Why Jason Cole is wrong to criticise Seattle’s QB competition

May 21st, 2012 | Written by Rob Staton

The Seahawks have to keep looking for their guy, even if he is 5-10

On Saturday I linked to an article by Yahoo’s Jason Cole where he criticises Pete Carroll and John Schneider’s approach to the quarterback position. Cole believes the Seahawks should’ve invested in ‘a guy’ by now and be building around them, with a degree of commitment to the chosen quarterback. He believes Seattle’s ‘competition’ mantra at the position is counter-productive.

Generally, I would agree with Cole. It’s just common sense that you identify a quarterback and build around them. It’s the most important position in the sport and there are significant benefits to building from the quarterback out. People like to use David Carr as an example to counter this, but let’s not forget he was leading an expansion franchise starting from scratch. There are other examples – such as Matt Ryan in Atlanta – where a team has successfully built a contender having made quarterback the #1 priority.

I suspect most Seahawks fans expected a similar process when Carroll replaced Jim Mora. The team had two first round picks in 2010 and needed to find a long term replacement for Matt Hasselbeck. Three drafts and four first round-picks later, and Seattle still hasn’t taken a quarterback in round one. April 2013 will bring about the 20th anniversary since Seattle drafted a quarterback in round one.

Frankly, I’m ecstatic about that – at least considering the last three years. Everyone wants the Seahawks to draft a franchise quarterback in round one, but nobody wants them to force the issue and make the kind of mistake that will cripple this team for years. Making a big splash on the wrong guy would be catastrophic. There’s a balance to be had here – not being too tentative to never commit, but knowing the right time to be aggressive. I have no doubt whatsoever that when that time comes, the Seahawks will be aggressive.

Cole appeared on ESPN 710 to discuss his Yahoo piece and was pushed by Brock Huard as to what he thinks Seattle should’ve done differently. The suggestion was made that they should’ve moved up for Jake Locker or Christian Ponder. Was such a deal even possible?

The Atlanta Falcons traded up from #26 to #6 in order to draft Julio Jones. To get Jake Locker, the Seahawks would’ve had to trade from #25 to #7. The team picking at #7? The San Francisco 49ers. I’m sure we can rule that one out because last time I checked, Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh weren’t exactly BFF’s. Would Tennessee have dropped down from #8 to #25, allowing the Seahawks to draft Locker? Maybe, but if you have the conviction to take a quarterback 8th overall you clearly believe he’s a potential franchise talent. We very rarely see trade’s where the two parties are focused on the same player.

Christian Ponder was drafted at #12 by Minnesota. That would’ve given the Seahawks an opportunity to trade up to #9 (Dallas), #10 (Washington) or #11 (Houston). The thing is, nobody really expected Ponder to go that early. His senior year was mediocre, he’d suffered multiple injuries. To move from #26 to #6 in 2010 Atlanta spent two first round picks, a second round pick and two fourth round picks. Once that trade was completed, a market was set for any similar trades. Moving up from #25 would’ve been very expensive, costing at least two first round picks. Is Christian Ponder truly worth that level of investment?

And that’s really the issue here. It would’ve cost Seattle a kings ransom to trade for either player, yet neither has proven enough to suggest it would’ve been a worthwhile move. Locker has attempted 66 passes in the NFL and shown flashes. Ponder completed 54% of his passes and threw as many interceptions as touchdowns. If we were talking about moving up for Cam Newton here, I’d have more sympathy with the argument. But we’re not talking about Newton. And it’s interesting that Cole didn’t include Blaine Gabbert as a possible trade up target, given he dissected both Locker and Ponder by going 10th overall in the 2010 draft. Gabbert doesn’t suit Cole’s argument because he struggled as a rookie. Had the Seahawks traded up for Gabbert, it would suit the argument of making things happen. Yet because the player is a perceived failure, he’s not included? That’s too selective.

Here are the first round quarterbacks Seattle has passed on in 2010, 2011 and 2012: Tim Tebow, Brandon Weeden. That’s it. No other quarterbacks were drafted in round one having made it past Seattle.

Was an aggressive move up the board possible? Not in 2010, where St. Louis drafted Sam Bradford first overall. Division rivals don’t tend to trade with each other, as noted earlier with San Francisco. We’ve already discussed the cost of moving up in 2011. This year the Seahawks probably could’ve moved up to draft Ryan Tannehill. Dallas spent a second round pick to move from #14 to #6, so moving from #12 to #7 would’ve cost about the same.

I was never a fan of Ryan Tannehill. I see his rise and subsequent draft position as a similar reach to Jake Locker in 2011. Both players have similarities, particularly in terms of athletic potential and ceiling. I suspect that as with Locker, teams will have had extreme varying grades for Tannehill. If the Seahawks weren’t in the group that saw him as a must-have potential franchise quarterback, then why would they trade a second round pick to get him? And while Tannehill does have a lot of physical upside, I refer back to the Texas tape, Oklahoma tape and Oklahoma State tape where he had multiple turnovers and just did not look like a quarterback you want to bank your reputation on.

Throughout the draft process this year, it appears one guy really stood out for the Seahawks front office. John Schneider has talked about how he would’ve been disappointed not to come away with Russell Wilson. It’s very possible that the Seahawks had Wilson ranked higher than Tannehill on their board. Yet they knew because of his 5-10 height he’d be there in round three. So why not come away with a pass rusher, a linebacker and the quarterback you truly want? Is that not the common sense approach? Or do you spend your first two picks on a quarterback you don’t rate as highly and lose the opportunity to improve two big-time defensive needs? Imagine a scenario where you’ve traded up for Tannehill knowing your next pick will be in round three, and Russell Wilson is the clear best player available with that third-round pick. You’d be fighting the board at that point not to go QB-QB. No doubt this scenario would’ve brought about a lot of criticism too.

There are other quarterbacks the Seahawks could’ve drafted over the years. They could’ve wasted a pick on Jimmy Clausen or Colt McCoy in 2010. Last year they could’ve drafted Colin Kaepernick or Andy Dalton in round one, or Ryan Mallett in round two. Were any worthy of that investment? I would argue not.

Dalton is the one people keep coming back to, and I get why. He had a successful rookie season, leading the Bengals to a 9-7 record and a playoff berth. Yet there are still so many question marks.

How much of his success last year was down to the fact he’s throwing passes to the most dynamic receiver to enter the NFL since Calvin Johnson? Sure, AJ Green still needs a well thrown ball to make plays. Yet Green has taken to the pro’s in a way I’ve never experienced before. He could be the most natural pass-catcher most of us have ever seen, and there were several highlight reel plays last year where Dalton basically just tossed it up for Green to make it happen.

How much of his success was down to a weak early schedule? Here are Cincinnati’s opponents before their bye week: Cleveland, Denver, San Francisco, Buffalo, Jacksonville and Indianapolis. Take the 49ers out of the equation, and that’s a gift for any rookie quarterback. He threw five interceptions in games against Pittsburgh and Baltimore after the bye and closed the season acting as a classic game manager. After a three-pick performance against the Ravens in week 11, he had four games without topping 200 yards. He closed the season with five touchdowns in six games, compared to just one pick. He was on lockdown and picked up just three wins against Cleveland, St. Louis and Arizona.

Overall Dalton had a 20-13 touchdown-interception ratio for the regular season. Three of his nine wins came via the NFC West. Two wins came from Cleveland. The others came against Buffalo, Jacksonville, Indianapolis and Tennessee. I’m not trying to discredit Dalton here, but a little perspective is required when talking about what is universally regarded as a terrific rookie campaign.

Onto the playoffs, where he threw three interceptions against Houston with no touchdowns. Generally, he looked out of his depth. And this brought about a side of Dalton that has crept up in the past. When the chips are down, Dalton can lose his cool. He looked petulant on the sidelines and failed to take responsibility after the game in interviews, blaming others for key turnovers. At TCU there were times where he’d make a mistake and it’d linger for the rest of the game – leading to further mistakes. Dave Hyde at the Sun Sentinel wrote this pre-draft last year:

“Saying that Dalton’s career at TCU was not without pestilence would be wrong. In the 2009 Fiesta Bowl against Boise State, Andy threw an early interception – well actually he threw three of them. But this specific early interception apparently caused Dalton’s generally austere veneer to crack on the sidelines – enough for Head Coach Gary Patterson and the rest of the team to be concerned. The word is that the team felt they would struggle to win the game after seeing Dalton lose his composure. They lost the game 17-10.

“Everyone has moments where they are not at their best, and in reality such sideline behaviour has not been the norm for the Katy native. The flip side of that equation is that it is evident he can be rattled. And, naturally one would consider whether Dalton may also lose his composure on the field. Truthfully, there are moments where Dalton can look a little frenetic, making rash decisions on where to throw the football.”

We saw a glimpse of this against Houston and it reminded me why I was never a big fan of Dalton’s leading into the 2011 draft. The Seahawks make a big deal about a ‘room tilting’ quarterback with good reason. While Houston’s own rookie quarterback – TJ Yates – was managing his environment in such a high-pressure situation, Dalton folded. Add the three playoff picks to his season totals and he went 20-16 for the year against a favorable schedule. This season will be the acid test with four games against the NFC East, four games against the AFC West and the usual four games against Pittsburgh/Baltimore. We’ll learn a lot about whether the Seahawks should’ve drafted Dalton by this time next year.

And as Evan Silva writes here, the Bengals are not totally sold on Dalton themselves. Silva: “The jury is still very much out on him entering year two.”

Dalton left the board in 2011 ten places after Seattle’s first round pick. I wouldn’t have drafted him at #25 but I see why people make that case. The reality is for critics like Jason Cole, that’s the one true argument you can make. The Seahawks have been dealt a poor hand as they try and find a long term starter at quarterback. For that reason, they’re going to have to keep looking for the answer. It may be unconventional, but so was moving Red Bryant to defensive end. So was starting two big, tall, physical cornerbacks with no league pedigree last year. In many ways so was trading for ‘bad penny’ Marshawn Lynch – a player who has provided this franchise with a playoff memory it’ll never forget and a subsequent season of productive running.

The competition between Matt Flynn, Russell Wilson and Tarvaris Jackson just might end up providing an answer. It might not be a future hall of fame answer, but it might be enough for Seattle to prosper in 2012 – just like the 49ers did with Alex Smith last year. And finding the right starter for now needs to be the approach until the day Seattle sees the opportunity to draft ‘the one‘. John Schneider made it quite clear this team will not panic over a quarterback and end up with a white elephant. So far the Seahawks have made the best of a bad situation.

40 Responses to “Why Jason Cole is wrong to criticise Seattle’s QB competition”

  1. adam says:

    Good article. I for one have a “crush” on Locker, and would have traded the house to move up before the Vikes in that draft. I was surprised when the Titans took him at 8, so i’m not sure if i would feel the same way in retrospect…especially considering the Julio Jones trade that set the going rate for moving up. The Locker\Tannihill comparison is good except Tannehill was more of a reach, i think that Locker “tilts” field and Tannehill does not. No mention of RGIII? He was up for the taking, yet i would still take Locker over him, and we might have got Locker for a cheaper price than RGIII. Obviously PC\JS play a slow hand when it comes to qb…Wilson really being their first significant move to fill that position with a qbotf player in the draft. I think looking back to the year when the Packers took Rodgers in the late 1st round with an mvp qb still on the roster, clarifies how PC\JS approach the qb position in the draft.

    • Phil S. says:

      Yes, I agree that PC/JS seem to be taking the Green Bay approach to the QB position though not just in the draft. GB traded for Favre and then drafted and coached up QBs as backups/trading stock for years. My money is on PC/JC know that they have a jem in Flynn and will trade Wilson for a princely sum of draft picks in 2-3 years. Could be the other wqay around…either way it’s a win.

    • A. Simmons says:

      How does Locker “tilt the field”? Keith Price far outperformed Locker in his first year. Locker isn’t accurate. Isn’t a particulary quick decision maker. He’s a slightly better Tim Tebow. I am happy the Seahawks didn’t draft him because the amount of excuses made for Locker would have far exceeded any made for Hasselbeck in his decline.

      Tilting the field implies the individual makes the entire team around him better. Yet Locker never seemed to do that, but Keith Price did. I’m quite sure I’ll hear some argument about talent and other such tripe. Locker wasn’t a field tilter. He’s another physical specimen overdrafted because of “upside” rather than what he’s shown on the field.

      • adam says:

        It is certain and proven that at the collegiate level, Locker excels in difficult situations. I was never anything more than a critic of Locker until his last season with the Huskies…how else could it be? However when a quarterback states his goal, to paraphrase, he wants to come back to win a bowl game, and achieves it against the odds, i get excited. His teammates get even more excited, therefore he “tilts” the field. Price plays on a much better team than Locker ever did, but he is good, but i don’t think he projects to the professional level as well as Locker does due to their size difference.

        • A. Simmons says:

          “Price plays on a much better team than Locker ever did, but he is good, but i don’t think he projects to the professional level as well as Locker does due to their size difference.”

          I knew this excuse would come up. One of the reasons I’m glad we didn’t draft him. This excuse would be made until Pete Carroll was gone and Locker along with him. Locker isn’t going to make it as an NFL starter. I’m not the first person to say it. It will be proven to be true. He is not accurate and not the type of QB that makes it in the NFL. It might take a while, but his lack of ability to throw accurately consistently and lack of ability to read defenses and process the complexities of an NFL offense are going to kill him. He’s all physical potential and not much actual production.

          • adam says:

            Not sure what you mean by “excuse?” However, i think Locker will work out good for the Titans, i expect he’ll lead them to the playoffs this year.

  2. peter says:

    Thanks for breaking down Dalton’s numbers last year. A lot of what gets lost in a larger sense is that Dalton was fair to middling, but really could only beat out teams that weren’t going anywhere. maybe he turns a corner? Who knows.

    I know a lot of this writing at this time of the year is based on speculation andwhat not, but really the Seahawks do to draft spot, and circumstances have not had the opportunity short of taking the Redskins offer this year and addinga few more picks to make something happen. Even that move in Washington, could be fantastic, but if anything at all goes wrong, from injury to RGIII, to bad play from the FA aquisitions, to heck even haaving a few bad seasons and RGIII runs out to be as goo as advertised and DC can’t get over a hump and loses out on valuable draft pieces the next few drafts, that could be a deal breaker for the Shanahan’s. Soemtimes I wonder if Hawks fans really wanted the current FO to roll the dice that way?

    People, even fans of this site, need to understand a few simple things.

    1. Flynn was brought in regardless of draft picks, to compete with Tjax because Whitehurst was gone. Simple as that. Pete Carrol always seems to believe that players perform at a higher level when they are competitive inside their own team. Neither QB was ever stated to be the starter. Or the backup, or anything. Jsut competition to get us the best of the situation.

    2. Wilson was drafted because, simply, he is a good Quarterback. And if you are going to have a QB battle with two former backups, it certainly doesn’t hurt to include another QB. One QB you have seen play in the pros for 6 years, and you now what you are going to get. Another had an amazing game, and like Hanie/Cassel/Kolb/Schaub/Hasselbeck, you truly have no idea what you are going to get like those otherQB’s until he sees open playing time. Be it in camp with first teamers or on the game day.

  3. AlaskaHawk says:

    I like Dalton and thought he played well considering he was on a somewhat talented team. He should do better next year. He wasn’t worth a first round pick though, he just benefitted from the QB draft premium. The only clear #1 round draft players I have seen are Cam Newton, Luck and Griffin.

    I’m glad we have both Flynn and Wilson to compete for QB this year. It is unlikely that our QBs will have an elite rookie year with the Hawks. Would we keep drafting for QBs when 2013 will have the best QB class in a long time?.

    There will be six good QBs coming out, and one or two of them will be considered elite. The others will be as good as Wilson. At what point do we stay with what we got, and at what point do we draft again just to make sure we have our QBOF? Unless one of our QBs leads us to a series of 4th quarter victories with his arm, I think we would continue drafting for Qbs in 2013. And that will validate Cole’s article.

  4. Colin says:

    What I dislike most about Cole’s article, is how damn simple minded it is. Yes, every team out there wants the franchise QB to be the 1st thing they acquire, obviously, but there is nothing in the article that points out the ramifications of being WRONG. Its just “go with a guy and see the results”. Makes me cringe.

    • mjkleko says:

      That’s certainly what I found most unnerving about Cole’s post as well, his fixation on finding a franchise quarterback a team can hang it’s hat on for half a decade.

      Professional football however, does not work like that. Outside of maybe your PK and punter, confidently solidifying any position on the field for several years with one player just simply isn’t realistic. Even franchise OT need good backups, or the offense could be decimated due to a bad ankle sprain. It’s nice to be able to project longevity and potential improvement in players for the long haul, but the fact of the matter is that these coaches and gms, even with ownership approval, are working very hard to maintain their employment. And that means focusing on the immediate season at hand.

      As Rob pointed out, would you have rather gotten a DE, LB, QB in 2012, or QB, QB just for the sake of giving this team a long term focal point at quarterback? That would likely mean seeing Ruud or worse for 600+ snaps next season while not having a direct response to the QB-pressure issue.

      The point is you just can’t plug a player in and stand back hoping he pans out. It’s that building a football team revolves around the next block of games, whether it’s personnel or gameplanning. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if Pete pegs TJack or Flynn to start the season, only to have Wilson as the primary signal caller at the regular season finale. ‘Winning Forever’ doesn’t mean finding longterm solutions and standing pat, it’s about attacking each moment and using every chance to improve.

      • Mike says:

        The most important part of your comment was around the Punter position. Who’s to say that Jon Ryan IS NOT our QBOTF?

  5. TK says:

    I want to buy a stock that I know, for a fact, is going to increase 1000% over the next year in order to secure my retirement. That way i can sell my house and car to invest every penny I have into it. Some things are easier said than done.. and Cole is an idiot if he can’t realize that.

  6. James says:

    Pete comes across as a guy out there on the edge, taking lots of risks, but he and John have actually been very careful in how they have constructed the Seahawks over the past 3 years. What could be more conservative than selecting OTs in R1 of your first two drafts? And as you say, they have avoided betting the farm on an unproven QB, where a wrong call would set the franchise back so far that Pete & John would not live to see it get fixed. Now that they have constructed their team top-to-bottom with outstanding young talent and unique role players, they turn at last to finding their QB. I was one of those thinking that they had made a mistake in passing on Andy Dalton, but Pete & John were right and we were wrong. I would take Russell Wilson & Matt Flynn any day over Andy Dalton, doubling the odds of getting it right. Wilson will be the franchise QB soon, in my view, and Flynn may prove a great asset as well. Forget waiting for the start of the season….I can’t wait until training camp at the VMAC! …ps – this guy Cole is a nitwit, who doesn’t know 1/4 as much about football as Rob & Kip.

  7. Doug says:

    That was a ton of writing to defend PC/JS against a fool. I personally wouldn’t have wasted my time…

  8. Mike says:

    Wow! The Seahawks have traded for K. Winslow.

    • Phil says:

      Wow is right! An average of 70+ catches per year for a 7th/6th round pick — another great move by JS/PC.

    • Doug says:

      He can be a headcase, but serious talent. Good talent continues to stack up on the offense… should be a great year. I for one can hardly stand the wait…

      • Barry says:

        Enjoyable read once again Rob,-

        ON KW2…. really? A headcase with two bad knees when we already have a young stable of talented TE? This isnt like they are bringing in a vet whos knows as a work horse. Not to be too negative but there is a quote from the Times
        “n a radio interview, he explained his disagreement with Schiano.

        “He was kind of upset that I wasn’t there working out with the team in the offseason and for the first week of OTAs,” Winslow told SiriusXM.”
        Ref: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/seahawks/2018258055_hawk22.html

        but I digress, yes the guy at yahoo is a yahoo

  9. A. Simmons says:

    I still think Cole’s article was dumb for using as his negative examples Tom Landry and Jimmy Johnson and Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman. If you’re going to cite examples of why not to take a certain approach to managing the QB position, please don’t make yourself look stupid by choosing guys that went to the Hall of Fame and won multiple Super Bowls. It’s ridiculous.

    Tom Landry and Jimmy Johnson were better at evaluating, managings, developing, and gameplanning for talent than Jason Cole or 99% of the league will ever be. If they used competition to choose their QB, chances are they are right and you are wrong. Just like Landry was right and Roger Staubach was wrong given the results.

    I’ll state it again: if competititon at QB produces a Troy Aikman or Roger Staubach, then use competition at QB all the time, every time, no matter where you pick a guy or what you’re paying him and let the best guy play. I seem to recall Mike Holmgren using competition at QB when developing Hasselbeck. I seem to recall Bill Walsh doing the same thing when developing Joe Montana. As far as I’m concerned Jason Cole didn’t do his research and sounds like an utter fool. The only time you don’t use competition at QB is if you have a clearly established starter that can perform at a high level. We don’t have anywhere near that yet.

  10. OZ says:

    The competition at TE just got a whole lot better!!! Just what Flynn and Wilson needed. Intermediate weapons.

  11. Christon says:

    Very well put…And Jason Cole is an idiot for believing that the Seahawks should have traded up to get guys who were considered reaches just for the sake of “have a guy.”

    • Stuart says:

      It’s also a dishonest argument. If I understand it, one argument is that you need to pick a guy and stick with him independent of his results for a while. His other argument was that they needed to trade up and get certain guys and that the guys they have now aren’t guys you want to commit to. These arguments are orthogonal to each other:

      | Commit to player | Dont commit |
      QB you like | a | b |
      QB you don’t like | c | d |

      He is essentially arguing for case (a), citing the picks he likes. However, his preferences don’t conform to the reality of the Seahawks situation or the evaluations of PCJS

      Apparently his argument doesn’t extend “always commit to a player” as in case (c). He hasn’t argued for making a commitment to the QBs currently on the team because he doesn’t personally like them. The Seahawks have avoided this quadrant like the plague, and I don’t think anyone could blame them.

      His argument would be valid if the Seahawks were in case (b) where we had the opportunity to take an obvious talent and didn’t pull the trigger. John just punctured this argument full of holes.

      Really, the Seahawks are trying to transition from case (d) to case (a) through case (b). By figuring out if they have the talent in the system they can then make a commitment.

      Jason Coles argument basically boils down to: I don’t like the players they like.

  12. David Carr had plenty of fundamental issues of his own that hurt his debut. His sack rate followed him after he left Houston, and Matt Schaub managed a much lower one without appreciable improvement on the O-line. Carr is not the poster boy that people say he is for the idea that a rookie QB is purely a product of his environment and must be handled with kid gloves.

  13. C Pak says:

    Cole called it a ‘commitment issue’. What coach/GM in their right mind bet their jobs to a journeyman QB that lacks elite quality, a 7th round pick with minimal experience, and elite talent who is ‘against odds due to height issues’ rookie QB?

  14. Richardfg7 says:

    When guys like Cole want to tell me they know better than a guy like Coach Carroll I usually don’t read much more of their work. It’s just too easy to play captain hindsight on draft picks and personnel moves. But to be the guy in the big seat making the hard decisions takes years of hard work and getting it right. That’s the guy I listen to and have a ton of respect for. These other guys can be fun at times but so are cartoons, and I see them in the same light.

  15. Steve in Spain says:

    I don’t think Cole’s trying to argue that the Seahawks should’ve traded for Ponder or Locker or Dalton or any other guy. It’s not about the who; it’s about the how.

    Cole’s main point is that Carroll’s brought in five QBs in the past three years and has yet to commit to any of them. How can you possibly develop a starter if you never commit to one? We traded for Whitehurst and we never showed the belief in him commensurate with the draft value we invested in him. Even when Pete apparently picks his horse by naming T-Jax his starter for 2011, the next off-season it’s back to square one with an open competition – now a three-way competition where T-Jax by all appearances is on the outside looking in. We feel comfortable guaranteeing Flynn $10 million, but there’s not the comfort level to name him the starter? Can’t we at least admit that Caroll’s taking a highly unconventional approach?

    I’m not saying I agree with Cole. I trust Carroll to bring this process to a successful conclusion. But still, I understand where Cole is coming from and he’s certainly not an idiot.

    • Rob Staton says:

      When asked what they should’ve done differently, his answer was that they should’ve traded up for Locker or Ponder – there’s no getting away from that.

      And I still don’t get his point. If Seattle are accepting there aren’t a cluster of franchise quarterbacks out there to pick from, why should they commit? Would we rather they commit to Jackson is Flynn or Wilson is a better player? Likewise should we commit to Flynn if he’s not the best option? $10m is chump change for a good quarterback and he’s earning only a little more than Jackson/Whitehurst. Whether it’s conventional or not, committing to a player in this situation would be very narrow minded.

      • Steve in Spain says:

        The only reason he mentioned Locker or Ponder was because he was put on the radio and asked what the Seahawks could have done differently. But then he said he didn’t want to get into specifics, and rightly so. Because his argument isn’t about second-guessing which QBs they’ve brought in; it’s more about how they’ve refused to truly develop and build around any of the QBs that they have selected. As a matter of principle, I absolutely agree with Cole that roster-churning doesn’t produce a franchise QB.

        What separates me from Cole is that I’m a Russell Wilson True Believer. So I hope and trust that RW will be the starter in 2012, or if he’s not ready yet, in 2013. But if RW isn’t the QBOTF and we’re just roster-churning our way until the 2013 draft, then I’m worried.

        • Mike says:

          Do you think anointing someone the “Franchise QB” that, after close inspection by the coaching staff, doesn’t have the ability to become the franchise QB will somehow transform them into that caliber of QB?

          If that were the case, why don’t all teams:
          1) Sign some street FA to the minimum for, say, 20 years.
          2) Tell that guy that he’s the “Franchise QB”
          3) ???
          4) Win the Super Bowl

          Honestly, which one of the following QBs could, if the Seahawks had only just committed to them, have become that franchise QB in the post Hass era?
          1) TJax
          2) Whitehurst
          3) Portis
          4) Losman
          5) Jon Ryan
          6) Other

          What makes you think your choice could grow, with the proper support, into a franchise QB? How did the Seahawks’ FO miss this?

          • Steve in Spain says:

            Hypothetically speaking, if I thought Whitehurst was worth swapping second-round picks and giving up a third-round pick, I’d have made him the starter in 2011 instead of bringing in TJax. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not a proponent of Charlie or TJax. I’m just saying I would never have brought Charlie in at that price in the first place if I didn’t have some minimal level of belief in him. Remember, we expended more draft capital on Charlie Whitehurst than we did on Russell Wilson!

  16. 12thManUK22 says:

    Cole plainly has a problem with PC that goes beyond mere professional criticism. It is interfering with his objectivity.

  17. C Pak says:

    Charlie Whitehurst experiment was a disaster and it was evident he could not elevate the team with any success. I think Pete will make a commitment to a QB before the season starts and his propensity to stay committed to whoever that is will be based on how the team as a whole performs and where it finishes within the division. I think his inability to stay committed has to do with the talent he is dealt with not so much that he cannot make up his mind. I think at some point during the season one of the QBs will be traded for one of the draft picks hawks gave up to get Winslow.

    • SHawn says:

      Hopefully we can get more than a 6th or 7th rd pick for Jackson or Flynn. My guess would be that Jackson is usurped and Wilson starts over Flynn.

      If we deal TJ, then who out there needs his skill set as a mediocre veteran with a good arm and mobility? What team is in dire need of a serviceable backup? Dallas? Chicago? Cincinnati? NYGiants? Indianapolis? St. Louis? Which would see TJ as an option worth pursuing through trade? What would they give up for him?

      Also, couldn’t we get more out of trading Flynn than trading Jackson? I would think so, but that might not be the only factor to consider. Other teams in need of a backup might want to know just what they are getting. Jackson has ample sample size to look at against NFL defenses. Flynn has much more limited tape.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        Arizona might want TJ. Chicago needs a decent backup.

        I would guess that we will have to play Flynn and he will have to win a few games before he becomes worth anything. At best he is a break even prospect, worth a 3 or 4th rounder if we are lucky and someone is desperate.

        • Meat says:

          Chicago did get a decent backup with signing Jason Campbell. Arizona may actually be a good destination for TJ if he is not the starter.

  18. Leonard says:

    Why would the Hawks commit to any QB before they have proven to some extent that they deserved it? A top 2-3 prospect may be an exception if for no other reason than the contract that comes with being picked that high. Forcing a high pick on a QB that you feel doesn’t deserve it and then handing the starting job to that QB is the surest way to get fired in the NFL. It sounds like the Hawks were finally in a position to draft someone they really like and they did it. Who cares if it was in the third round. As soon as Wilson proves that he is capable of leading this team, they will commit to him and taylor the offense to his strengths.

  19. A. Simmons says:

    I’ll take the coach that goes about his business like Tom Landry or Jimmy Johnson over a coach that does thing like a sports writer thinks he should.

  20. Meat says:

    Also what is interesting is Miami is doing the same thing in regards to bringing in QB’s, drafting one, and having a three-way competition. Philbin mentioned yesterday during an interview he hopes to have named a starter by the 2nd preseason game. They have Moore, Garrard, and Tannehill, yet Jason lambasts Pete?!