This is a guest article by Curtis Allen…
The quarterback competition has been turned on its ear
If Drew Lock ends up winning the starting job, today is the day fans can point to in order to identify when it happened.
Lock was poised, confident and ran the offense well against both the #1 and #2 defenses. Three things immediately stood out to me about Lock.
First, he made good decisions and executed them effectively.
Much was made of his now-infamous opening day throw. I called it “the worst throw I’d ever seen a professional QB make.” Brock Huard called it “a throw that loses you football games.” Pete Carroll called it “as bad a throw as you can make. That’s an example of ‘we’re never doing that again.’” But he quickly added that Lock has not made a single ‘bonehead’ decision since that day.
Is that Pete with his trademark overly positive perspective? No. Lock had several chances today to make dangerous throws into tight windows and considered it but he wisely checked down and found a safer option to keep the offense on schedule and moving forward. Significant progress and something that will be critical for a team intending to focus on the run game.
Late in the first half, he had the offense in field goal range but had time for one more play. He rolled to his right but there was no really good opportunity. He wisely threw the ball out of the end zone instead of trying for the low-percentage play and the team took the field goal and went into the locker room.
At another point in the game, Uchenna Nwosu came completely free off the edge and was in Lock’s face immediately after the snap. Lock coolly sidearmed the ball around him and hit Colby Parkinson in stride for a nice gain. That was a play that a seriously good NFL quarterback makes.
He also made good decisions on when to take shots. At one point he slightly overthrew a streaking Bo Melton in the deep middle. The throw was not perfect but the decision making was sound. He had enough time and protection to take the deep shot and Melton clearly had a step on his man.
It really looks like he demonstrated a high positive response to the coaching since the opening of camp. Lock appears to have ascended closer to what Pete Carroll wants. Be a good steward of the football — be patient — but make the big throw when it is available to you.
Second, Lock used his legs.
It’s almost as if he listened to Brock Huard’s podcast this week. He said Lock would have to use his legs to elevate himself in the competition.
He most certainly did that today. He bought time in the pocket, rolled out to find receivers and also called his own number on run-pass option plays at least three or four times and gained decent yardage each time, converting at least one third down. He may have found an element to contribute that differentiates him from Geno Smith.
Third, he threw into the middle of the field effectively.
Lock found the tight ends down the seam, the wide receivers on slants and running backs on check downs. These are things that can really add a dimension to the offense that has been sorely missing.
Was Lock perfect today? No. Some of his throws lacked accuracy and his timing with his receivers was not always the best. His first handoff to Walker was fumbled (although to be fair, Pete blamed Walker). Also, a drive in the third quarter sputtered.
But overall, it was an impressive display. Lock made a statement today. He’s coming for the job.
What about Geno Smith?
He had a nice drive to open the game against the #2 defense. He found D.K. Metcalf a couple times, had a nice throw to Marquise Goodwin and audibled to Penny runs that appeared to be good choices a couple of times. He brought the offense down the field and Penny ran in for a touchdown at the goal line. Smith kept the offense on schedule and made the throws he needed to.
There wasn’t much to speak positively of after that drive though.
The next drive he could not muster much of anything.
Later, he had a throw that was completely perplexing. He scrambled to his left under pressure and lofted a ball down the sideline to Goodwin that there was simply no way he could get to, yet was in bounds and catchable. Tariq Woolen with his incredible length turned his body and nearly made an incredible diving interception. Why not just throw the ball away?
Coming out of the locker room after halftime, on the first offensive play Geno burned a timeout. The team was not ready to play.
Later they lined up for a ‘four-minute drill’. The simulation was the team had a lead with four minutes to play and the offense needed to burn the clock. After a short run, Geno threw a short checkdown ball the receiver had to fall to the ground to catch and then he got ‘sacked’ on third down. About 50 seconds burned off the clock.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a real horserace. If Lock continues at this pace, he will win the job and have preseason time to develop some chemistry with his receivers.
Tariq Woolen’s star turn
Tariq Woolen played tremendously well today. With Sidney Jones sidelined with a potential concussion, Woolen got plugged into the right cornerback spot with the #1 defense and had several impressive moments.
Woolen had a couple pass breakups, consistently tight coverage and nearly got that interception off Geno Smith with a diving attempt. He had a dogged matchup with Marquise Goodwin and got the best of him more often than not.
He looked good, patiently waiting for receivers to make their break and then reacting, trusting his speed and his ability turn his hips and run. He also seemed to have a very solid grasp of when to hand off his man in zone coverage and get to his next assignment.
I’m not sure his development timeline should necessarily be advanced just yet, but he appears to my eyes to be further along than I reckoned he would be.
— Penalties, penalties, penalties. False starts, delays of game, holdings, defensive offsides. Procedural penalties abounded today. Jake Curhan got at least two false starts for jumping early. Let’s hope they get these things ironed out. Soon.
— Kenneth Walker again looked fantastic. After the fumbled exchange, Walker calmed down and ran with a burst you love to see. On one run, he got to the second level and completely juked an incoming Josh Jones and gained more yards. His touchdown run was a seamless effort that he made look easy with a quick cut to the outside:
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) August 6, 2022
— Dareke Young had several catches and looked comfortable in the offense.
— The edge rushers looked great today. Darrel Taylor, Boye Mafe, and Uchenna Nwosu all displayed burst off the line, power and bend. Pete Carroll’s comments yesterday about Boye Mafe being used primarily in pass rush packages are a welcome relief. In his post-draft comments, he had mentioned that Mafe had more of an aptitude for linebacker play whereas Tyreke Smith was more of a pass rusher. Thank goodness they’re focusing on Mafe as a pass rusher.
— Jacob Eason laid a claim for the Dumbest Throw of Preseason crown. Deep in his own territory, he took the snap, had a rusher in his face and from his own end zone he threw it to…I don’t know who. He just flipped the ball away but in the middle of the field, with no offensive player within 5 yards of the throw. A defender made a diving catch for an interception at the 3-yard line. Thankfully the play was nullified by a defensive penalty.