Brainstorming ideas for the next Seahawks backup quarterback

Tyler Thigpen

It is often said that a 4th round pick in the draft or perhaps $4 million a season in salary is a worthy price for a top shelf backup.  And yet, how many teams actually invest that heavily?  Peyton Manning had Jim Sorgi and the calamitous Curtis Painter.  Tom Brady had Brian Hoyer.  Drew Brees had Chase Daniel.  Aaron Rodgers had a 7th round Matt Flynn before he had UDFA Graham Harrell.   Without looking, how many current backups can you name for Matt Ryan, Big Ben, Matt Schaub, Tony Romo, Philip Rivers, Joe Flacco, Andy Dalton, Eli Manning, or Cam Newton?

The exceptions are future starter hopefuls behind old starters such as Brock Osweiler and Ryan Mallett or insurance policies for (at the time) unproven starter situations like Kirk Cousins and Brian Brohm.  Of them all, only Cousins could really be argued as being drafted for the purposes of being a long term backup, and he only cost a 4th round pick, had low salary, and had very strong potential as a trade chip in the future.

There are two ways to view the value of a backup quarterback.  The first is the backup as insurance policy.  Jim Sorgi and Matt Flynn are good examples of low cost, quality insurance policies that reduced the damage of losing a franchise quarterback for a few games during a season.  Curtis Painter shows the absolute downside of a poor insurance plan, though without Painter there probably isn’t an exec of the year award on Ryan Grigson’s desk right now.  Most people view the backup quarterback in this manner.  Since major injuries to starting quarterbacks are so rare, most teams do not feel the need to make a major investment in an insurance policy they will probably never need.

The second view of the backup quarterback is that of the investment.  It has been used masterfully in the past by the Ron Wolf / Ted Thompson era Packers, the Andy Reid Eagles, and now the John Schneider Seahawks.  This philosophy acquires quarterbacks at low cost, develops them behind a highly established starter, and then moves them later at a profit.  The Packers used this method to develop and move quarterbacks like Mark Brunell, Aaron Brooks, and Matt Hasselbeck.  The Eagles did so with Kevin Kolb and actually traded their starter (Donovan McNabb) when low cost backup Michael Vick proved superior.  I suspect they signed Vince Young on the cheap hoping to repair his image and value for a future trade.  Seattle acquired Tarvaris Jackson, Matt Flynn, and Russell Wilson, and successfully traded the two quarterbacks that failed to win the starting job.

You can read up on John Schneider’s post-Flynn-trade comments here, or just listen for yourself.  John Schneider doesn’t say a lot about his post-Flynn plans, but did drop a few small hints:

“There’s different avenues we can go, obviously,” Schneider said Monday morning on 710 ESPN Seattle radio. “We have a plan in place and it’s contingent on who that player is. There’s veterans who are available right now, some very talented guys actually, and some guys guys that are all football and have been down that road before. … And then there’s also guys in the draft that we think are pretty interesting.

“We have a plan and we’re gonna take it as it comes. We’re not gonna force anything and we’re not gonna get in a situation where we have our hands tied.”

It’s been documented elsewhere that John Schneider described finding a quarterback that is a hard worker, a leader, an enabler… all that good “tilt the field” kind of stuff.  Someone with upside, too.

To me, it’s fairly clear from this language that Seattle is looking for another “investment” style backup- someone that they can acquire at low cost and turn into a profit down the road.  Green Bay used their backup quarterback position as a draft pick generator.  That’s why they are looking at quarterbacks every year.  John Schneider was Ted Thompson’s right hand man in Green Bay and has gone on record saying that he searches for quarterbacks every year.

Russell Wilson is the only quarterback on the roster today, although Chris Mortensen reports that the Seahawks will soon re-sign Josh Portis.  Schneider’s “hands tied” comment reads to me as wanting to keep options open.  Seattle doesn’t need to tax themselves with quarterback reps to determine the starter as they did last season, so they could have Portis, a free agent signing, and a draft pick duke things out in August and move from there.  Seattle entered last preseason with four quarterbacks on their roster, and gave a tryout to GJ Kinne, who would have been the fifth had they signed him.

With that in mind, here are some names to throw against the wall.  It goes without saying, most of the free agent options suck:

Free Agency:

Josh Portis: Portis will reportedly be signed back soon. He has excellent mobility, arm talent, and can check through multiple reads.  Unfortunately, he received extremely few reps last preseason and his performance vs. Oakland suffered greatly as a result.  I suspect that Seattle always hoped to bring Portis back for another training camp but wanted to wait until after dealing Flynn to avoid tipping their hand.

Vince Young: Mortensen linked Young to the Seahawks earlier today on twitter (“add Vince Young to the list” were his exact words), though it’s unclear if he’s sourced or speculating.  Vince Young is an obvious candidate in that he’s low cost, has the athleticism in abundance for read option, and has the potential to rehabilitate his image and turn into a potential trade chip down the road (he’s 30 next offseason, so it wouldn’t be anything exorbitant even in a best case scenario).  Where Young does not fit is in the leadership and work ethic criteria, though it’s possible he might be a changed man after some of the hard times he’s been through.  Young comes with the added perk of not costing Seattle any compensatory pick consideration in 2014, as he was released by the Bills in 2012.

Tyler Thigpen: Many are liking the Seahawks to Tyler Thigpen who was recently made a free agent when Buffalo voided the 3rd year of his contract.  Thigpen actually beat out Vince Young for the 3rd quarterback job in Buffalo last season (after taking a pay cut).  Rob could probably tell you more about Thigpen than I can, but what I can say is that he’s more mobile than his combine 40 time would indicate, and that he had a 18/12 TD/INT ratio with a good number of rushing yards during his only starting season (at Kansas City).  Unfortunately, he has a very low career completion rate and is the definition of a journeyman.  Barring a revelation, it’s hard to see Thigpen turning into a trade chip down the road, so I see him as more of a placeholder than anything else.

Matt Leinart: Seattle very nearly signed Matt Leinart in 2011 with a chance to compete for the starting job, but Leinart turned down that chance to remain a sure backup for Houston.  He lasted just one more year for the Texans before lasting just one year in Oakland.  There have been some unsourced rumors connecting Leinart to Seatttle, but I don’t think Seattle would go this direction until after the draft, if at all.  He wouldn’t be much of a read option quarterback, and he lacks the intangibles John Schneider prefers.

John Skelton: Skelton was released a few hours ago, probably to make room for an imminent Carson Palmer acquisition.  Skelton can be elusive in the pocket but he’s not a mobile quarterback, and he doesn’t have the kind of frame for constant hard contact.  That plus he’s horrible.

Brady Quinn: How bad was Carolina when they lost to Kansas City 27-21 last season?  Brady Quinn put on a clinic, completing 83% of his passes for 8.7 yards per attempt with 2 TDs and no picks, good for a 132.1 passer rating.  For the season though?  He completed 57% of his passes for 5.8 yards per attempt with a 2/8 TD/INT ratio.  Yikes.  Amazingly, that was the only game Carolina lost in their final six contests.

Kellen Clemens: Another lousy journeyman nearing 30.

Seneca Wallace: Wallace (33 years old in August) could actually make sense as an emergency 1 year stopgap option should everything else fall through.

Troy Smith: Smith is a lot like an older, more experienced Josh Portis.  I’ll admit to being a fan, both at Ohio State and during his time with the 49ers in the Singletary era.  Unfortunately, the last time that Smith made a 53 man roster was during said era (2010).  He was a highly inconsistent quarterback, but he had his moments.  He has a terrific arm and is famous for his speed.  Unfortunately, he’s probably too old to flip for a pick down the road.  He turns 29 this July, and is a long way away from reaching his potential.

Tarvaris Jackson (if released in August):  With comments from up on high in Buffalo hinting at a move for a quarterback in the draft and the addition of Kevin Kolb for competition, the odds of Tarvaris Jackson making the 53 man roster seem to be on shaky ground.  His contract is only for $1.75 million though, which could act as great job security even if he fails to earn the starting job.  That said, none of that money is guaranteed, and if Jackson ends up the odd man out if Buffalo drafts a quarterback and only carries two on the roster.  Jackson has obvious familiarity here and posted a 93 passer rating over his final five starts (when he was approaching full health) during the 2011 season in Seattle.

Darron Thomas: Undrafted and unsigned, Thomas has a point guard skillset at quarterback.  He was highly productive in a read option system and (in my opinion) his flaws were blown far out of proportion, although I am not privy to the interviews and private investigator reports NFL teams have.  He was part of the Calgary Stampeders practice roster last season.  Chandler Harnish and Case Keenum are currently on practice squads and could be worth keeping an eye on as it’s not uncommon for teams to release fringe-roster players in June.

Tim Tebow (if released):  His completion rate is 48% for his career.  Yet he also has a respectable career 17/9 TD/INT ratio and a 75.2 career passer rating.  Tebow’s intangibles and leadership are legendary, as his college career and 2011 season put on full display.  If Tebow was very low cost, I think he could be worth a flier on the 90 man preseason roster, but trading for him would require a draft pick of some kind and would mean assuming his $2.6 million cap hit in 2013.  There is no way trading for Tebow makes sense, but in the event he is released he could be worth considering for the purposes of preseason competition.

Tomorrow I’ll have a follow up post discussing some of the draft options.  As you can see, it’s not likely that Seattle will find much from free agency, though I do think Seattle will at least add a body or two from the list above for the sake of competition.


  1. Bobk3333

    Tyler Thigpen”s antics with that skeleton indicate a distinct lack of maturity. No thanks.

    He is the losingest QB in the NFL with 1 career win and 12 losses.

    54% career completion rate.

    21 TDs and 18 ints

    72 career passer rating

    John Clayton once again proves that is an idiot for championing this guy.

    • Rob Staton

      And he’d be a backup in Seattle, not the franchise saviour.

      • Bobk3333

        It is not very smart to settle for complete garbage just because he’s a backup. We can and will do better.

        • Rob Staton

          He’s not complete garbage. In terms of what is available, and with the likelihood Seattle will add a veteran at some point, he’s the best option out there. Experience running the pistol with some success, capable of managing a situation. He helped Tony Gonzalez put up one of his best ever seasons at Kansas City. Kip’s list emphasizes how limited the alternatives are.

          I expect Seattle to sign one veteran, draft one player and throw Portis into the mix. Those three guys then battle for the backup role during camp. May the best man win. We’re in danger of fretting once again about the backup role.

          • Bobk3333

            You are certainly entitled to an opinion, but what successes are you talking about? He has an ungodly 1-12 win-loss record and 54% completion rate for crying out loud. Clayton is an idiot. Stop taking everything he says as sacrosanct. He is good at facts and gossip, but hopeless at analysis, or player and team evaluations.

            Tyler Thigpen is rotten, stinking garbage.

            • Rob Staton

              Drop the needlessly aggressive attitude, Bobk3333. There’s no need for it.

              I don’t recall ever taking Clayton’s opinion as ‘sacrosanct’. You’re assuming here that I’m basing my own view on anything Clayton has said. I’m not even aware of any comments the guy has made about Tyler Thigpen. My opinion is based around seeing the player live (KC @ Jets 2008), thinking he had something about him and tracking his performance for the rest of the season. I really couldn’t care less about his win/loss record, given he was competing for a truly abysmal Chiefs team at the time as a first time starter. He’s a serviceable backup who is worthy of competing for a gig. If they bring him in to fight with a rookie and Portis, so be it. I’m really not fussed. Maybe we can have an aggressive debate about who will be the backup right tackle next? Such a trivial matter.

              • SHawn

                1-12 for the Chiefs during that time? We should be praising him for being able to pull out a win at all.

            • Scott Allen

              If we tossed Pete Carroll aside because he had losing records his first few times in the NFL where would we be? The league is littered with second chance success stories.

            • HawkMeat

              Wow. Tell us how you really feel. Do you know if that picture was taken this year? I have no idea when it was taken, and frankly who cares. A young guy with a skeleton picture does not equate to “he is immature”. Take it for what it is, a goofy picture.

              I am ok with a few Thigpen, Portis, and a draft choice “competing” for the role. I would LOVE to see Harnish picked up if he is cut from practice squad. I like the guy.

              • SHawn

                I rather like the picture. So what if he likes his girls skinny?

                • Kip Earlywine


                • HawksMeat

                  Exactly. To each his own, right. Right?

            • Ray graham

              You mad bro??

            • Attyla the Hawk

              This team can go .500 or better with a QB that posted a 72 QBR for the lowly KC Chiefs.

              Not worried in the least about the 1-12. Even good QBs have difficulty overcoming bad teams. KC was not good while he played. Neither was Miami or Buffalo. Yet he’s been able to post ratings that put him firmly around the 33rd percentile of QB starters in the league. Meaning about a third of the starting QBs in the league are statistically worse.

              I can’t help but think he could improve greatly on that rating playing with a stacked roster such as ours.

          • OCASAS6

            Rob, do you think there is any chance the Hawks would draft Ryan Nassib if he were still there at 56?

            • Rob Staton

              I think it’s unlikely. I could only see it if they think he can turn into a round one trade prospect down the line… but how will he do that on the bench, having already dropped to the late second? I suspect they’ll do what a lot of teams do and rely on the late rounds or even UDFA, with a veteran also competing.

    • Steeeve

      Are you being serious? A picture of him being silly makes him an immature person and player? Boy, I’d sure hate to be your kid. It’s easy to call someone garbage when you cherry pick his worst stats. How about his 386 rushing yards and 3 TDs coming in as a sophomore 7th round pick? He has only thrown 83 passes since then on some of the worst football teams in recent history. Not to mention he can run the pistol/read-option, of which heavy use is likely our only chance at winning if Wilson gets hurt.

      Really, what are the other options? I implore you to check the stats of Vince Young, John Skelton, Matt Leinart, et al. Whoever we sign is most likely coming in to compete with a draft pick. It’s not the end of the world.

  2. A. Simmons

    I’d like to get a young guy as a backup we can develop and turn into draft picks. I like seeing young players develop. I feel as though Carroll is good at creating a positive environment for QB development. If he gets ahold of a QB first, he’ll turn them into a hyper-competitive player that will stop at nothing to improve. If the player has any talent, he’ll maximize it in Seattle. That’s the ethic Pete is instilling in the organization. Schneider has to feel confident that any young QB he brings on the team with any kind of talent will be in a strong environment to develop their skills.

    I’m also psyched the Matt Flynn trade is done. 23 days to the draft. I want a damn defensive tackle. I’m going to be ecstatic if we get a new high quality 300 lb. plus DT in the draft.

  3. Bobk3333

    Excellent summary of available vets – by far the best analysis I have seen.

    Too bad this site only covers the draft, because the analysis is better than, which is *very* uneven.

    I’m really glad the 49ers got McCoy because McCoy is garbage.

    Vince Young is a knucklehead. Things are so positive with Russell Wilson and the team, why risk disrupting it? Young got beat out by Thigpen at Buffalo last year.

    Pat White is a long shot, but intriguing. He got cut from the United Football League when he tried to make a comeback a couple years ago. He threw 5 passes for Miami in 2009 – all incompletions. He was cut during fall camp the next year. He then tried minor league baseball where he was a complete washout. The 49ers brought him in for a tryout not too long ago, but decided to trade for Colt McCoy instead.

    Okay, so Pat White sounds like he is garbage, but he still might be worth a look because of some of the things he did in college, where he was an excellent runner as a quaterback and had passer ratings in the 150s. He still holds the NCAA record for career rushing yards by a quaterback and and the Big East record for the career TDs

    Excerpt from Wikipedia about Pat White’s senior year:

    Wikipedia: Pat White ended his senior season with career-highs of 1,844 yards and 21 touchdowns on 180-of-274 passing with seven interceptions through the air and 974 yards rushing on 180 attempts for 8 touchdowns – totaling 2,818 yards and 29 touchdowns on offense. White finished his career with 6,051 yards and 56 touchdowns passing and 4,480 yards and 47 touchdowns rushing – a total of 10,531 yards and 103 touchdowns over his career. White also finished his career sixth in the NCAA among the most career victories as a starting quarterback with 34 overall.[17] In spite of all his accomplishments, Pat White was never an NCAA All-American and is not eligible for the College Football Hall of Fame.

    Sixth all time for career NCAA wins by a QB? Most rushing yards ever by a college QB? Passer ratings in the 150s? Excellent completion percentages and TD-INT ratios?

    He is a longshot, but worth a look.

    • Belka

      You got kicked off Field Gulls didn’t you?

    • David


      Please reconsider your use of the “garbage” description for these guys. They are human beings, and while not the best at their profession, far from garbage.


      The Guy Who’s Also Not The Best at His Profession

    • hazbro

      I rarely comment here, but you so funny I just had to. You get through ranting on how all listed options are “garbage” and then your solution is Pat White? Ha ha. Ha ha, ha ha hahaha.

      And, the Skins are signing him to imitate RG3 in practice while his knee heals up. Pat White cannot take an NFL hit. He can wear a red jersey in practice and pretend he’s somebody else.

  4. Chris F


    It is unfortunate that we find ourselves in this predicament this late in free agency as the list of viable options for a back-up quarterback have been greatly diminished. Because of this, it wouldn’t surprise me if in the near future we see a parade of the candidates from your list passing through Seattle as our front office explores every possibility in an effort to locate the best alternative. We as fans need to excercise patience with this process and realize that just because a particular name becomes associated with the organization, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they will ultimately be considered the answer. I expect the search will be ongoing and likely not reach it’s conclusion until the manditory cuts.

    I have faith that our front office will

    • Chris F

      oops)…make an informed and deliberate decision, as they have so many times before in the last three years. After all, they certainly have more at stake than any of us do.

  5. JonH

    I can’t help but be intrigued by the Tim Tebow possibility…

    Can a team have too much leadership? He would know coming in that he is the backup. There is no qb competition in Seattle right now, and he would need to understand that coming in…

    The downside is the media circus that would follow, at least at first… But once it’s known that there is no controversy, much less competition at the qb position it would die down.

    The only real problem is one of money… But the knowledge that he’s very close to not being in the league will temper that demand, I think. Probably won’t happen, but it’s an intriguing possibility.

    • Rob Staton

      The one problem with Tebow, and it’s quite a big one, is he can’t throw a football very well.

      • Bryan C

        The other issue with Tim Tebow is that he is Tim Tebow. I respect the hell out of the guy’s work ethic, but the media storm that his arrival would entail makes the whole thing a non-starter in my opinion.

        • Leonard

          I’ve said this a few times but who gives a crap about the media? No one in the Seahawks organization does. They are worried about winning on the field. This is Wilson’s team. No sane person can doubt that. No controversy anywhere that matters.

      • Jake

        Do you doubt his ability (at the ripe old age of 25) to improve his accuracy/shorten his throwing motion? Those are fixable to some extent. No, he’ll never have a pretty motion like Russ or Manning, but he can improve his short area accuracy and quicken his delivery with coaching and repetition. If there’s a starting QB in the league that could and would help him it would be Russ.

        It’s also possible that a Russ & Tebow combination could eliminate crime in the PNW during their off time (11 PM-4 AM on Mondays).

      • HawkMeat

        Yes, Tebow cannot make good on a pass, but he can hold the clipboard for RW and get him water during timeouts and when the defense is on the field. Really, I am 50/50 on Tebow coming in to compete. I think there is enough talent especially with the Harvin acquisition that he can probably come in and win a couple games a year if needed. He can either Run the ball, or dump it to Lynch, Harvin, Tate and let them get yards. His interceptions are not bad despite not being very accurate.

        I have a feeling that since the Tebow circus is a year removed it may not be a distraction for the next team?

      • JonH

        That is an issue, but that can be schemed around to an extent. I make no claims to coaching expertise, but I think the kid could be successful, as in Denver, with the right scheme and coaching.

        Is the read option/pistol the right scheme? I don’t know. I think it can be… Why not bring him in, and see what happens? Given his work ethic, and Wilson’s? I don’t really see a downside here…

        He wins football games, given half a chance…which he most assuredly didn’t get in NY.

      • Nolan

        Personally Tim Tebow would be my least favorit option, the absolute last thing I think the team needs is a guy like Tebow who will cause controversy if Russell struggles at all. If we have a random journey men and a late round rookie we don’t have to worry about any controversy. I really like Byron leftwich not sure if he is on a roster but have always been a fan of his from his time in school but he is probably the slowest QB in the league so I doubt he comes in. I say draft some one, sign some one and get Portis and see who makes it.

        • Leonard

          So you would rather have a unaccomplished back up because the idiots at ESPN won’t talk about him? I’d rather have a proven winner who has proven he can win a big game. I don’t care about stats other than wins. This team is too strong and too much behind Wilson to let any controversy happen. Who cares about ESPN?
          And Tebow does not preclude drafting a young project backup QB with some upside.

          • Nolan

            In short yes yes I would rather have an unaccomplished back up then Tebow

            • Leonard

              Wow. I’d rather have the best chance to win. To each his own.

      • Attyla the Hawk

        Honestly, I thought we wanted to STOP talking about our backup QB. Why would we ever entertain the notion of getting Tebow if that were the case?

      • Leonard

        Who cares if he can’t throw a football very well if what he does do is good enough to take a loosing team with a good running game and a good defense (sound familiar), and lead them to the second round of the playoffs with a win over the Steelers? Any other potential back up have accomplishments like that?He can run a scaled down version of the Hawks offense and give them a good chance to win for a game or three. That is pretty much the definition of a back up QB.
        By the time he would have gotten cut and signed here, he would have had to have gotten no other offers for a potential starting position. He would have to sign knowing he is a back up. This is Russell Wilson’s team and everyone that matters knows it. There would be no controversy other than the attempt at one by the idiots at ESPN. Who cares about that? The Seahawks locker room is far too strong too care about crap like that.
        If he has come to terms with being a back up then he would be a great fit for a year or two while they groom a project QB as a third. I’d much rather win a few games ugly a get home field advantage in the playoffs than loose a few while looking good and slip into a wild card spot.

      • Sam Jaffe

        Rob-I beg to differ on that. I lived through the Tim Tebow year here in Denver and saw far too much of him. Yes, his incompletions looked god-awful, sometimes bouncing off the turf 10 yards from the nearest receiver. Yes, he has relatively poor accuracy. However, it’s my opinion that part of the problem is that he was being coached to do that. If you think PC loves the point guard qb concept, you haven’t met John Fox. Denver’s offense was all run, all the time. Occasionally, Tebow would be forced to drop back. If he didn’t scramble his way out a hole (even better than Russell Wilson, if that’s even possible), then he would look downfield for a pass catcher. If he didn’t see one that was open, then he would immediately throw it into the turf somewhere in the same zip code as a guy with an orange jersey. That’s not to say he didn’t throw interceptions–he did. But those often happened late in the fourth quarter when things were desperate. And he led a lot more game-winning drives than lost games by throwing picks. I’m not saying Tebow is a good quarterback. He’s not. But as a backup to RW, he would be phenomenal. And he’s the only guy out there who can singlehandedly win games if RW is out for a few weeks. He also would be the easiest for the rest of the offense to adjust to–the only major change in the offensive game planning would be a lot more runs and a lot more read-option. Another bright spot about Tebow is that, as Mel Kiper said when he was in college, the guy would make a great H-back. He would be spectacular as a moveable chess-piece so that any investment in him doesn’t just have to be sunk into a clip-board carrier.

        The only reason I’m not on the Tebow-to-Seattle bandwagon is the aforementioned circus that seems to travel with him. Tebow himself is a nice guy and a great team player. Unfortunately, the public image that his handlers have built around him has attracted a lot of clowns. It’s driven by especially vicious right-wing politics–not sports–and is incredibly corrosive to a football team. The only hope in that regard is that the circus clowns will have abandoned camp by his third team. One other worry I have about Tebow is that the concept of giving up picks in a trade for him is frightening. He’s only worth it if he comes into Seattle at a veteran’s minimum salary with the promise of–at best–a backup QB job. If he agrees to that, then I think he could be a spectacular addition to the team.

        • Sam Jaffe

          One more good thing about Tebow: to my knowledge, he doesn’t engage in sex acts with dead bodies.

        • Kip Earlywine

          Some good points in there. Denver’s offense WAS extremely run heavy that year. Granted, that might have been largely because Tim Tebow was the QB. I agree though, Seattle would be a significantly different situation.

    • Robert

      I do not like the Tebow option at all. He simply cannot throw. So at that point, I think his candidacy for our backup QB opening is nonexistent. His leadership contribution probably would not be well received on our team of hard workers who have exceptional football talent at their respective positions. And the media circus would be disruptive for players and maddening for fans. Let’s draft a kid with RW type measurables and intangibles and develop him with RW’s help. Odds are good we will have numerous opportunities to showcase the backup in garbage time over the next couple years and possibly attract a buyer willing to ante up significant draft capital for a well developed QB prospect! Ryan Aplin???

      • Leonard

        Yes please draft Aplin or Daniels or Tuel. Whoever they like. None of those guys will be ready year one. If they are then bump them up to #2 kind of like last year with Wilson at starter. Tebow obviously can throw well enough to win a playoff game with a good running game and a good defense. I’d rather win than look good.

        • Sam Jaffe

          I think Aplin is not the answer. The tape I’ve seen of him doesn’t show anything that will translate well to the pro game. He’s a camp QB with little hope of getting much farther. I’m excited about Daniels, but I just don’t see the arm strength or accuracy that shows he can emulate what he did in college in the NFL. However, he might turn out as a good backup QB (a better Joe Webb might be his ceiling). Tuel–I have no idea why he’s so popular in the comments section. If Seattle needs a backup qb from the draft who has any hope of winning a game in his rookie year, I think they will have to go with an early pick for Tyler Wilson, Tyler Bray or Zac Dysert.

          • Leonard

            I’d be cool with Tyler Wilson or Dysert if they slip into the 5th round, maybe 4th but I’d want no part of Bray. Bray has a big arm but is very inaccurate. I think his stats were padded by playmaking recievers but he did nothing to help their stock. So many passes bounced off the turf just out of the reach of the recievers.
            The little bit of Tuel love around here comes from pre air-raid offense tape. Tuel wasn’t suited for that offense. Go back a couple of years and he was really good though. Great feet and pocket presence. He could scramble for 5-8 seconds ducking in and out of trouble always keeping his eyes down field. He had a good enough arm to make plays and move the team down the field too. Two years of injuries and being miscast in an offense has killed his stock. He is getting some momentum late though. A good pro day and all star game showing has some intrigued as a 7th round/free agent type.

  6. Dan

    It seems as though the majority of fans want a backup that is comparable to a starter on a lowly team’s roster. Let’s straighten one thing out… That’s not going to happen!!

    I agree with Kip. The Hawks’ are looking for high upside guys that have potential trade value in a few seasons. Guys that would be low investments with high upside. You can’t leave out the possibility of a veteran signing before the draft but based on the current FA market, I’m betting they are looking at the draft for their backup of the foreseeable future. My money is on Seneca Wallace in the FA market IF they don’t find their guy in the draft.

  7. woofu

    Remember that TV show where the baby dino looked at his dad and smiled and said “not the mama”?

    Well this next guy is going to be “not the starter”. So signing Portis is pretty much a skill set target in keeping with what they said they wanted to do behind RW and we all can agree to that it seems. Unlike the 49’ers McCoy who is “not the Kaepernick” we have sought out the first low-cost prototype of not RW, but our Qb style in Portis.
    McCoy does come with some veteran-like exposure, even at his young age, and I would expect that might be the next choice to be added rather than a older guy. RW though has such a grasp of the sport and position that at year two he may not need that veteran guy behind him, so it could just come from the draft which is where I am leaning. Saving all that money just to respend it on another guy no better than Flynn would be silly, imho.

    • Kip Earlywine

      Love the “Dinosaurs” reference.

  8. Jake

    I would be ok with FA Tim Tebow, the media circus would die down in Seattle. Sure, they’d talk about it for a few days on First Take, etc… but there is no competition, Russ is the established starter and a media darling himself – so there would be ZERO controversy, which was the problem in Denver/N.J. People wanted Denver to commit to Tebow because he was entertaining and different, but they wouldn’t. Everyone hates Sanchez and the Jets are already a media circus with or without Tebow.

    I think he would really do well in this system, not just the pistol/zone-read (which is only like 10% of the offense), but with our coaching and locker room, he could be utilized as a weapon in some places. Lynch is a good power runner, but bringing in Tebow for goal line/short yardage in the pistol would cause the defense pause as to who’s going to plow into the line… Tebow or Lynch? I just think he could be used as a H-back, slot, running back, etc. He’s proven he is a willing special teamer, and Mike Rob’s transition from star college QB to special team’s ace/FB would only help. On this team, with these coaches, and Russell Wilson as the starter – I’m a fan of Tim Tebow being a backup QB/football player.

    The only downside I see with Tebow as #2, is that we have to keep a #3 (Portis is fine) – because both QBs will be running around risking injury.

    • Dan

      If he could become a jack of all trades type player, then I could see the value in his investment…

      But I completely disagree with him being good for the locker room. Our team has a chip on their shoulder in games (some might call it dirty), and Tebow is nothing like that. He’s VERY religious. I remember watching a sound tracks montage of him on sportscenter when he was still with the Broncos. He would sing gospel songs on the sidelines… Just seems like a person who would distract players on game day. Aside from Russell, our entire team is jacked up on adrenaline.

      Plus the Seahawks will be more relevant this season than most. Even with Wilson being the obvious starter, Tebow’s acquisition will blow up in the media.. Too many distractions.

      • Jake

        You can be religious and still chippy. Wearing your faith on your sleeve doesn’t make you “nice”. It doesn’t disqualify you from being a little nasty on the field. Tebow is an advantages guy, just like John Stockton was. He’ll do what he has to for that yard – I have no problem with the way Sherman and Browner play, but there’s more than one way to play with “swagger” or “a chip on your shoulder” or whatever other phrase you want to use to describe competitiveness. Wilson proved last year you can be a good guy, be competitive, not talk trash, and still lead Carroll’s Seahawks.

        There’s room for different personalities – Sherman is brash, Russell is a robot. Tebow is somewhere in between that. He is a hard-worker and a strong willed guy, but he is not afraid of the spotlight. Players respond to guys like him, he is a leader of men – those guys are not a dime a dozen. Of all the guys available, he is the one with the highest upside. He is also the most likely to come in and win 2 out of 3 games if Russ missed some time or hold a lead if Russ went down.

        The previous media circus is irrelevant to this scenario, he’s coming here to fill a role – not compete to start. He’d be a footnote on the signings that we made, not the lead story – Percy Harvin trade will always be the “story” of the 2013 offseason. Sure it would be talked about some and opinions will vary… who cares. He isn’t talked about for beating up his wife or stealing doughnuts or DUIs, so his news does not put down the team.

    • Robert

      If RW did get hurt, we will have to start the backup QB. So I think our backup QB should have some NFL caliber ability to get the football to our talented receivers. Tebow is a circus sideshow who cannot accurately distribute a football. RW even said that Tebow “Can’t throw” to Jon Gruden at his QB camp last year before the Draft. Give RW someone he can mentor who has upside. Let’s target a prospect with accuracy and arm strength and mobility. Then we can groom him to run our offense!

  9. HawkMeat

    I think the FO will have maybe 3-4 QB’s to compete for the role in preseason. I really would like Harnish to compete if he the he is cut by the Colts. The Hawks may spend a 5-7th round on a QB this year or bring in a guy that went undrafted.

    Late round QB’s I would like to see include:
    Jordan Rodgers would be intriguing and not because he is related to one of the best QB’s of the era. He may be a 5-7th round type.

  10. HawkMeat

    I think the FO will have maybe 3-4 QB’s to compete for the role in preseason. I really would like Harnish to compete if he the he is cut by the Colts. The Hawks may spend a 5-7th round on a QB this year or bring in a guy that went undrafted.

    Late round QB’s I would like to see include:
    Jordan Rodgers would be intriguing and not because he is related to one of the best QB’s of the era. He may be a 5-7th round type.

    • HawkMeat

      (oops-I am not sure how this got posted without clicking on submit)

      Matt Scott- Athletic and is great with his legs. Shorter for a QB, but we all know what that means. Maybe a 7th rounder?

      Undrafted- Clay Belton and BJ Daniels are intriguing. They are totally opposites. Clay tall 6’6 and BJ I think is listed at 5’11. I think Kip wrote a piece on BJ? Good runner and athletic. Clay has good size but raw and inconsistent.

      • Kenny Sloth

        Matt Scott probably won’t last until the Fifth round, bud.

        • HawkMeat

          Maybe… I would not be surprised to see him sitting in the 5th round. I don’t think the Hawks touch a QB until the 5th round. He was probably the first ‘fringe’ QB I could think of around that round.

          Clay Belton-

  11. Rock

    Josh Portis, is the only one on that list that I would want. He has all of he measurables at 6-4, 210 with 4.5 speed. His career was derailed in college by some bad choices but he seems to have grown up. The Hawks have trained him for two years. They obviously believe in his potential. He is the big, fast, dual threat QB we are looking for. Put him in the same category as E J Manuel. With Flynn and Tjax out of his way, he may finally get his shot. He is out of options on the practice squad.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I wanted to see Portis play two years ago. I don’t know why PC kept using Wallace. Anyway I hope Portis gets some playing time this year, maybe 4th quarter in our numerous blow outs 🙂 also think it most likely that they draft a third QB in 7th or UDFA. They wont spend a high or mid round pick on QB this year. None of the vets impress me, the best come with a lot of baggage that we don’t need.

    • Robert

      I am excited about the upside of Portis for all the reasons you mentioned. That he is tall will tantalize other teams who may get to see him play often during our garbage time blowouts. He would be a great backup for us and very likely another team will ultimately ante up significant draft capital for his services in a couple years!

  12. Scott

    Regarding Darron Thomas – are there concerns about him other than those I find with a quick browser search? I see criticism that he has a less than powerful arm, and that he was just a product of the OSU system…
    However your comments give me the impression there are more issues – or am I reading too much into that?

    • Geoff

      Well, we know at the very least he is an extremely mature man, as there are no photos of him humping a skeleton on the internet.

    • Kenny Sloth

      I think he was part of the Recruiting Scandal that took place at U of O. It was before I was really serious about football and I don’t remember all the details, but yes he only really has the arm strength of like maybe Matt Barkley, but that’s not bad at all! He’s a bit of a PG QB, I would really like to see him get his chance in the nfl.

      Oregon is a death trap for potential nfl QB’s. They run one of the most unorthodox offenses in history. The QB doesn’t learn to call plays or get experience in an nfl offense. They are a 60 percent option team at the very least.

    • Kip Earlywine

      I think I had Thomas down for a 4th round grade last year, then he went undrafted and unsigned. He certainly had his warts, but seeing teams avoid him like he had leprosy made me think there was something much more serious going on that the public didn’t know about.

  13. Kenny Sloth

    Someone said in comments yesterday that Tyler Thigpen seems like a real X’s and O’s kind of guy. Hyperintelligent is a word I think was used. Not to say that he definitely isn’t. I just think it’s funny that this is the picture you use, Kip.

    Also, how did you get such a sweet ass name? Kip Earlywine?! Wtf!

    • Steeeve

      I prefer Early Beer, personally. Wine is hard to digest in the morning.

    • Kip Earlywine

      I’ve been told I am the only one of my name in North America. If nothing else, it’s extremely unique.

      • Rob Staton

        ‘Kip Earlywine’ is truly an epic name.

  14. Kenny Sloth

    I keep bringing this name up around here, but no-one seems interested. Anyone finally taken a look at Ryan Aplin of Arkansas State? He’s got a bit of Russel to his Game.

    • Robert

      Like him! I think he is a great candidate for our system. I just wonder if Portis isn’t already the guy. He has a strong, accurate arm and good speed, mobility. And he has two years in our system, though he was buried on the depth chart and did not get many opportunities…

  15. Hawkfin

    I think we should just go with Portis and then draft one. Groom him up and have the potential trade bait even. I like this idea a lot! I also think this is what they do too.
    (Or V. Young, but not really crazy about that idea – Hate all the other options thrown out there too)

    I also don’t think we have to draft a QB that early. If Wilson goes down now, were sunk.

    I always liked Flynn and felt he was a nice peace to have as backup. I think he would have made a solid starter, if it were not for an amazing stud that we landed who will be a annual probowler.
    I’m still a little sad that we didn’t get 3rd round value for Flynn, but I do LOVE the fact they are able to trade these QB’s that appear to have no value. (Media way to hard on Flynn though! Bad rap. I’ll be interested to see what he does in Oakland, I think much better then Palmer)

    Anyway, I’m glad we got multiple picks though and show that we can trade any QB. We got Flynn for free and at least got 2 picks out of him. Great sign we can trade a rookie QB down the road after we groom him.

    I think Wilson seems like a guy that will be injury free so I’m not to worried. Draft one 3rd+ round and give him and Portis a good shot to showcase there skills. (I prefer to draft one in the 5th though)

  16. Kenny Sloth

    Any late round options at QB anyone wants to throw out there? I like B.J. Daniels whom Kip brought up. I’m also extremely partial to Ryan Aplin. I haven’t watched Jordan Rodgers, yet, but I like his story. Anybody got some intriguing options for us?

    • Attyla the Hawk

      Sean Renfree

      • Kenny Sloth

        Ah, yes, Rob’s mentioned him before. I watched his bowl game and he tore it up, he seems a bit indecisive at times, but I like that he’s a pocket QB with +mobility.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Take a look at Casey Brockman – likely to be a R7-UDFA.

      • Kenny Sloth

        I like the tools Brockman presents. Just wish there was some real tape on him. I’d consider him as a UDFA

    • GottaLove HAWKS

      Like the idea of Portis getting a chance. Thought he had potential his first pre-season. Tuel did look better before last year, and Pete would be able to get the best of him. I think Tebow could come in and compete. He and Harvin have a good history. The only thing I am not sure is the O having to adjust from a righty to a lefty both in pass protection and ball spiral. Giacomini would be covering Tebow’s “blind side”. The other QB that hasn’t been meintioned is out of the same school as Portis (California-PA). His name is Peter Lalich. Top recruit out of HS, but a few “growing pains” in Division 1 that I don’t see as a problem in the NFL.

      On a side note, I would like to see Kyle Long in the 2nd. Think he can potentially play RT, either G position. Looked real good with Oregon, and at the combine. Would also like to see Marquess Wilson in round 3 or 4. Think he got a raw deal with the changing of the guard at WSU. Just like Tuel, They were not meant for Leach’s style of coaching. Pete’s style will work.

  17. CHawk Talker Eric

    Very entertaining comments section to Kip’s post. Amazing how hot opinions run for what Rob has repeatedly pointed out to be a non-factor position.

    I’d like to second his sentiments, and add that while watching RW evolve during his rookie season, what struck me most about his game is how intelligently he plays – especially from a physical safety/preservation standpoint. I don’t recall any particular play where I thought he put himself in needless danger. I understand that pro FB is a contact sport, and anything can happen at any time. But of ALL the QBs in the League, and in particular, of all the mobile, read-option QBs, RW is the sanest, safest, and surest one playing the game. The likelihood that any backup QB (whomever that turns out to be) ever takes a snap in a game is limited more by how big of a lead SEA has going into the 4th qtr, than because RW goes down with an injury.

  18. Ely

    How awesome is it that we are arguing about who will be holding the clipboard? The Seahawks are seemingly so stacked that the backup QB seems to be the biggest worry right now. It will be nice to get back on track of which positions could be upgraded. In otherwords talking about players the Hawks could draft that might actually see playing time. That being said it will be hard for even our second and third round picks to see much quality time. BPA all the way in this draft!

  19. Chris F

    While a bit off topic, Alan Branch signed with the Bills. What is strange is that his reported contract is for $3M with $300K in incentives. I think he played last year for $3.5M. I’d be curious to know how much Seattle’s offer was, assuming of course that there was one.

  20. Nate

    E.J. Manuel, one can hope that this taller Russell Wilson (wears #3, similar features) falls to us with the recent QB carousel

    • HawkMeat

      I really like E.J. but I don’t think he will be around when Hawks start looking to draft a QB. I would dig it if he was a Hawk to compete though!

  21. Chuckanox1983

    6th round – that’s where Brady was drafted. No 6th round pick will pose a threat to the starting qb…for now.

  22. seattlesetters

    Bring in a veteran, Josh Portis and maybe either a late-round pick or a released practice squad guy like Harnish to compete for this year’s backup duties.

    Then, use a low 1st round or very high 2nd round pick on Derek Carr in the 2014 draft. Then we’ll have a quality backup with future trade value on our roster that can actually replace RW in case the unthinkable happens. also, keep this year’s backup as a #3 so we have a capable QB in the system in case we trade our #2 down the road.

    What’s not to like?

  23. Dobbs

    Tyler Thigpen’s 2008 QBR was 47.7%.

    Joe Flacco’s 2012 QBR was 46.8%.

    How bad of a backup could Thigpen truly be?

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