The argument for Russell Wilson starting in 2012

I think Russell Wilson has every chance to become the rookie starting quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks.

A lot of people think the job is Matt Flynn’s to lose. I understand that – Flynn was the high profile free agent quarterback until Peyton Manning gatecrashed the party. Instead of needy teams chasing Flynn, half the league was trying to get Peyton on a plane. After weeks of discussion about how much Flynn will earn on the open market and which teams would be interested, the phone didn’t ring. The market was ice cold. A few days went by and the Seattle Seahawks invited Flynn for a visit and work out.

It turns out the market remained cold and so the Seahawks agreed a modest deal. Flynn’s contract included a $6m signing bonus, with $10m in guarantees. In 2012 he received the $6m and will get a further $2m in base salary. It means he’ll be guaranteed just $2m next year, making him expendable if necessary. The bulk of their investment in Flynn was made the day he signed. From now on, his salary is modest. This team aren’t going to be dictated by money spent on a signing bonus when it comes to choosing a starter.

Flynn was one of the biggest names on the open market, largely due to his six-touchdown performance in week 17 against Detroit. But in raw terms his cap hit is similar to the two guys he’s trying to replace. Charlie Whitehurst’s salary was similar but he actually cost a 2011 third round pick and a significant fall in round two in 2010. Despite that commitment, Whitehurst never overtook Matt Hasselbeck or Tarvaris Jackson to top the depth chart. He never came close. If no guarantees were made to Whitehurst, what changes for Flynn?

The point I’m making here is – there’s no reason to believe this is Flynn’s job to lose. I see his signing as opportunistic on Seattle’s behalf, taking another chance on a guy who was available at the right price due to a weak market. But if Tarvaris Jackson or Russell Wilson performs better in camp, I have absolutely no doubt at all that Flynn will be the backup. Seattle has carried an expensive backup quarterback for the last two years, after all. They’re prepared to go with the right man, not the man who cost the most money.

We feel like we have four quality guys to go compete.” That quote is from John Schneider yesterday when he spoke to Adam Schein. I firmly believe it’ll be the open competition discussed in that interview. Jackson vs Flynn vs Wilson vs Portis. And I believe the Seahawks want Wilson to win that battle.

Some further quotes from Seattle’s dynamic duo over the last few days…

John Schneider

When you write a report on this guy, there’s nothing he can’t do. He’s just short. His personal character is ridiculous. He almost makes you feel bad when you talk to this guy, he’s got way better character than me. You just cant pass on this guy, did we have other guys who could have impacted our roster, sure. But he’s just so good. This is a guy we had to have.”

Pete Carroll

More than anybody else that was alive in the draft, this guy gives you a chance to have a great player. It’s going to be really exciting to see what he can bring. All he’s ever done is be great.”

What you can’t see from these quotes, are the ear-to-ear grins Schneider and Carroll sport every time they’re asked about Wilson. It’s kind of in-between ‘proud father’ grin and ‘we know something you don’t’ grin. In both cases, that could be the case. Schneider and Carroll love this guy. They took him in the earliest round that was logical and didn’t risk him falling to round four. As Kip noted yesterday, “You don’t always have to take a top talent early if you know you don’t have to… there was no need to take Wilson earlier than this. John Schneider and Pete Carroll badly wanted Wilson, and got him at essentially the latest possible moment they could have.” At no point since they made the selection have they tried to control their excitement.

Is it an elaborate ruse to make the rest of the league believe Seattle has its QBOTF? You know, for draft leverage in 2013 when the likes of Matt Barkley enter the league? That sounds a bit too conspiracy theory-ish for my liking and I think there’s a genuine belief that Wilson can negate the need to attack the quarterback market next year.

There’s been no reference to patience with Wilson, just a lot of talk about how he’s beaten the odds. I get the feeling they truly believe Russell Wilson could be the quarterback not just for the future, but maybe even for now. After all, hasn’t Carroll talked about young quarterbacks starting early in the modern NFL? Has he not discussed his willingness to play young players, even at the most important position? Has he not backed that up by thrusting rookies into starting roles with some impressive results?

It could be argued that Wilson even has a slight edge, given the investment of a valuable third round pick in his services. That to me is more of a commitment than the salaries due to both Tarvaris Jackson and Matt Flynn in 2012.

If the Seahawks are as excited about Wilson as they suggest, I think they might as well start the guy. Hey, they’ve talked the pick up to the extreme so let’s see what he has. Rookies start early in this league, and had the Seahawks drafted Wilson in round one a lot of people would expect him to be the quarterback in 2012. I get the impression that Schneider and Carroll see Wilson as a round one talent who fell due to height anyway.

Wilson is familiar with the terminology having worked in both a west-coast system at NC State and a run-based offense in Wisconsin. Seattle uses a run-focused WCO. He’s shown he can adapt and succeed in moving schools and guiding his new team to the Rose Bowl.

But more than anything I just think the Seahawks need to know what they’ve got. Whether it’s Flynn, Wilson or Jackson starting next season, if the quarterback performance is still inadequate there’s going to be increasing pressure on the team to draft a quarterback in round one, even if it requires a Robert Griffin III style trade. If the Seahawks go 7-9 again next year with the quarterback again throwing more picks than touchdowns, it’ll be difficult to justify why the guy who couldn’t beat out the struggling 2012 starter is now the right man to lead the team. Fans and media will grow impatient as the next free agent or mid-round pick is trotted out as the starter.

And quite frankly it’s about time Seattle had some direction at the position. If they need to go big for a Matt Barkley or Logan Thomas next year, then let’s find out if that’s the case.

The teams run game and defense will help Seattle win another 7-8 games. The difference between sticking in that range and progressing to 9-12 wins will be improved quarterback play. So let’s see if Wilson is up to the job.

I know… it’s never ideal to start a rookie. Some would say it’s unfair. If the Seahawks wanted to groom a quarterback and start Flynn they should’ve drafted a different offensive player in round three and taken a quarterback later. Selecting Russell was a pro-active move. They say they had to have this guy. Let’s find out why.

Flynn knew he wasn’t being handed the starting job when he signed in Seattle. I have no idea if the interest from Miami would’ve ever resulted in a contract, but it looks to me like his best options were to come to Seattle and have a shot, or go to Miami to be the bridge to Ryan Tannehill or even be a backup-for-life in Green Bay. A 25-35% chance of being the answer in Seattle is possibly better than any chance he was going to get elsewhere.

The Seahawks need some long term planning at the position. They can’t change the quarterback every year. First Hasselbeck, then Whitehurst, then Jackson. Will it be Flynn this year and if he fails, Wilson next year? Having a revolving door at quarterback will hold this team back. Eventually, they need to commit.

Next years class could have the answer. Barkley, Thomas, Wilson, Bray. It still stands to reason that eventually Seattle might have to go big on a quarterback. If Flynn produces a performance comparable to Jackson, and Wilson doesn’t start as a rookie, there’s going to be some pressure to be proactive again but this time in round one… to get a quarterback that can give this regime a chance to deliver a consistent playoff challenger.

And next year might be a good year to focus on QB’s. Cleveland are seemingly committed to Brandon Weeden. Washington now have their quarterback and so does Miami. Denver drafted Brock Osweiler as a future starter when Peyton Manning retires. The number likely to target a first round quarterback is getting smaller. Of course, others will emerge – but there could be a window opening in 2013.

It’s another reason why Seattle has to be prepared next year. They need to know if the big move is necessary or if they’ve maybe already found the answer. They’ll only find out that answer by starting Russell Wilson. So why not?


  1. kevin mullen

    I say, this is a make or break year for Bradford. I see the Rams as a possibility for making a play for Barkley should they have another sub-par year and Bradford struggles. His contract and the fact they have two first round picks are what stands out.

  2. Ben2

    Yeah start Brees…err, Wilson, and then Draft Rivers, I mean Barkley, and then let Wilson move on in favor of Barkley and watch him (Wilson) become a HOF QB for another team.

    I like the argument (specifically the idea of a LACK of continuity at such an important position being detrimental to the offense)and am all in on starting Wilson I just get the feeling Flynn starts 8 games and Wilson finishes out the season.

  3. Phil

    Why not start Russell Wilson? If he wins the job after competing with the other QBs, that’s fine with me. If you mean just handing the starting job to him, no way. PC has made “competition” the mantra for this team. What’s he going to say — that it doesn’t apply to the most important position on the team?

    Wilson is a real winner. But so is Flynn. Just a quick synopsis to remind you — he led LSU to the BCS Championship; he was the MVP in the championship game; and when given a chance to start a game in the NFL, he threw for 480 yds. and 6 touchdowns. What more could you have asked him to do?

    So, if Wilson “wins” the competition against Flynn/Portis/TJack, of course he should start the season. But, so should any of the others if they win the competition.

    • peter

      I’d agree with this statement, about Flynn…..if he wins then let him be it….but as Rob states the thing with Flynn from a quasi business level wherein football money and draft capitol are equally important, Wilson commands draft capitol and money, whereas Flynn….again if he loses out simply cost us money, a bit of team and nothing else….

      • Nolan Thomas

        By not giving Flynn a chance you also have opportunity cost of not seeing what you have in Flynn. If it were me I would probably have Flynn start out the gate and see how it goes, you can always have Wilson take over mid season if that’s what needs to be done. I would cut bait with tjack though if Wilson is good enough to be the backup or starter then no need for tjack taking reps.

    • Nick in Pullman

      “If you mean just handing the starting job to him, no way. PC has made “competition” the mantra for this team. What’s he going to say — that it doesn’t apply to the most important position on the team? ”

      The front office tossed the whole competition mantra out the window when they guaranteed an unproven career backup 75% of Tarvaris’ entire contract.

      • Jfox

        Carroll “gave” TJax the starting job because of the shortened preseason from the league lockout, and because Tacaris spent 4 years in the offensive system that incoming WR Rice and OC Bevell were implementing into our developing young team. Given the circumstances it was the best move possible. And it was a modest $10 million, 2 year deal at that.

        Other than this instance, when has PC and JS ever “thrown competition out the window”?

        • Nick in Pullman

          I agree with everything you said about last year. It made perfect sense to anoint Jackson as the starter following the lockout.

          But I think you may have missed my point. I’m saying that I think Flynn enters training camp taking the majority of the reps with the first team bases guaranteed dollars being played to each player. Ten million guaranteed to Flynn, regardless if he plays single down, versus $1.5 million to Jackson (or $750 thousand if you consider that he’s already played out half of his contract). I know it’s not a lot of money, but symbolically, the signing of Flynn sent a pretty strong message about the direction this staff wants to go, even if only for this season.

          Barring a Kolb like performance this summer, in which Flynn proves that he really is a career backup who played two solid games against mediocre-to-bad defense, he’s the starter going into the regular season. But if he does go out and play like a 7th round QB, and Jackson/Wilson do become the starter, they haven’t won that title based on a competition, have they?

  4. peter

    Is thinking about the closing window for teams that may be in the market for a QB, but in some regards the new CBA has changed everything…

    First teams stuck in similar situation as us:

    Arizona, that team is definitely being held back by QB play.

    Jacksonville, perhaps Gabbert steps up, perhaps he shouldn’habeen drafted so high

    Kansas City….who is there QB

    Then there are the teams with QB’s that may be looking for a change:

    Raiders…will Carson Palm ever return to anyknd of former form?

    Buffalo…will Fitzatrick become consistent?

    The Jets….will either QB b the one?

    Philly….does Vick stay as the answer?

    San Francisco…..will Alex Smith become Alex Smith of old?

    Then there are some interesting Wild Cards,

    Does Dallas consider that Romo’s time is done?

    The Ravens….is Flacco going to be stuck where he is forever in his growth?

    The Texans…if they can’t go deep in the playoffs is it tim to consider that Schaub might be done?

    The bottom line, for me, is have a real QB competition…whatever that entails, giving everyone first team reps at camp? I have no idea. And if Wilson “wins,” howver slightly just go all out with it (that’s if he wins) Because his rookie year will be filled with ups and downs regardless, probably some great wins, and probably some head slapping losses…but then you’ll know if you need to send multiple draft picks for Barkeley, Wilson, Thomas, etc. I just don’t think the every year we have a different QB thing should keep on going. And yes I am going to bring up the height thing, but Wilson isn’t some short qb who happened to play in some triple option, Mike Leach, gimmicky offense, who obviously isn’t going to cut it in the bigs. Instead he played in two very real and very translatable offenses to the pros and did great in both, I firmly believe that we should see if we got the steal of the draft, or find out if it’s time to send two firsts and a third….or whatever to send our team over the top.

    • Hawksince77


      I think you are right, and next year a different crop of QB-hungry teams will enter the draft.

      KC picked just before Seattle in the third, and I was worried they would take Wilson, because they could use an upgrade at the position. But check this: the Jags, a team also needing more production at the position, drafted a KICKER!

      I laughed my ass off…

  5. peter

    Sorry about the rambling, the point of the list of teams are because the new CBA means apparently Draft picks, and not just draft picks and zillions of dollars any of those teams on that list could be in play for a new QB and right now there may be a bunch of seemingly great prospects, we all know that come the 2013 draft only say 3-4 are going to go high, probably 2 of those shouldn’t (say Weeden this year and Tannehill; Ponder and perhaps locker last year) and all the other QB’s will fall down the draft boards, stay in school, or something else, making the competition to get a top tier player I think, harder each year with a draft pick bidding war, then say simply having a crap season and picking first through 3rd overall.

  6. Hawksince77


    How funny. We both left our discussion with the same idea in mind:

    • Rob

      “I think Flynn is a good football player, but he wasn’t signed as the QBothF. I believe Wilson was drafted with the idea he might be. If that is the case, and if Wilson plays in camp with all his confidence and ability, I think we can expect he will be the day one starter in 2012.”

      Agree completely Hawksince77.

      • FWBrodie

        One thing you hear Pete and John talk about often is young quarterbacks being “exposed” too early and the bad effects that has had on some quality players in the past. I think they are forward thinking enough to treat each individual as their own special case rather than strictly abide by a set of rules, but I would also expect them to proceed with extreme caution when it comes to throwing a young QB out there before he’s ready. They are aware of the situation’s fragility.

  7. Vin

    If its a 4-way battle, then my question is: how do you get enough reps for each guy with the 10 other ‘perceived’ starters in order to truly get a feel for which QB is making the most progress/headway? Or even splitting reps with the 1st & 2nd team offense….doing that with 2 or even 3 QBs is one thing, but adding that 4th QB? Just seems counterproductive to me. I think they should just let TJax go and take him out of the equation altogether. The FO probably knows by now what theyve got with him, and it arguably wont get any better. That frees up reps, it helps WIlson & Flynn (& maybe even Portis) know in the back of their minds that they arent a few bad plays away from being subbed out for TJax. Granted, Im sure PC isnt one of those coaches to keep flipflopping on his QB. Or maybe just come out and say that Flynn/Tjax are battling for 1st QB and Wilson/Portis 3rd QB. Plus, if you lose TJax now, you dont have the “What If” scenario…….what if TJax beats out the other QBs and has a decent season (better than last year)? Do we then try to resign him and build off of what he did? For better or worse, when they figure out who that QB is, I hope they just go ‘all-in’. Its one thing to have competition and turnover in football, but not at the most important position in the game.

    • Stay Off The Flowers

      I imagine the battle will start to shake out relatively quickly. Either way, it’s not like last year, where there was little time to decide. There will be battles at other spots, namely receiver, allowing the quarterback decision to remain fluid for a little while longer. I just hope that when the decision is made, it’s going to be stuck with, I don’t want to end up like 2010 Philly, 2011 Denver, or 2012 NYJ.

  8. MrCysco

    I agree with you Kip.

    I would actually go so far as to say that the starting 2012 QB job is Wilson’s to lose.

    It seems obvious to me now that the front office knows that Jackson is not the answer. and they told themselves that no matter what, they wouldn’t go into the next season with Tarvaris as the starter. Don’t be surprised if he’s not even on the opening day roster.

    So, knowing that Tarvaris isn’t the solution, the team started looking at this year’s draft. They probably pinpointed two QBs they had a realistic chance of getting (Tannehill & Wilson). Being the draft though, there was no guarantee that they would get one of them. So, they had to cover they butts and find another QB that could be the starter if they didn’t get anyone this year. – Enter Flynn

    It sure seems like Flynn is the insurance QB in the case of them not drafting anyone this year. If they Hawks didn’t get their guy this year, then would be the bridge until the 2013 draft. If he blew everyone away, great! I doesn’t seem like the league thinks that would be very likely. Flynn wasn’t acquired to be the QB of the future, he was acquired because he was the best “fallback plan” option available and a damn good backup QB if they did get “their guy” in the draft.

    The FO HAS to know what they have in Wilson before next year’s draft. If they draft a 1st round QB next year without seeing what Wilson can do as a starter, then they completely screwed up this draft and wasted that pick. Our FO is smarter than that.

    I imagine Wilson will be given every opportunity to start this year and Flynn will back him up. I’m personally very excited about that.

  9. Doug

    Doesn’t almost every kid that sits for a year play better? (Rogers)And haven’t a lot of kids been ruined by being thrust into the fire too early (Carr)?
    Both TJ and Flynn have been around the big boys for a few years now, and they understand the complexities of the game in a way that a rookie just can’t. It’s one thing to match pure physical skills, but the biggest skill the QB position brings is his mind, with all other physical skills being semi=equal.

    Flynn has mind melded with perhaps the ultimate QB schooling group in the league and has gleened an understanding that Wilson just won’t have at his tender young age. And unfortunately, perhaps TJack just wasn’t ever able to fully grasp the mental awareness needed to make the step up to a great QB. He has the physical tools no doubt, but his ceiling has been reached and he might be done growing. I think he has value as a #2 or #3 guy in a big way, but I don’t see him as the bridge to Tabetha.

    Wilson, has some sick physical tools, and has also demonstrated a keen wit to go along with his natural leadership, but IMHO, a year or two to season behind Flynn would be the best way to groom Wilson and to give him the best chance to succeed. He would get some first string snaps in practice each week to continue getting prepped for the eventual day he assumes leadership.

    TJack is the logical #2 early on in case Flynn sustains an injury.

    This is how I see it.

    • Rob

      I think its an assumption that Flynn will get much if any benefit from simply being part of the Green Bay setup. He’s on his own now, and he has to deliver. And while some QB’s have benefited from sitting, some have also hit the ground running. And carroll admits the league is such now that rookies can start early.

      Nothing the team has said so far suggests they’re going to be patient and manage expectations for Wilson. They’ve talked about competition with all four guys. And if Wilson comes out on top, I expect he’ll start.

  10. NYCHawkFan

    If numbers, like height, are so important why don’t the pundits compeltely discount Wilson’s stats? Which, of course, are better than Luck, Tannehill, Osweiller, and Weeden…QBs taken ahead of him. Crap, Wilson played behind the tallest O line in the country and had less tipped passes than Luck! I see no reason why a guy like Wilson can’t succeed in our offense. Flynn will have to be neary perfect to get the job (I suppose that’s the point). If Flynn and Wilson are neck and neck, who would you start – the guy with a stronger arm and 4.5 speed or the average arm with no speed? I won’t be shocked at all to see Wilson captaining this team. He is special. The real question is – Is Flynn special too?

  11. AlaskaHawk

    If we end up with Wilson starting and Flynn and TJ as backups, if I were the owner I would kick PCs ass for spending so much money on backups. I mean really! Why sign Flynn and then turn around and draft another QB? I get it that you want competition, but now you have 12 million dollars a year in backup Qbs. That is crazy.

    And if you like competition so much that you will hire/draft two QBs in one year, then of course you will do it again in 2013 when you have 4-6 good Qbs coming out in the draft. The only reason not to is if we win the division with a 13-3 record. Otherwise you got to keep drafting right?????

    12 million dollars sitting on the bench is crazy!!!

    • Rob

      It can be justified by saying that’s just the quest to find ‘the guy’. It will cost if you’re not picking in the top five. And it’s not like anyone’s ass was kicked when they essentially spent $7-8m just to pay TJ Houshmandzadeh to go away, or wasted picked and cash on Whitehurst.

      • AlaskaHawk

        Ouch, now you’ve brought up two other sore subjects. Hopefully Rice will stay healthy and not be a third.

        I looked up Wilson’s QB Rating of 192 and he certainly is capable of being a starter.

    • brandon

      keep in mind that its money spent on back-ups for the most complex and demanding position in all of sports. I am completely comfortable having that much cash tied up to ensure our success next season. If one doesn’t pan out or gets injured we’re ready for the next one in line, this looks a lot better than where we were at this time last year.

  12. Rob

    Anyone having issues with the comments system today – send me an email to


    “It could be argued that Wilson even has a slight edge, given the investment of a valuable third round pick in his services. That to me is more of a commitment than the salaries due to both Tarvaris Jackson and Matt Flynn in 2012.”

    I have to disagree with this completely. Exhibit A: Charlie Whitehurst. By this reasoning, their draft investment in Whiterhurst was more than TJax, Flynn, and Wilson and we know how that went.

    That said, I’m a huge fan of Wilson (and the Badgers) and I really hope he succeeds. I wouldn’t mind having him sit a year, though. I feel like Flynn should be the favorite for all he’s done (college and NFL) going into camp, but it’s a free for all from there. I’m really excited to see what Wilson and Flynn can do.

  14. Rob

    USAFANARC – A fair point. But I think that could be more a testimony in how disappointing Whitehurst was considering his advantage. He had every opportunity in that off-season and lockout and didn’t impress, and never got his chance. He wasn’t a ’tilt the field’ type of quarterback, as PC and JS would put it. In a tighter race, the investment in Whitehurst could’ve titled things in his favor. As it happens, he was never close enough to Hasselbeck or Jackson to make that advantage count.

    The Whitehurst example also works both ways. If they’re prepared to keep him on the bench despite the salary, they may do the same for Matt Flynn.

  15. SeattleAztec

    I understand the point you bring up with PC saying he’d feel more comfortable starting a rookie QB than years past. But once again, I feel like you’re missing the big picture on this one. Schneider comes from Green Bay where they’re well known for drafting a lot of QBs and sitting and developing them. Schneider has alluded to needing to do this before the draft when he talked about drafting a rookie QB and how you can’t “panic” with them or it might set the franchise back. Although Wilson is one of the more pro-ready QBs of this draft, I still think Seattle would consider it a “panic” move to start him. He was most likely drafted in the third round because they knew he was a good player that couldn’t be had any later in the draft. Flynn will bring more football savvy and an overall professional attitude to the QB position (not that Wilson isn’t either of those, but I really feel that you need NFL experience/study to achieve those)

    • Rob

      I think Schneider’s panic reference was more to do with justifying why the team won’t take a quarterback in round one without due care. He was almost setting up the fanbase… “Be prepared, I know you all want a franchise quarterback, but it’s not happening in round one this off-season.”

      As soon as players are drafted, it’s Carroll’s territory. He makes the decisions. And once the team has made the decision to sign or draft a player, I believe Carroll’s mantra is if you’re on the team, you’re fighting to be a starter. And while every team kind of preaches that, in Seattle it’s a fact. I really don’t see Carroll or the Seahawks believing in Wilson enough to start the guy – after everything they’ve said – would be a panic move.

      And sure, Schneider comes from Green Bay. Let’s be true here – when is the last time Green Bay were searching for a franchise quarterback? They traded for Favre and for many years were fine. They could afford to draft guys, test guys, let guys learn. Rodgers was drafted and given the time because GB had a hall of fame superstar in the starting position. If Green Bay had Tarvaris Jackson as the previous starter, they might think differently about things. So I don’t see the two teams as a comparison. And Schneider was part of a front office in GB, he wasn’t the coach or GM. Do we really know what his attitude is to QB’s? It may be similar to Carroll – which I suspect is ‘if you’re good enough, you’re old enough and ready enough’.

      And I think we’re in danger of overplaying Matt Flynn here. He may well be savvy and slightly more experienced having been a pro-backup, but Seattle wants a guy who can be a playmaker and score touchdowns. And if they think that’s Russell Wilson, even as a rookie, he’ll start. I think as a fanbase and the media we’re overstating the attitude towards Matt Flynn. And hey – there’s every chance Flynn starts. But I do not think it’s his job to lose and I do think Wilson can win this job – and I think that’s what PC will want to happen.

      • Doug

        Don’t agree with ya Rob. Flynn has way to much experience. Unless Wilson is a total genius , there is no way he starts. TJack is the perfect example of great physical; tools, but no brain. Flynn has the brain, Wilson needs time to upload info into his brain… It’s not as much the playing time, as it is just absorbing everything at the pro=level. Different animal than college ball… But maybe he starts getting some snaps as the season progresses…

        • Rob

          So how does any rookie quarterback succeed then Doug? Your point seems to ignore the possibility that Wilson might just be a better player who can cope with the challenge of starting as a rookie.

          I don’t doubt that Wilson would benefit from time to learn without the pressures of starting, but the Seahawks don’t have a bona fide starting quarterback and they just drafted Wilson at the highest point they could, knowing he wouldn’t leave the board in the first two rounds. And one of the things Carroll was quick to point out is the way he has succeeded with every challenge thrown his way (alongside the bit about him being the guy in this draft who gives you the best chance to have a great player). The way this regime has talked about Wilson screams that they’ll be giving him every chance to compete. And according to Carroll, Tarvaris Jackson will take the initial first team snaps in camp. This is a four way competition – just as John Schneider described it. May the best man win. And that best man could be Russell Wilson.

          • E=MC^2

            Interesting points Rob. Carroll definitely brought some important pieces into camp this summer – the QB controversy just might’ve stepped up even further with the Wilson pick.


    Rob, did you hear the interview Softy did with JS? Softy asked JS during a radio interview that I heard today about whether Wilson could start. JS said that he didn’t think so. He really played that expectation down. JS said that Wilson needs time to soak things up. He went on to say that he could likely be the third string quarterback at the beginning, but the coaching staff would need to work on getting him reps to develop him. Now, he also stated that they would probably not keep four quarterbacks on the roster and talked glowingly about Portis. The only thing he said about TJax was that he was really tough and did some good things last year. Reading into his comments, I could definately see Flynn starting and Wilson being the back-up, with Portis as the third string (inactive) quarterback. I hope that’s how things work out, anyway.

    • Belgaron

      It was a very revealing interview in many, many ways. I would highly recommend anyone interested in how the Seahawks draft and who they liked to listen to it firsthand:

      • Hawksince77

        Right after finishing this, I am going to listen as you recommend.

        As far as JS’s opinion right now, all he can do is speculate as well, because nobody can predict how Wilson (or Flynn, for that matter) will perform in camp. Sure, he has more insight and information than we do, but he can be surprised by the outcome like anyone.

        As I recall, everyone was surprised by BMW’s emergance two years ago. Nobody could predict it; there were questions, pro and con whether he’d even make the team, let alone start.

        It will be the same this at QB. A genuine competition, and I believe it will turn out based on how those four athletes perform.

        I wish every one of them all the luck.

        • Rob

          I’ll have a listen later today. Sounds interesting.

    • Belgaron

      Other things said during the interview included their top three defensive players were Kuechly, Barron, and Irvin. If they had not drafted Irvin and Wilson, their staff would not have been happy with the draft, those were clearly the two guys they did not want to miss. If Irvin had been taken, they liked Ingram and a few others.

  17. Belgaron

    While Manning affected Flynn’s market a little bit, the real cause of his unfortunate timing in terms of scoring the big deal was Kevin Kolb.

  18. Belgaron

    I think Wilson does become the starter at some point but he will progress much faster if he is able to learn as a backup for this year and maybe even next year as well. That said, if they were to cut TJack at the end of camp and Flynn has some kind of injury (knock on wood, let’s hope not) and assuming Portis doesn’t get first chance, I don’t think Wilson will give the starting spot back. The nice thing about this is I think this quality will show through at camp and push all the other QBs into better play. I believe Flynn will have a very good year and the Seahawks’ newly improved defense will give him the ball frequently and in great field position.

  19. Cysco

    So can all the people who think that Flynn should start over Wilson answer the following:

    If Flynn starts in 2012 and puts up Tarvaris Jackson type numbers, what does the FO do in the 2013 Draft? a) Go after a round 1 QB? b) Don’t draft a QB and give Wilson the start in 2013?

  20. James

    Kip and Rob are correct, I believe, that Pete & John need to decide this year on the QB position. This team is constructed to peak in approx 2013-2017. The QB also needs to be at his peak at this same time, otherwise…what’s the point? The Seahawks have to know this year if Flynn or Wilson is their franchise QB. The only way to know that is to play both of them, or to play the one that they project as their guy. If neither are up to being a franchise QB, they must go for broke next year for a top round one QB, who will need a couple of years to develop. The decision must be made between now and the next draft.

    Besisdes, hasn’t Pete already told us, in so many words, who his QB wil be? He said he is looking for a “pointguard” QB. Russell Wilson is the quintessential pointguard QB: he controls the offense with extremely low turnovers; he pushes his team aggressivley towards the goal; he distributes the ball to the open man at a clip that made him the most efficient QB in history in 2011 (ncaa or nfl); he keeps the D off-balance with downfield strikes. Pete also told us who he was going to pick #1 this year: a speed pass rusher. None of us could put 2+2 together and figure out that this did indeed mean the fastest pass rusher in the draft: Bruce Irvin. I believe he has also told us who his QB will be: Russell Wilson.

    • Belgaron

      I do not believe they are building with a “peak” in mind. They have shown great strength in acquiring talent via methods other than high end first round picks. This will help them in the long haul because success will bring low first round picks in the future. Their goal is to become an organization that is great every year with a shot at going deep into the playoffs if not all the way. I don’t think PC has any expectation lower than what he did at USC, to build a power house.

      At QB they will add a solid rookie every year and let them compete for roster spots. They will hope to get to a point that they could trade their third string QB or extra 2nd string QB for players or picks. Flynn and Wilson are both capable of becoming franchise QBs and that is the way they like it, they want them to push each other.

      Actually, tons of people had Irvin on their list, as a 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th rounder. Everyone saw the crazy good combine numbers but we fell into the trap of believing the “Kiperidiotgroupthinkindex” that claimed he was not considered a high end talent. He was that highly thought of by quite a few organizations.

  21. Doug

    Love is blind…

    As was the same with Upshaw, once you guys glom onto a player, all logic goes out the window and it’s “all in” for the poster boy. Any you should admit that is the truth Rob, as we went round and round all pre-draft. No amount of logic could shake you from that pick, and you manufactored the perfect scenario to make your case. And now it’s all in for Russel Wilson, and that’s it. I guess that’s because you guys are so young, and haven’t had your “come-uppins” yet. When ya get old like me, life has kicked ya in the gonads enough times to temper your expectations about most everything…

    There is way to much complexity to the pro level defensive schemes, and Wilson would get eaten alive. Flynn has 3 years of active first hand study and play (even if mostly practice.) It doesn’t matter that Wilson is a better athlete. So is TJack. What did that get you?
    Playing QB is 90% mental, and the other half is physical. Wilson needs to learn the pro-game.

    The only reason any rookie QB’s play is basically for two reasons:
    They are a first round top ten pick because the team sucks horribly
    There isn’t anyone else worth a crap on the roster.

    We have neither of those situations, therefore, there is absolutely no reason to throw the kid into the fire. We have all year to assess his skills and to see how he developes. He’ll get some snaps as the year goes by depending on how well he absorbs the program.

    The bottom line in the NFL is winning every game, and playing Wilson to start the year is not going to give the team the best chance to win. If he is “all that” with whipped cream, then he will start making some appearances as the year progresses, and if he exceeds expectations, and Flynn doesn’t meet expectations, then, he may transition into the starter, but any sooner then that is just plain crazy talk…

    • Rob

      Doug you are becoming tiresome. I’m not going to have people snipe on this blog, it’s not what we’re about. We’ve admitted the Upshaw call was wrong. But how many times do we have to spell it out? We knew the Seahawks were going to take a pass rusher. We went with a guy who we rated, and knew was liked. We got it wrong. Yet the fact they went with Irvin goes to show they were always going to think out of the box – which is what we were trying to do. It wasn’t going to be one of the conventional picks. You beat the drum for Quinton Coples, that didn’t happen either. And our decision to go with Upshaw had nothing to do with ‘love’, because that is not how we work on this blog and never will be. But I’m not going to project something I don’t believe in just to satisfy one or two indviduals who are the most vocal.

      As for Wilson – why has anything written here about seeing what they have and the context of the Flynn signing got to do with love? Kip really likes the guy, but he didn’t write this piece. I did. And I’ve been nothing but lukewarm about Wilson throughout this process.

      • Williambryan

        Doug, where does this idea about sprinkling Wilson in for some snaps as the season progresses come from? That just doesnt happen and Carroll doesn’t seem like the kind of coach who would do that. The best QB will start and play. Obviously the competition will determine that but with what we have to go on, I expect Wilson to win the competition.

      • Doug

        Sorry that voicing an opinion is “tiresome” to you. I’m not sniping, and I haven’t ever said “I told you so” on the Upshaw pick. I have also admitted that I was shocked when they didn’t pick Coples.

        You wrote a good piece and concluded it with the point that we need to find out if Wilson is the Answer, so we can decide if we need to go all in with next years draft, so lets see by starting him. In your article you came up with numerous reasons why he is possibly the best choice. Ever since the draft you guys have been gushing about the guy in various articles you guys write.

        I disagreed with that concept and said so. You just get mad when I use the term “in love” with the guy. And then you tell me I’m tiresome and a sniper. Just because I don’t always agree with you guys shouldn’t put me in the bad guy roll. I usually get a few responses that agree with my thoughts so I know I’m not lost in space with my thoughts.

        If you decide to ban me for expressing my thoughts then have at it, but I can’t help to express my feelings, whether they align with yours or not.

        • Rob

          Doug, you aren’t just voicing an opinion. This: “once you guys glom onto a player, all logic goes out the window and it’s “all in” for the poster boy”… isn’t in the tone of the blog. This is a place for talking about prospects, breaking down tape and trying to think independently. If we have a conviction, we’ll run with it – even if it’s proven to be completely wrong. If we’d spent the whole year talking about Luke Kuechly, David DeCastro and Quinton Coples like every other website, we’d have also been 100% wrong. I’m not going to apologise for combining information and my own grades to make a projection I truly believe in, and yet be proven wrong. I’m not going to make a projection to satisfy the minority who complain all the time if I don’t believe it. That’s not ‘love’, it’s sticking to your convictions. We’ll always do that.

          See the discussion I had with Jericho? That’s a guy who disagrees pretty comprehensively with this article, but he’s broken down his points of view and kept it to football. Opinions are always welcome on here. Nobody is going to be ‘banned’, but let’s just keep things in the right spirit of this place. There’s been too much bickering this year. Way too much.

          • Doug

            point taken.
            Jerocho wrote up a good read…

          • Belgaron

            I think it’s great that you took a stand on who you liked and Upshaw could be a fantastic pro who justifies your support. I also think its good you hadn’t figured it out on Irvin because had you been singing Irvin’s praises more you might have had an impact on their ability to trade down for picks and still get the guy they wanted.

            I still feel DeCastro may have been the better pick for the long haul but Irvin will probably have the greater impact on Seattle than DeCastro would have because they REALLY needed more sacks. Kind of like the way the Mariners traded a great starter for a hitter/HR threat. I think Irvin will actually equal even more interceptions by the four potential all pros.

  22. brokejumper

    Here is a question I have never seen addressed outside of simple comparisons to Brees or Flutie….

    How many QBs have ever been tried under 6′? Everyone talks about how they always fail, but I honestly can’t remember the last one other than the two mentioned above that anyone even put out there or joined the league. Are there examples of failure I am just not aware of here?

    • peter

      That’s the real question….How many QB’s under 6′ play at the FBS level in college. Then how many get drafted?

      Then as per draft spot….how many QB’s not drafted in the first round ever get a start? Is it because they are intrinsically worse, or is there a didactic desire in the NFL for all it’s talk of new schemes et al, to not be the first regime to actually try out any one not drafted in the first round until all other options have been taken away? It’s so easy to say QB’s taken between 2-5 don’t succeed, but why? Does Brandon Weeden, Gabbert, Tannehill, picked in the first automatically correlate to more wins? Greater Success? If that were true shouldn’t Cincy then traded up to ensure that Dalton was picked in the first instead of the second, would have been that much more successful?

      • Phil

        Interesting questions… Kurt Warner was an UDFA, but I don’t recall how he eventually got a chance to show what he could do. I think it was because injuries sidelined a bunch of guys. Also, wasn’t Brady drafted in the 7th round? How did he get the chance to show what he could do? Maybe a bigger question is what were the perceived weaknesses with Warner and Brady that kept them from being more highly regarded? It certainly wasn’t height, but I think your question is broader than just asking why short QBs aren’t given more opportunities.

        • peter


          You are right the question is too broad….It seems that I see the arguments that are split into two camps:

          1. Wilson’s Height

          2. Anyone after the first round is not going to start

          The percieved weakness idea certainly would be pretty interesting to know

    • Steve in Spain

      Hardly any, it seems. From Football Outsiders:

      “The FO master database only includes three quarterbacks who are below six feet tall: Seneca Wallace, Joe Hamilton, and Flutie. That’s a fourth-round pick, a seventh-round pick, and an 11th round pick from 25 years ago. Even if we go all the way back to 1991, the only quarterbacks taken in the first six rounds at 6-foot-0 or shorter were Vick, Brees, Wallace, Joe Germaine (fourth round, 1999), and Troy Smith (fifth round, 2007).”

      There have been some other true six-footers that come to mind: Jeff Blake, Eric Zeier and Max Hall. That’s all in the past 25 years – before that there was Jurgensen, Theisman, and Tarkenton.

      A major complication is that there’s a lot of factual fudgery to sort through when trying to deal with height. Max Hall was officially 6’1″ but photos show him looking up to Drew Brees. And Fran Tarkenton is said to have been an “inch or two less than his 6-foot official height,” according to Dr. Z.

  23. Jericho

    Wow. This is the first article I’ve read of yours that I completely disagree with.

    The crux of your argument is based on the idea that Seattle can “only find out [if the QB position is a priority need] by starting Russell Wilson”. This implies that Flynn is a known quantity. He isn’t. I’m sure that you’ve seen the FO article ( and Cosell’s article ( Both point to the conclusion that Flynn has tremendous upside. It’s reasonable to say his ceiling is something close to Matt Ryan, and his floor is relatively high (solid backup QB).

    Flynn’s contract included a $6m signing bonus, with $10m in guarantees. In 2012 he received the $6m and will get a further $2m in base salary. It means he’ll be guaranteed just $2m next year, making him expendable if necessary.

    I don’t think Paul Allen cares too much for real money guarantees. Cap hits are what’s relevant here. His cap hits are guaranteed to be $4 million in 2012 and $4 million in 2013 (both years are equal to: signing bonus/3 + guaranteed base of $2 million). His full base salary in 2013 is $5.25 million. That means $3.25 million is not guaranteed. I wouldn’t say that makes him expendable. Odds are that $7.25 million cap hit happens.

    If no guarantees were made to Whitehurst, what changes for Flynn?

    Whitehurst is not Flynn. Whitehurst came into Seattle being a #3 QB who had never started a game. Flynn is coming in with two above-average NFL starts. He’s coming in having been Rodgers’ backup in one of the most prolific offenses in the game.

    The point I’m making here is – there’s no reason to believe this is Flynn’s job to lose.

    He’s being paid the most. He’s got the upside. He’s had exceptional success; albeit, it is a small sample size.

    I firmly believe it’ll be the open competition discussed in that interview. Jackson vs Flynn vs Wilson vs Portis.

    Portis likely won’t be competing for anything more than a practice squad spot unless Jackson is cut. He’s a multi-year project.

    The only two QBs the team is committed to right now are Flynn and Wilson. Wilson was a 3rd round draft pick. How often do you see rookie QBs drafted in the 3rd round start? They are more often than not developmental prospects because of significant flaws in their game. It should be argued that Wilson’s only flaw is his height – and that may not very well end up being a flaw – but that doesn’t change the fact that a 3rd round pick is contextually not a sizable investment for a QB (Whitehurst proves this point regarding PCJS).

    At no point since they made the selection have they tried to control their excitement.

    I don’t understand why this is relevant. He’s a media-frenzy inducing draft pick. That means PCJS have more opportunity to talk about him. If they were asked as much about the late round guys like Scruggs and Guy, then I’m I’m sure they would have been almost, if not equally, excited in their responses. I wouldn’t be surprised if Scruggs and Guy are both cut in the reduction to 53.

    Has he not backed that up by thrusting rookies into starting roles with some impressive results? If the Seahawks are as excited as they suggest…let’s see what he has.

    I don’t think you can legitimately draw comparisons between rookie QBs and rookie OL, CB, and LB.

    The difference between sticking in that range and progressing to 9-12 wins will be improved quarterback play. So let’s see if Wilson is up to the job.

    With that logic, shouldn’t we see what Flynn has to offer? What a healthy Jackson can do? What about largely unknown Portis? Let’s see if Wilson can play well enough in camp to compare to Jackson or Flynn first.

    If the Seahawks wanted to groom a quarterback and start Flynn they should’ve drafted a different offensive player in round three and taken a quarterback later.

    This once again seems to be based on the notion that a 3rd round pick is a great investment for a QB. It’s not. Look at Whitehurst, or Brohm in GB, or the multitude of other non-1st round-drafted QBs.

    First Hasselbeck, then Whitehurst, then Jackson. Will it be Flynn this year and if he fails, Wilson next year? Having a revolving door at quarterback will hold this team back. Eventually, they need to commit.

    They can’t commit without being reasonable. If the Flynn-Jackson-Wilson competition leads to Wilson being the starter, then I’m all for it. Though, I don’t see that as a realistic possibility because it’s better to sit rookie QBs for at least a year. Besides, Flynn/Jackson are leagues ahead of Wilson in terms of experience.

    • peter


      mostly good points, though if I’m led to understand correctly your central tenent is that a backup QB has a better chance of success then a QB that is drafted by the current regime? I don’t entirely disagree, I just feel that the arguments that 1. Flynn was picked in the seventh making your assumption that a 3rd round QB is not a sound investment can be coutnered by Flynn’s draft spot, and the part where Shaun Hill, Kyle Orton, Rex Grossman, and a multitude of backups with spot starts and even season starts haven’t faired well.

      And my final contention is that the NFL has seen a healthy Tjax, for 6 years this guy has been in the league, his numbers are pedestrian, and frankly he should be of the new school of highly paid Back-ups in the mold of Kyle Orton,Jason Campbell….And Matt Flynn may be “leagues ahead,” I just can’t see how a guy with two (2) Nfl games, and one (1) college season is leagues ahead, and if Tjax at 38 tds, to 35 ints in 6 seasons is leagues ahead of any of the other 3 QB’s then the Seahawks are in for some serious trouble

      • Jericho

        I believe Flynn has a better chance of succeeding than Wilson, yes. Why – he spent several years in GB improving his game, his only starts have been borderline elite or flat-out elite, and the scouting reports have been positive. I definitely don’t believe that a 3rd round QB is not a sound investment. If I said that (not trying to read through my wall of text), my bad.

        Hill, Orton, Grossman, and a multitude of backups have never performed at the level Flynn performed at. I’m not sure how Wilson will adjust to the NFL game, but I feel like he would be better served sitting for at least a couple seasons unless circumstances dictate otherwise (i.e. Flynn being worse than 2011 Jackson, Jackson being Jackson).

        • peter

          And I can see the potential in Flynn’s games…..and I used to believe in the idea of sitting QB’s, and now I’m starting to come aroudn to the idea that pushing a player that fits scheme adn structure to start sooner then later, and grow together seems to make a ton of sense. God I hate this word, because it misappropriated all over the place, but Flynn is a literal Outlier…he’s had who knows how many hours in Green bay to hone his craft, and where most backup QB’s tend to appear to do nothing and then look stunned when they play he seems to have taken full advantage of that time.

          • Jericho

            Yeah, his – and I hate this word – intangibles are what make me believe in him. His poise, leadership, and x-and-o understanding put him in a position to play above-average, if not elite.

    • Rob

      Jericho, I will try and counter some of the points. I accept a lot of it, some I would disagree with.

      On the cap hit – I take your point, although I was told the way the deal was structured (and there’s different things being reported everywhere) so that the cap casualty would be $2m after this year. Let me try and get more details to explain that. But I was told the deal was very expendable beyond 2011.

      I think my take on Flynn is really that in his case, they took a chance when it arose. A chance to check this guy out, add him to the competition, at a price much lower than people expected after that Detroit game. A deal that would make him at worst an expensive backup. With Wilson, they actively desired this guy. They took him at the earliest point in the draft. And to me, that gives him a bit of an edge.

      I don’t seriously believe Portis will challenge to start, but it seemed silly not to include his name in an open competition. Schneider has said Wilson likely won’t start, but I wrote this piece before that quote. He did say – as noted – it was a four way competition. And I latched onto that.

      I do think the lack of control in expressing their excitement is relevant. Usually when a team drafts a QB, they immediately play down impact. Baltimore named Flacco the backup. Atlanta didn’t immediately commit to Ryan as memory serves. Both ended up starting. Sanchez was quickly named the starter, with a cautionary message. Gabbert started the backup and that was made clear quickly. I’ve not seen a team speak so enthusiastically about a QB pick in the draft before, especially a third rounder. I thought it was worth noting.

      I’m not saying we shouldn’t see what Flynn has to offer, rather that if it’s a tight race between the two in camp – if it is indeed a competition – we should see what Wilson can do.

      • Jericho

        All fair points.

        Per Flynn’s contract, looks like you were right in the first place. $4-$6 million guaranteed this season, $2 million in 2013 and 2014.

    • Hawksince77


      The one comment I want to reply to is this:

      “How often do you see rookie QBs drafted in the 3rd round start?”

      Two things: one, the fact that it rarely (if ever) happened in the past has no bearing on this case. The situation with the Seahawks in 2012 is technically unique, and no reference to history impacts it one way or another.

      Second, everything comes down to Wilson’s non-prototypical height, including where he was drafted, so any reference to him being a third rounder, pro or con, is also irrelevant to past third round picks. His draft value was impacted by his height and PC/JS took advantage of it, and took Wilson with a bargain pick.

      All of these factors will not weigh in the coming QB compeition in Seahawk camp. PC will likely start the player best prepared to play the position, a QB who he believes give the Seahawks the best chance to win. Everything else is weightless smoke…

      • Jericho

        Maybe I phrased that poorly. I mostly meant that the 3rd rounder spent on him doesn’t necessitate him starting.

        I see your point on comparing him to past 3rd rounders. Wilson will definitely be a test case for the 5’10.6″ QB who is an amazing prospect.

  24. peter

    Dear everyone,

    This has officially become stupid.

    1. First, what team has ever, ever, played a QB later in the year to “see how it goes?” Has that ever happened?

    2. Regardless of who wins of three QB’s none of them will learn a damn thing by sitting behind the others. Not one thing. Has any QB ever mentored the one behind them? Ever? Possibly, and this is remote old Hasselbeck and Locker have that dynamic.
    Tjax skills, and he has them, are not at all comparable to Flynn’s skills. Flynn’s skills, are not at all comparable to Wilson’s. The idea that Flynn sit behind Tjax, or Wilson sit behind Flynn,so that he can work on the offesnive playcalling for a guy that plays differently then himself makes no sense, or that he can run the oppsoing teams offense on walk throughs and that will somehow season him for life in the NFL is absolutely stupid. If that were the case, then Curtis Painter would have slayed this year after sitting behind Manning.

    3. The sitting behind such and such QB for a year, works in hindsight, only when a team is pro-active and has a first round hall of fame QB….we can marvel at the brilliance of sitting Rodgers, or Steve Young…and say “geez that worked out great,” but the Seattle Seahawks do not have any single QB that is on that level…..What we have is a guy who mastered an aggressive offense structure, and played lights out against two of the very worst defenses in the league (detroit and New England) and another QB who throws a Int for nearly every TD, after his 6th season in the pros.

    4. The NFL has effectively changed in that measuring a rookies performance straight out of the gate is no longer an indictment, that will cost you your job if you are wrong. With the successof Big Ben, Josh Freeman, Joe Flacco, Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Mark Sanchez, Matt Ryan (note: A few of these QB’s I think are kind of crappy but all have had some degree of success) it has been shown that “sitting a QB,” is no longer necessary.

    5. I could be reading it wrong, but the tone of Rob’s piece is not “I’m all in on Russell Wilson woohooo!!!!” It’s 2013 will be here at some point, and this middling “will he, won’t he,” Of the Seahawks on deciding who the QB will be is getting old.

    • Rob

      “I could be reading it wrong, but the tone of Rob’s piece is not “I’m all in on Russell Wilson woohooo!!!!” It’s 2013 will be here at some point, and this middling “will he, won’t he,” Of the Seahawks on deciding who the QB will be is getting old.”

      – Exactly right Peter.

  25. Rock

    It is a nice tribute to Wilson that you think he should start this year, Rob, but it is not going to happen. Even Schneider, when asked told Softy, Wilson should watch and learn a year. When you are a first round pick you are forced into the starting job and often the pressure ruins a guy. Wilson is in the perfect spot as a third rounder. He was drafted high enough that folks believe in him but low enough that we can all give him some time. Let’s not put too much pressure on him. If he looks good enough in training camp that they believe he could start then he makes TJack expendable via trade. That is enough for one year.

    • Rob

      As noted above Rock, it’s not so much a tribute as me believing this team needs to know what it has in RW. They drafted the guy. They could’ve used that pick elsewhere. And if he isnt the answer, go big in 2013.

      • Jericho

        I disagree with the notion that they should have used the pick elsewhere if they weren’t planning on seeing what Wilson could do sooner rather than later.

        Drafting a QB semi-frequently is a Ron Wolf/Ted Thompson* FO philosophy that I believe Schneider has adopted. QB is such an important position that it makes sense to draft players who have fallen on your board, even if you’re relatively set at the position. It’s difficult enough to hit on 1 QB, but if a FO can hit on two, the payoff is well worth the investment, in my opinion. Granted, Wolf never used a 3rd or higher (9th, 5th, 5th, 7th, 7th, 6th, 4th) on a QB. Thompson did use a 2nd on Brohm though.

        *Thompson drafted Rodgers in 2005, Martin in 2006, Brohm in 2008, and Flynn in 2008. Rodgers had his “rookie” year in 2008. Thompson has more or less abandoned the Wolf philosophy since 2008. For perspective, Wolf drafted 7 QBs from 1992-2001 and never went two years without drafting a QB. Favre’s first year was 1992.

  26. JohnnyBGood

    I agree with Doug. One factor almost no fan considers is the great difficulty involved in playing quarterback for the Seahawks in 2011. The pass protection was very iffy and so was the availability of open receivers to throw to. That is an extremely bad combination for a quarterback to try to succeed with. Unless those improve in 2012 WHOEVER is playing quarterback will have a very difficult time doing any better than Jackson did in 2011.

    Of course, if those do improve Jackson himself will have a much easier time succeeding also. Factor in his throwing arm injury and there’s really no telling how good he can be with better support from the offense. Once again, this is ignored by almost everyone. Seahawks brass is not ignoring it though. There will be a very good competition for quarterback this year, the only real question in my mind being whether or not Jackson will win it more easily than any of us think.

    • Rob

      Pass protection looked pretty good to me, so did the running game. Defense is capable. I think it could be argued it’s a fairly good environment for a rookie to start in. Others have started in worse scenarios.

      • JohnnyBGood

        It can be argued, but not very well. The Seahawks ranked near the bottom of the league in pass protection. And you forgot about one of the most important things a quarterback needs. Consistently open receivers to throw to. The reason Flynn didn’t get bowled over with offers from Miami and every other team who could use quarterback help was the tape showed his stellar performances were mostly due to him having wide open receivers all over the field the entire game. None of us can see this without the All-22 tape, but the teams sure can. A few of the Seahawks receivers have blamed the WR corps for Jackson’s problems so it’s something we should take into consideration when trying to understand what’s going on with the Seahawks offense.

        I’m sure Carroll has a plan for improving these things, but if it doesn’t work, look for fans to be complaining once again about the Seahawks needing a quarterback when what they really need is more help for the quarterback.

        • Rob

          I just feel like we’re in danger of believing we need an all-world supporting cast to start a rookie QB. If/when Seattle next takes a R1 quarterback, there’s every chance they’ll start as a rookie, just like many other QB’s currently in the league. Such is the modern NFL. And how do we judge pass protection from last year? The number of times T-Jack was sacked cuddling the football, or the amount of time he had to cuddle said football before getting sacked?

          • Phil

            Yeah, TJack got sacked more than he should have last season, but I think he just tries to extend the play too often. In other words, IMO he holds the ball too long. Now, having said this, maybe he’s been coached to do this (hoping that he’s like Big Ben who extends plays and has had great success doing so), but I don’t think so. Having watched USC football for most of my adult life, PC has always seemed to have QBs who are masters at quickly reading defenses and getting the ball out of their hands.

            I don’t blame the OL for the majority of last year’s sacks.

  27. Richard

    One thing is clear to me, this team has to make a statement on offense. We all hope and believe the defense will be better approaching elite. But the offense has to step up to the table and win games not just be there to rest the defense. If they can establish a clear positive identity and work towards being feared we might have a team that can get somewhere in the playoffs. If not this FO may be on it’s way out. We all hope for a really good well balanced team that can intimidate and excel, Oh and win. If they win all this will be pointless. Come on August 11, we’re ready!

  28. adam

    It seems to me that it is Jackson’s job to lose, and for the first time in his professional career, he will be pushed to keep that position. I don’t see him losing the job to Wilson or Flynn. In a position of power the proletarian either becomes legitimate or illegitimate. If the proletarian becomes legitimate, then he performs\works at a optimal level. If the proletarian becomes illegitimate…i.e loses the job in training camp…then he performs\works at a substandard level(throws more ints than tds). Hasslebeck’s career path can tell us everything we need to know about what will happen. 1. start then benched. 2. relieve injured player then perform well. 3. start and perform well. I think Jackson performs better than ever because he in a sense is protecting his livelihood. I think that Jackson falls into number 3 of the Hasslebeck matrix. Wilson number 2. Flynn number 2…already happened in GB, then number 1. Portis number 2. Of course it cannot all happen in one year, one of these guys will be gone for sure…maybe two.

    • Doug

      wow, I didn’t understand a thing you just said!

    • Hawksince77

      You’re right! Tarvarsis Jackson has never lost his starting job to another QB!

      Well, except for that guy named Brett Favre…and Brad Johnson…but other than that…

    • Hawksince77

      And I will also add, there is no place in football for Marxist analysis. Nothing could be more bourgeois than professional football…

    • Belgaron

      Unfortunately, his fourth quarter production has already made it very unlikely he’ll win the job, he’d have to do much, much better than the others to overcome the hole he’s already in.

  29. Soggyblogger

    Let’s talk baseball. Baseball clubs routinely season players in the minor leagues. Even outstanding talents that could easily transition directly to the majors like Griffey, Jr. Could Griffey, jr. successfully have made the transition to the majors? Probably, but there was a chance that had he gone directly to the majors he would have been damaged. Baseball clubs are EXTREMELY CAREFUL about that possibility. I don’t think they do it because they are more conservative than football clubs, but because over their history they have seen what happens when you push an athlete into the fire too soon.

    If anything, I think a football QB requires MORE seasoning than baseball players, not less. First, they have to learn a new system. Second, they have to develop the timing with receivers and other players. Third, they have to learn specific opponents defenses and tendencies. It’s a lot to learn.

    Flynn has been learning some of that stuff like different pro defenses for many years now. Wilson may be a genius, which is 90% perspiration anyway, and speed up his initiation into the pros, but he may not, too, and I don’t think this FO is going to push ANYONE faster than they should push them regardless of a looming 2013 draft date.

    Ideally, we will have had an opportunity to fully evaluate all competitors for the QB job in the next year. But most importantly, we will allow nature to take its course.

    I agree there will be an honest competition for the starting job. But I expect Flynn is the odds on favorite to win that competition. If he doesn’t, that will likely be a good result because it will mean someone has stepped up and performed significantly better than Flynn. I love Flynn. I love Wilson. They both have massive work ethics. They both HUNGER for the starting job. I hope they both exceed expectations.

    Whoever wins the starting job will have to remain injury free to keep the second string guy off the field. If that happens, it can only be good. If the starter gets injured, we will give whoever is #2 a chance to prove himself.

    Whether football talks about “seasoning” like baseball clubs do or not, Wilson will not be pushed faster than he can handle it.

    Worst case scenario: TJ starts because he has made another incremental step towards being a good or great QB, and beaten out Flynn and Wilson. Even that scenario is not so bad, and could give us more wins next year than last year.

    Best case scenario: Wilson IS a genius and has beaten out TJ and Flynn even though Flynn comes to camp having prepared for the job all off-season. In that case, we can expect significantly improved play at the QB position and the DYNASTY BEGINS.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I like the idea of seasoning Wilson. But where the analogy breaks down is that the backup QB won’t get as many reps with the starting squad, so they won’t develop the rapport and timing with the receivers and running backs that they need to have.

  30. Todd

    No need to rush Wilson. We will keep Flynn for at least a year and TJack for one more year (assuming he isn’t released). Wilson can show what he can do over time and he can grow (no pun intended) to be someone that may be worthy of starting spot. The worst thing to do to a guy with an inherent disadvantage (at least traditionally) is to rush him.

    I am not concerned about his height as others are. I am more concerned about he would handle being behind a mediocre (at least at this point in time) offensive line. In Wisconsin he had a lot of time to operate because those guys are beasts.

    If our line continues to gel and really kicks up their game, I feel he would be in good shape to succeed for this organization in the future.

    I imagine a future with Wilson, Turbin, Baldwin, Durham, and Tate and I smile.

  31. Hownutt

    Rob, love your work. However, I need to disagree on this post. That disagreement has nothing to do with contacts, draft picks, PC/JS comments, etc… It has to do with my delusions about our quarterback situation. I actually think our quarterback situation is the best it’s been in years, and I’m including the years when Hasselbeck was at his prime. We have two potentially elite prospects, a very sold backup and a flyer. I’m excited. May the best man win. Actually that isn’t exactly true, I’d be very bummed if TJax wins out. IMO we’ve seen his upside – a wonderful backup.
    At the same time, I have no delusions that 2012 will be all wonderful for the winner of the QB competition. Unless they all fall flat on their faces I see no reason we need to panic in 2013. As long as at least one of them shows promise I see no reason to even talk about QBOTF in 2013.

  32. Donald

    One other thing to think about. Is it possible that if Flynn is thought of as the “Super Back up”, then if another teams started gets injured, we could trade him for a draft pick.

  33. Donald

    Probably the best case senerio would be to let Wilson sit until the bye week, and see what Flynn can do. More importantly, it gives Wilson more time to learn from Flynn’s mistakes, and get accustomed to the weekly routine and practices.

    After the bye week, Wilson can start, when he can focus on the just being the the QB.

    • Belgaron

      It’s not something you schedule, you let them compete and start the better player for as long as he does the job well. Wilson will be a better starter in the long run if he is able to learn, grow, study film, become a master of the Seahawks offense without the stress of starting. You want him to make his first start when he is ready to really compete to win the game, not just get by.

  34. Fancylad

    What about trading the economical Flynn plus a draft pick (or Sydney Rice if we need cap room) for Brees?

    Let Brees be the man for three years while Wilson learns behind the master.


    • Belgaron

      If the New Orleans fans watched Brees throw for over 5K yards for another team, they’d be taking out bounties on the entire organization.

  35. James

    I guess this is why Pete makes $8/mil/year and we don’t. Both are true… it is not likely that Russell Wilson would start over Matt Flynn, at least to begin the season; and yet the Seahawks absolutely must know before next April if Wilson can be their franchise QB, and this they cannot determine based on practice reps only. He must get on the field for extensive play at some point in the season. It will be a very delicate act of coaching, but Pete must have a plan, or else he would not have created the situation. My own opinion is that Russell Wilson is a very special player who will be the Seahawks QB for the next dozen years. His QB efficiency rating in 2011 was the best in history, ncaa or nfl, and all you have to do is watch the tape to see why. It was no fluke…he is that good.

    • Doug

      I’m excited by the prospect of Wilson being that good, finally a real QBOTF.

      I guess this whole arguement is a bit premature to me because in my mind, we have the possibility of Matt Flynn being the QBOTF. While it’s true he doesn’t have the athleticism or mega-arm strenth that Wilson has, he just might have the “it” factor. He is still quite young, has no mileage, has two starts that were spectacular, and got 3 years of advanced QB training, as well as a deep study of NFL defenses. He has already proven that he can go through his reads, and make the throws necessary to have quality success.

      TJack got his chance to be the guy with two different teams. If he was all that, Minn wouldn’t have brought Farve, and we wouldn’t have brought Flynn. He has the physical abilities, but apparently he doesn’t have the mental ability to push through the critical stages needed to win the close games, He melts down instead. He is the perfect example of the big armed-small-brained QB that is good enough to play, but never seems to amount to anything.

      On the other side of this scale are the Joe Montana type of player that isn’t a physically imposing guy, but wanted to win real badly, and was smart enough to see the field and instantly analyse the situation and make the right play. This is the arena that Flynn COULD occupy, and we need to give him the starts and reps to find out if he is that guy, which is a very real possibility.

      Yes, I know he is a 7th rounder pick, but he has beaten all comers at GB to hold onto the #2 slot for 3 years, so he obviously has something going on.

      Now if Wilson has Both sides of the equation, then that is the kind of guy that can be the QBOTF, and with a year or so of Pro education, turn him loose!

      • AlaskaHawk

        Flynn also had a good game against the Detroit Lions where he set team records for passing touchdowns in a game. For those who say Detroit has a weak defense, they were playing hard for a playoff berth at the time, and there defensive line is one of the best.

        Assuming that Flynn and Wilson both prove themselves in preseason, I would still like to see Flynn start. And then see Wilson get worked into the mix every once in awhile, so he gets some playing time too.

        If Tim Tebow can have a winning record in Denver, both Flynn and Wilson can have winning records in Seattle.

  36. James

    Rob & Kip, I wonder if you have any more information about this… A co-worker and I are both draft-niks and we were discussing what you also had observed, that in the second round, the reaction in the Seahawks war room right before the Bobby Wagner pick seemed to indicate that maybe Seattle wanted Kendricks instead and had to settle for Wagner. Even Pete & John seemed subdued in their presser after the R2 pick, maybe indicating disappointment. But my co-worker heard on the radio this morning (did not know which show) that some Seahawks insider said that, in fact, the dispute was over whether to take Russell Wilson in R2, and the reaction was by those who were concerned he would be gone by R3, but lost the argument. Wagner was actually their preferred Mike over Kendricks. The stress was over the possibility of losing Wilson. Pete and John were subdued because they were preoccupied with worry about whether Russell would still be there in R3. Interesting…

    • Belgaron

      JS said that Wilson was one of the top 3 guys he scouted all year, if this is true he might very well have been temped to draft him in the 1st so he showed great restraint in taking him just ahead of “market value” instead of the Seahawks board value. If Wilson was third on their board, he would have been above all the guys taken in the 2nd round when they made their selection of Wagner.

  37. adam

    ah it might be foolish to consider professional sports as bourgeois, at least in the short term, only a few out of many make it to the minimum salary. Of course on our end…yeah the sport is very bourgeois as is every act of voyeurism, but Tavaris Jackson no matter his position will most likely come out on top…due to his experience and leadership with this team. Perhaps Flynn becomes persona non grata right off the bat, but i have my doubts. This is the Hawks not the Pack, we are decent on defense and a stud TE short on offense. However i admire the competition that js/pc have set up at the qb position, it will just seem redundant when TJ excels in the preliminary stages.

  38. Phil

    Man — I’ve been an observer of this game long enough that I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I can’t get over how some folks have already decided who the starting QB should be next year. Just be patient and show some trust in the coaching staff. In the past, PC has been pretty successful in assessing QB play and in developing talent. So, let’s give them all support at this point. And, once the decision is made, let’s not call for a new QB every time an interception is thrown.

  39. Brandon Adams

    This all seems to come back to our opinion of the four QB’s at hand.

    I personally don’t share the optimism over Matt Flynn’s potential – that FO article that Jericho linked has to be the most under-argued thing I’ve ever seen from them – and see his ceiling as Matt Hasselbeck, not Matt Ryan. He’s poised for a precipitous dropoff from his comfortable perch in Green Bay in terms of surrounding talent, possesses limitations that hint at turnovers, and does not have significantly more game experience (an irreplaceable factor) than Russell Wilson – a fully tooled prospect who fits PC’s offensive vision better and has the arm strength to keep defenses honest.

    So that’s why I’m seeing Wilson as Seattle’s desired starter, if not this year than in 2013. The game tape shows a more complete prospect, assuming Seattle can scheme around his height. Any of the other factors – financial cost, opportunity cost, etc. – seem to be getting manipulated by everybody to fit their rankings of our QB’s.

    • Rob Staton

      I’ve just written a big piece arguing why quarterback is still Seattle’s greatest need. It’ll be on the blog tomorrow at 10am PST.

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