he was drafted – what matters is how well he plays the position. If the only arguement (and it’s the only one I am hearing) is that Flynn will be the starter, or the back-up, because he was signed in FA, even after PC has debunked that entire line of reasoning, then I remain more convinced than ever that Flynn doesn’t have a future with the team.
What would change my mind is some kind of evidence or comments by PC (or others close to the organization) to the effect that Flynn is the superior QB. Any hint at all would be more than we have so far.
Perhaps we will see that in pre-season. Evidence that Flynn is the best (or 2nd best) QB on the team. When that happens then I can see my mind changing. Until then, everything we have seen and heard so far says otherwise.
Money has to be factored into roster decisions. I mean Jackson isn’t competing in a vacuum against Flynn and the rest no matter how much PCJS would have us believe otherwise. One QB presents them with an opportunity cost of $4 million, the others do not. It’s no different than considering any free agent’s value compared to their cost.
I have more faith in Jackson than most as a viable option to QB the Seahawks next season or even backup, and am probably way less sold on Flynn than most as well. That being said, I’m aware that Jackson is fighting a seriously uphill battle here and that Flynn has more ammo in his corner than just training camp results.
I have been very critical of TJack since his first showing in his first pre-season game with Seattle. That sense of critical judgment continued through-out the season and was somewhat justified by PC/JS’s actions of signing Flynn and drafting Wilson.
HOWEVER – over the past several weeks reading what many other Seahawk fans had to say about TJack, and evaluating his performance last year (injury and all) my critical feelings have been somewhat tempored. And then to hear PC defend TJack to the media – that was something of an eye-opener and forced me to re-assess my opinion.
As a result, I see TJack now as a much more viable option for the back-up role than I did entering the off-season. By all accounts, TJack is well-respected in the locker room, and he fits what PC wants to see at the position. He knows the team and the offense, making him a far better guy to come off the bench next year than anyone else, including Flynn or Wilson.
As number 2s, Flynn and/or Wilson are disadvantaged, because they haven’t had the game experience within this offense, and would receive less practice between games, making it more difficult for both of them to be effective coming off the bench. A healthy TJack, on the other hand, would be almost perfectly suited for the role.
Well, Pete Carroll has and will defend any player or coach in his locker room so I don’t think you can use that as any sort of evidence of anything really. That’s just how he rolls.
I’m comfortable with Jackson as the bottom line to start or backup, but I don’t think we can say he’s any better suited for either role than the other two not having been able to see the competition unfold yet. He may get blown out of the water by one and/or be at least equaled by both. If Flynn or Wilson emerge as the clear leader to start, and the other is even relatively close to Jackson, rostering him becomes very tough to justify. I think for Jackson to stay around, he’s going to have to beat one of those two out by a significant margin.
Field Gulls provides a link to this website (attached) where a scout did an in-depth analysis of Russell Wilson back in April before the draft. He saw what Pete & John (and many of us) saw, in that RW is an elite prospect. In understanding the game, making plays, throwing the receiver open, arm strength, etc, the author does a great job of demonstrating why RW compares favorably to Drew Brees.
And this analysis is based entirely on RW’s NC State games. His senior year at Wisconsin was even better… the best season by a QB in college football history, based on statistical analysis (measurable proficiency ratings) and not subjective observations. Projected to the pros, RW’s QB rating also was higher than any QB in NFL history.
Don’t be at all surprised if Pete names RW as the starter, if he can perform in this fashion during the preseason games. If this happens, what do they do with the other QB’s? T-jack’s contract expires after this season, Josh Portis is under control for a couple of more years, but is unlikely to stay once be becomes a FA if he is stuck long-term as the #3, and Matt Flynn is an awfully expensive back-up who probably would not be very happy sitting on the bench behind RW for the rest of his career. If RW does indeed win the starting job, Flynn is due too much guaranteed money to cut, so he will probably be the very reluctant #2.
Here is the link noted above:
Agreed, fully. If RW starts, it will be interesting to see what happens to Flynn/TJack/Portis.
But whatever you do, don’t post something like this over at Field Gulls. You won’t get out alive.
You couldn’t have an open, rational discussion about Seahawk QBs at Field Gulls right now. Try it and see.
That’s why I only read over there and I don’t post anymore. It’s changed a lot over since John left over there.
I do agree with you though that it’s RW’s job to lose right now. I believe Flynn was a just in case they weren’t able to draft RW option.
IMO, FG’s has become a much nicer and welcoming place under Danny. So my opinion is pretty much the exact opposite. Although I will say this: while the dropoff in policing and anal-retentiveness was a good and necessary change, the downside is that the overall quality of the comments has dropped, in some cases dramatically. That said, I’d rather wade through the occasional dumb comment then deal with a major drama freakout every 6 months or so like in the bad old days.
See, I used to love it over there. Benne was a putz too me a couple of times, and as a moderator or whatever I couldn’t really stand up to him without the risk of being banned. So I just choose not to reply anymore. I think it has become much more of a younger persons site than when John ran it. Not that it’s a bad thing per say, but I do see a lot of childishness that is irritating to me now a days. I miss the days where there was more order. I love this site though and you and John do a great job on it Kip! I like the intellectual discussions that you all facilitate here.
Have you seen this discussion linked over there? No.
Have you seen this link?
Why not? Danny posts every other link of Eric’s there.
How about this one?
Nope. Anything that suggests RW might actually start at QB is ignored, along with anything that remotely suggests Flynn might not be the starter.
When the QB’s are mentioned, it’s with caution and caveat, so as not to disturb anyone’s sensibilities.
The national media are assuming that Pete will never start a 3rd round rookie QB, when he has just signed a major free agent QB, but we have learned to take what Pete says seriously. Before the draft, Pete said that the team’s top priority was a “speed pass rusher” and somehow not one of us could figure out that this meant he would indeed select the speediest pass rusher in the draft, Bruce Irvin. Pete has also said he is looking for a QB that, in John’s words, “tilts the room” and both Pete and John have used those exact words in describing Russell Wilson (and not Matt Flynn or T-Jack). Is it possible we have learned our lesson and can see that Pete is planning to start RW?
You’re right. It’s all there. But what PC expects and what actually happens may differ. In other words, RW has to perform at a high level, and while I think it’s clear PC expects him to do so, he has to actually do it before the decision gets made, and it’s still possible that Flynn or TJack come out ahead.
The PC code is really not that hard to crack. It’s RW’s to lose.
But then Rob here called that something like five minutes after RW was drafted.
PC doesn’t have a code. Whoever performs best in live competition will win it.
It’s not RW’s to lose, it’s up to whomever performs best to win.
JS is very clear about QBs. You can throw all the analysis, talent, intangibles, and measurables out the window. At the end of the day, you just have to ask “where does the ball end up.”
There are two parts to being a good NFL QB. One is knowing the playbook, your players, and having the mental and physical ability to run the offense/audible. I agree with you that it is likely that Wilson has more capacity in this area than either of the other two QBs, combining the strengths of Tarvaris and Flynn. He still has far less experience than Jackson or Flynn at the NFL level in running an offense – Wisconsin may be ‘pro-style’, and it might be one of the closest fits in college to the Seahawks, but it is NOT remotely close to the NFL.
The second part of being a good NFL QB is understanding NFL defenses. Making pre-snap reads and adjustments, intuition for the blitz, recognizing when defenses are trying to mislead the QB about rush and coverage, strategic manipulation of the defense with footwork, eye-movement, and pump fakes, WR progression and changes in progression based on option routes. Wilson was very adept at dealing with simple college defenses, but he has never faced the complexity, misdirection, speed, and punishment of an NFL defense – and it is invaluable to have time to acclimate to the NFL. Flynn is vastly superior to Wilson in these areas simply because he has been learning in the NFL for 4 more years than Wilson, has been learning from better QB coaches than Wilson, and has had far superior player mentors than Wilson.
Wilson is very mature and looks like he has all the mental, physical, and competitive tools to develop into a good QB, but objectively, he has to be viewed as the underdog to win the starting position THIS season. Is it possible? of course. Is it the most likely outcome? not really.
I think PC has made it pretty clear that the only QB who will win by default is Tarvaris. Flynn or Wilson will have to outperform Jackson.
“…and it is invaluable to have time to acclimate to the NFL.”
I think this is exactly right, and the only point of disagreement would be your following statement:
“Flynn is vastly superior to Wilson in these areas simply because he has been learning in the NFL for 4 more years than Wilson.”
Flynn has played exactly two NFL games. To your point, the seasoning required to gain NFL-level proficiency must take place in live NFL competition. Not in practice. No amount of ‘mental’ reps can replace the real thing, and the only advantage Flynn has over Wilson in terms of experience is those ‘mental reps.’
The point is, neither Flynn nor Wilson has undergone a full season or two of NFL experience, the time most people think is necessary for a player to fully acclimate to the league. If PC is going to invest that kind of game experience in a player, who do you think it will be? A guy with a 2-game head-start with far less up-side, a player that doesn’t fit his prototype, or the (far) younger player who is close to matching the veteran’s ability already (based on the fact that Wilson was close enough to be included in the competition) and who promises to quickly surpass him given the opportunity?
Unless something really strange takes place, PC will make the investment in the rookie instead of a (relatively) weak-armed 27-year-old career back-up.
And if that takes place, then TJack suddenly looks much better as the number 2, as he has already played with the team for a year, and has been in the system for several more. That’s why TJack has been talked up by PC lately. He’s no more likely to go with TJack over Wilson than Flynn. Wilson has too much upside, too much ability to grow quickly and take advantage of every experience that comes his way.
I just can’t see how PC invests another cent in Flynn, either on the field or in pay-roll. He’s just not that good a player.
But as you point out, it’s all still conjecture at this point. It could be that Flynn has done much better than reported, that PC thinks very higly of him, and that it wasn’t primarily a JS move to bring him to the team in the first place (like it was with CW). Maybe PC will go with a guy that can’t effectively throw the deep ball, isn’t all that mobile out of the pocket, and has a tiny bit more experience than his star rookie. Anything, I suppose, is possible.
So we definitely have a different opinion about the likelihood of one scenario playing out over another. But that’s cool – I appreciate the thoughtful post. 🙂
You are both correct that the starting job will probably come down to who can read defenses well enough to score points without turnovers. Either T-jack has never mastered the art, or his decision-making is a click slow. Who knows about Matt Flynn, except that the Green Bay QB school probably has him well-prepared in this regard. Russell Wilson’s arm strength, elusivenes and natural-born leadership skills will eventually win out over Flynn, but the question is, would he and the team benefit from RW watching and learning about reading defenses for a time? Can RW do enough in a couple of ragged pre-season games to prove he is ready? Probably not, but Pete, more than any other coach, may see enough to go with what he appears to be telling us… that Russell Wilson is his guy.
I think you are right, in that PC is capable of making that decision and sticking with it.
The trouble with pre-season games, though, is that a young QBs (Flynn or Wilson) will not really be tested against sophisticated NFL defenses. In pre-season, the teams don’t game-plan and don’t do a lot of fancy things, so a guy can look great in pre-season and get plastered in a meaningful game.
At least that’s the theory. No matter how well a guy does (again, it could be Flynn or Wilson) you have to keep in mind the quality of the defense they are playing, even if they are playing against the ones.
The point is, PC still has to make a judgment call, as it won’t necessarily be perfectly clear after the pre-season game.
One thing RW may have going for him in this regard, is he gets to practice against an elite defense that is presumably going to take another step in their “sophisticatedness.” I’m not sure to what extent it will matter but I have to think that going against ET, Kam, Sherman, Clemons, Irvin, Wright, is going to help.
Schlereth an Huard discuss Seahawks QB’s.
Interesting link Brodie, thanks for the link! I still believe RW will win out or at least will take over and not give up starting job if Flynn gets hurt.
Cool, thanks for sharing.
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