‘They’re surely not going to run with Geno Smith and Drew Lock, are they?’
This is the kind of comment you see popping up in the media and the internet. I’ve read articles discussing Seattle’s need to find an alternative option. I’ve listened to podcasts almost ridiculing the prospect of going into next season with a Smith vs Lock competition to start.
The Baker Mayfield chatter is fairly constant. Mayfield is often portrayed as a more attractive option and some have suggested he should be acquired.
All of this kind of defeats the point though.
The brutal reality is this — the Seahawks don’t need an upgrade in 2022.
Sure — Pete Carroll will talk endlessly about competing. He refuses to use the word ‘rebuild’ despite the fact the Seahawks are, you know, rebuilding.
There are a couple of things to remember though that are pretty important and often seem to be ignored in the quarterback debate.
1. It’s mostly irrelevant who plays QB for the Seahawks in 2022. The roster isn’t remotely close to being a contender. This is a year to blood youngsters, take your lumps and set up the future. The best case scenario in terms of ‘success’ is they win a few close games and maybe sneak into the playoffs, given nearly half of the NFL qualifies for the post-season these days. They won’t make any noise in the playoffs, however, and this would only serve to spoil their draft position. Whether you win four games or eight games — the end result is still going to be the same. You won’t win the Super Bowl and you’ll still need to draft a quarterback next year.
2. It’s possible to do all of the things Carroll preaches — compete, buy-in, try to win every game — without necessarily having the optimal quarterback situation. Essentially, you can create the classic Carroll setup and also accept this season for what it is. Look at the way Seattle played in Pittsburgh last season. They fought, scrapped and played Carroll football but still ultimately lost because Geno Smith was playing quarterback. A season of those types of games in 2022 isn’t a problem. It could enable you to produce an identity, direction and still afford an opportunity to draft your quarterback of the future next April.
We need to stop viewing the 2022 season as anything other than a shot to nothing. It’s a free-hit. A chance for players on the roster to raise their arm and say ‘I deserve to be a part of the future’. It’s a development opportunity. A glorious chance to get back to the roots of Carroll’s philosophy, as he desires.
It’s not about winning and losing. Not really.
And just because the energetic Head Coach would never admit that publicly — it doesn’t make it any less true.
I think most people appreciate this — but as noted, there’s a section of fans and media that seem intent on wishing a quarterback upgrade into reality.
Here’s the stark reality of Seattle’s situation. In 12 months time they need to have a young quarterback they can build around as a priority. Therefore, the best thing that can happen this year is to make that as easy as possible.
Sure — if they win seven or eight games instead of four or five, it won’t be a disaster. They have the draft stock to trade up if needed to get a quarterback.
Yet if they can get their guy without having to do that — that’s the ideal situation. A bit of short term pain for long term gain will benefit this team.
Clamouring for Mayfield simply because he’s a bit better than Smith and Lock is pointless. I am not against adding him but it has to be the right situation. The Seahawks, fortunately, seem to view things the same way. They will reportedly only add Mayfield if he’s cut — meaning they can pay him a minimal amount and just throw him into the competition.
Why not? That’s a no-lose situation really. You get a look at him with no real commitment.
If it doesn’t happen — so what? Who cares?
The idea of watching 17 games of Smith and/or Lock might induce a few headaches. But that’s where this team is now. It’s a ‘take it on the chin’ situation. This is a year to endure, I’m afraid.
Comfort yourself by watching college football and the draft eligible quarterbacks. Get your enjoyment where you can. There might not be much happiness in Lumen Field this season.
That’s fine though. It’s all a means to an end.
Geno Smith and Drew Lock are just the middle men between Russell Wilson and the next guy. Whether that’s Will Levis, Tyler Van Dyke, Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud or someone else.
ESPN recently projected the entire 2022 season and gave Seattle the #3 and #21 overall picks in 2023. I’d snatch your hands off for that right now.
This is a process that will take some time. It doesn’t have to be years and years of rebuilding. I’d argue it’s more likely to be years and years, though, if you delay being in the best possible position to draft a talented quarterback.
So please — let’s embrace a year of Geno and Drew. Let them get on with it.
The Seahawks are not going to be winners in 2022. Let’s acknowledge that, understand what this year is and dream of happier times ahead.
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