According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, QB Tarvaris Jackson has been traded to the Buffalo Bills. The return coming to the Seahawks has not been reported, but is believed to be draft picks.
The Seahawks were originally hoping to get a 5th round pick for Jackson per a report by CBS Sports, but I’d heard many people around the league doubt that the Seahawks would get that much compensation for Jackson.
Jackson started last season with the Seahawks and led them to 7-7 record in 14 starts, he also played through a major pec injury for most of the season, and was the incumbent starter and at the top of the depth chart at the position at the start of training camp. He was later passed on the depth chart, first by Matt Flynn, and later by Russell Wilson, making him expendable.
With this trade, one has to assume that the news on Matt Flynn’s injured elbow must be good. I have a tough time believing that the Seahawks would trade Jackson if there was legitimate concerns that Flynn’s injury is major.
Before I start, I have to preface this with the fact that it is my opinion. I can’t get anyone with the Seahawks to comment on the record, though at the same time no one dissuaded me from writing this when I made my inquiries. So take this for what it’s worth. It’s my opinion, and I’m not presenting this as fact.
I don’t believe that Russell Wilson was ever in consideration to be the week 1 starter. I did at the start of camp, but my opinion has changed. The way the competition has progressed in camp suggests that the battle was really between Flynn and Jackson to be the starter, and between the loser of that battle and Wilson to be the backup.
For starters, Wilson hasn’t had a rep with the first team since day 6 of camp, August 3rd. Since then he’s have 4 days with the 3rd unit, and the rest have been with the 2nd unit. With off days scheduled today and tomorrow, even if Wilson gets the first team reps on Tuesday (which is unlikely), it will have been almost 3 weeks since he last rep with the starters. That isn’t a good way to see if he’s ready to take on that role.
Contrast that with Tarvaris Jackson, who appears to be the odd man out in this competition and is currently being shopped for a trade. Jackson has had 4 days in that same time period where he worked with the 1st unit offense. If Wilson was really in a competition with a chance at being the week 1 starter, doesn’t the discrepancy there seem very odd?
Instead, consider that the competition was, in fact, as I proposed above with Wilson only competing for the job as the backup. In that case, Wilson doesn’t need reps with the 1s, but instead needs as many reps with 2nd unit as he could get, and that has been what has happened.
Also consider the preseason game rotation. If Wilson was going to get a shot with the first unit offense, it needed to happen in yesterday’s game against the Broncos. The competition must be over by the third preseason game, otherwise the week 1 gameplan wont be in place on time. Week 3 is the “dress rehearsal” game, and week 4 is about resting the starters and getting them healthy. Week 4′s main task is to get the players on the “bubble” as many reps as possible so the final roster decisions can be made. Failure to use those 2 weeks of the preseason properly could really hurt the Seahawks this year.
There really wasn’t any reason not to start Wilson yesterday if the coaching staff wanted to see him with the rest of the starters. The fact that they didn’t tells me that they were more interested in getting Flynn more reps to help him prepare for week 1, than they were interested in truly evaluating Wilson. As I said in the paragraph above, continuing this competition into next week hurts the team as a whole. If they were going to give Wilson a shot, it needed to be yesterday. The team simply chose not to.
So why have the “3-way” competition at all? Because there wasn’t time to have 2 separate competitions. There would be no way to evaluate Wilson properly with him playing only with the 3rd unit. His turn to compete for the backup job would have had to wait for either Flynn or Jackson to win to starter’s job.
Back in the offseason program, there was no reason to think that Jackson and Flynn were going to be pretty equal, and that the competition wasn’t going to be a quick one. It looked very much like we were going to get to this point in the preseason and then Carroll was going to have to make a choice between Jackson and Flynn. That would have left just the next 2 weeks to figure out who the backup was going to be, which wouldn’t be enough time to do it right.
And thus we have the three-way QB battle isn’t really a three-way QB battle. The only way to give Wilson a real chance at the backup job, was to put him at least partially into the rotation for the starter’s job as well.
Hopefully you’ve noticed that I haven’t given my opinion on whether or not denying Wilson a real chance at the starting QB job was the correct call or not. That is an entirely different issue, and I didn’t want to cloud this issue by bringing in an entirely different discussion.
Jason La Canfora from NFL Insider tweeted last night, “Barring a Seattle QB getting hurt this week, look for Tarvaris Jackson to be shopped. Also wouldn’t rule out Cards adding a QB before season.” This is yet to be verified and still has only rumor status, but it both makes sense and could be a smart move for the Seahawks. Instead of waiting to cut Jackson after the fourth preseason game and getting nothing but some cap-space in return, the Seahawks could also throw in Cameron Morrah, or Anthony McCoy, or any one of our plethora of receivers that are on the bubble and possibly get an upgrade at receiver or tight-end.
Jackson played started 14 games for Seattle last season and finished with a 7-7 record; the same winning percentage he entered with. At the time it seemed like Jackson was brought in largely because of newly signed offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s affection for him along with Sidney Rice. While I have never been a big fan of Jackson, he was serviceable at best, with both Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson looking just as good, there is no reason to not try to obtain something for the final year of Jackson’s contract. I would say Jackson ranks high among backups due to being a veteran and having been a starter. This could prove attractive for some teams.
It will be interesting to see how this develops. Clearly, first-team reps are becoming increasingly scarce and the lion’s share of them have gone to Flynn over the last two weeks. John Schneider has been a shrewd manager and has a lot of connections throughout the league. Teams that I could see showing some interest for a solid backup QB are Kansas City, Oakland, Buffalo, Arizona (although I don’t think Seattle would make this trade), and Atlanta. All in all, there is no harm in shopping Jackson around just to see what interest there is at this point.
Pete Carroll just announced that QB rotation for the 2nd preseason game will look exactly like it did in the first preseason game. Matt Flynn will start and play the first half, Russell Wilson will play the 2nd half. Tarvaris Jackson and Josh Portis will be available, but are not expected to play unless one of the others gets hurt.
Pete Carroll also said that the 3-way QB competition is still on, but what he didn’t say, but is now plainly obvious, is that the results of the competition has been decided.
Carroll is hedging his bets by claiming that the competition is still on, and keeping Jackson around. If one of the other QBs suffers a major injury, then Carroll will need Jackson on the roster as the backup. That is why Jackson wont be cut until after the 4th preseason game. Jackson’s fate now rests on the health of the other QBs.
I also don’t think that Wilson still has a chance to be the week 1 starter at this point. For the 2nd straight week, Wilson isn’t going to get any playing time with the first team offense, or against players who will get any sort of significant playing time in the regular season. While these snaps are very useful in helping Wilson develop into an eventual starter, they aren’t particularly useful in helping determining if Wilson is ready to be the week 1 starter. The fact that Wilson isn’t a chance to run with the first team offense this week says that Carroll believe Wilson wont be the starter in week 1.
You can disagree with Carroll’s decision about who the #1 QB will be week 1 all you want. I know there are a ton of fans who want Wilson to start week 1, but the fact is that Flynn will be starting the season at the #1 QB barring injury.
With football set to return to Seattle in just about 5 hours, all eyes will be QBs Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson. Fans will try and look at the results from these two players to decide on who should be playing on Sundays once the game count. Unfortunately, this is a fool’s errand.
Flynn is likely to struggle. WRs Rice, Baldwin, Owens, Lockette and RB Marshawn Lynch are all not expected to play. Flynn will be going up against the Titans defensive starters with none of his weapons.
Wilson, on the other hand, really should look great. He will be playing against guys who most likely will be unemployed next month, and trying to catch on with the USFL this spring.
This is simply not an apples-to-apples comparison. The drop off in talent from the starters to those that play in the 2nd half is much more than people think.
You only have to think back to last year if you want proof of what I’m saying. Charlie Whitehurst repeatedly outplayed Tarvaris Jackson in the preseason, but Jackson was playing agaisnt starters while Whitehurst never played against the opponent’s first team. I think we can all agree now that Whitehurst was by-far the inferior player once the regular season games were played.
I’m not trying to take anything away from Wlson here. Unlike Whitehurst, I think Wilson has real talent and will be a decent player. I’m just saying that the stats from this one game wont mean what some fans want it to mean.
The converse of the situation I referred too above also applies. If Flynn can impress given the situation, then he’s going to be good this year for the Seahawks. If Wilson struggles, then it’s proof that he’s far from ready and the Seahawks will want to keep Jackson around to backup Flynn. I just find it unlikely that either of those things will happen.
Flynn isn’t the type of player at this point in his career where he can carry an offense in which Phil Bates will get significant playing time with the 1st stringers. Wilson is also too talented to get shown up by a bunch of guys who are just trying to make the practice squad.
I’m a fairly private person. I really am. I know that might seem like a strange comment from someone who posts his writing on the web for everyone to see, and does so under his real name, but it’s true.
The biggest criticism I get in the email from my readers is that I don’t put enough of myself into my writing. I write about football, I’m analytical, I’m not afraid to go against the grain, but my readers say they don’t feel like they know me. I’m a private person. That’s just the way I am.
Well today, I want to tell you something about myself, about the way I think, about who I really am, even though you might not like what I have to say. Here it is: I believe the power to grey. Of course, I probably need to explain what it is I mean by that.
Too often in sports, politics, life, we try and reduce everything into being black and white. But the real world simply isn’t black and white. Nothing is, and humans seem to forget that much more often then we remember. There is a tremendous power in seeing the infinite amount of grey area that exists between the black and white extremes.
Take the Seahawk’s QB situation. Since the beginning of camp, I’ve become a big supporter of Matt Flynn because I think he’s the best QB on the roster. So that puts me on “team Flynn” right? But that doesn’t mean I think he’s going to be great. I don’t think he’s a franchise QB in the making. I just think he’s better than the other options.
I also think that Tarvaris Jackson is the weakest of the 3 QBs vying for the starting job. But that doesn’t mean he’s “garbage” or “worthless” or any of numbers of other adjectives that I’ve seen used to describe him recently. He’s not a franchise QB, or even a viable starter, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t good enough to be very solid backup. I’d wager that, other than perhaps Kyle Orton and Jason Campbell, Jackson might be the best veteran backup in the NFL right now.
Too often we want to cast aside a player like Jackson. If he’s not good, then he’s crap and we’re better off without him. To me, that doesn’t make sense. Letting Jackson go might be the best thing for the Seahawks this season (letting Wilson get all the backup QB reps to help him develop, or saving the $4 mil of cap space for next season) but that doesn’t make Jackson worthless. Why must so many of us refuse to see that there is a large distance between good and bad, and how many players exist in the middle there.
Too often we seem to force ourselves into two teams on every issue, and only represent the most extreme viewpoints in the debate. I simply fail to see the logic in this, and don’t understand why we cannot accept the good with the bad, and recognize the common ground that we all share.
Can I not be a fan of Flynn’s and still see his weakness? Can I not be against starting Jackson and still see his strengths?
In my experience, no matter that debate, both side are wrong. The truth is always in the middle.
Let me preface this article by saying this is my first training camp experience but I feel like I walked away with a lot more information and insights into just how important these practices are. That being said, the Seahawks public practices are a great experience and I would encourage anybody who is even a tiny bit of a football fan to go. From the players, to watching Carroll run around and throw balls, to the eagle/hawk sitting on a pole watching over the entire practice, it was entirely worthwhile.
My first takeaway is that Russell Wilson deserves all the praise he has been getting. I didn’t believe it or want to, but after watching him with what I believe was the third string today, he has potential. There were several situations when I figured the play was blown and he was surrounded by players, his red jersey unseen, and he pops out and makes a great throw to an open receiver. He has all the arm strength that anybody has given him credit for and probably more. He deserves to be considered as a legitimate backup at this point.
Tarvaris Jackson looked okay in initial drills but then couldn’t complete a pass in seven-on-sevens. It was very strange. Most of his plays were running plays to Lynch. He did make a few nice throws however, but in the end showed the capability we all know he has with the same kind of panic-stricken decision making. Jackson is a known commodity.
Matt Flynn did not look so good in scrimmage drills but completed the majority if his throws in seven-on-sevens. Flynn looked in control. He suffered mainly from playing with the second string. I posted earlier on Flynn getting the start this Saturday and it would seem like Carroll also thinks that we need to see Flynn in live competition. I am looking forward to what he can offer at game time. Flynn has earned that.
Bruce Irvin is insanely fast. I cannot wait to see him tear offensive linemen apart. He made getting around linemen look easy. Basically, if he can’t run through you, there is no way you’ll stop his spin move. I foresee a lot of double teams in Bruce Irvin’s future. Also on defense: Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, and Richard Sherman look like they are ready to punish anyone brave enough to catch a ball in the secondary. Thomas stalks around just looking for someone to cover. He makes it hard not to get fired up about our defense.
Seattle’s defensive team top to bottom looks ferocious. They are going to be a power in this coming season. Offense is clearly our weaker team, but should be a big improvement. Golden Tate made some impressive catches along with Braylon Edwards. Hopefully, Edwards has all of his drops out of him by this point. Terrel Owens was not at camp today, as I’m sure everyone knows by now, so no news on how he looks. Miller and Winslow look like they are going to play key roles in our new offense and with the receivers we have Flynn should be more than adequate. Ricardo Lockette is the only guy who is consistently capable of being a down-field threat while everyone else is mid- to short field. From what I could see, Flynn looks very comfortable with this setup.
These are my observations from training camp today. It was a very enlightening experience and I walked away even more excited about the 2012 season than I was before. (I didn’t even know that was possible.) While Carroll has been molding the defense to his image the last two years, I think this year fans will see an entirely different beast that exists to own the field. There is a sense of confidence and pride that you can feel from the players, a lot of which I think comes from the Seahawks fan base in general (and will also be the topic of a future post). At this point though, I don’t think there is any reason, barring unforeseen injuries, as to why the Seahawks can’t have a winning record and playoff berth this season.
With each passing day, the end of the QB competition is getting clearer and clearer. This isn’t going to be one of those competitions that “could go either way” and the the Coach is forced to make a decision. The decision is being made for him on the field.
After 4 days of practice, Matt Flynn has “won” the competition on all 4 days. He’s been the best of the group, and it hasn’t been all that close.
It should also be noted that this isn’t just my opinion, or even just the opinion of the other media members. It pretty clear that the Seahawk coaches agree, because its showing up in the number of reps each player gets.
Russell Wilson is the biggest loser in terms of reps. Yesterday, when it was his turn to get the bulk of the reps, it was actually Flynn who got most of the reps at the end of the practice. Wilson was also skipped in the rotation multiple times today.
Tarvaris Jackson hasn’t been immune either, but his lost reps have been more subtle. You have to look at the number of reps per rotation to even notice. Jackson would get 8 reps, then Flynn would get 9. The time around Jackson got 10 reps, followed by 12 for Flynn. It might not sound like much, but the fact that one QB is consistently getting more reps than the other is a big deal.
I don’t expect Pete Carrol to come out and make an announcement anytime soon. Flynn will get the bulk of the reps on day 5 when he’s scheduled to, and Wilson will start day 6 with the first team and then give way to Flynn more and more and day goes on, and I expect this to happen up until the first preseason game, and I expect Jackson to start that game.
It’ll be between weeks 1 and 3 of the preseason that we will likely see a major change, with Flynn getting 50-60% of the reps overall, and Wilson being relegated to the scout team.
Expect the official announcement to come after Flynn the 2nd preseason game, which Flynn will start, but the decision will be made long before then.
I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to have these daily updates, as I don’t want to be writing the same things over and over each day. I don’t think that will be all that interesting or useful for any of you to read. Still, there was some very interesting things that happened today, so I wanted to pass them along.
I should add that I wasn’t at the practice today, so my notes here aren’t my own observations. Instead they are a collection of things from various people who I trust, and with my interpretations thrown in on top.
Matt Flynn is clearly the #1 QB on the roster right now, and it isn’t even close. He ran the 2-minute offense today with an urgency and effectiveness that Tarvaris Jackson has never been able to show at any point in his career. Flynn looked so comfortable with the first team offense, and against the first team defense, it’s hard to remember how new he is to this offense.
Most notable here is Flynn’s ability to complete passes down the field. Yesterday, he struggled with anyone over about 15 yards. Today, it was different, as he repeatedly got the ball down field to his receivers. It was good to see his ability to do that.
Jackson looked generally bad today. Lots of throws at his receivers feet, even on easy routes like curl and hook routes. A couple more days like this and he’ll have played his way off the team.
Russell Wilson’s height continues to be a problem for him: Inaccurate jump-throws, holding onto the ball waiting for a open receiver to move into a throwing lane, etc. For a guys who’s supposed to be the exception to the QB height rule, his height keeps coming into play. He also threw a couple ugly interceptions today, and looked uncomfortable in the 2-minute offense.
On the other hand, Wilson also throws the best deep ball of the three QBs, and completes long passes with some regularity.
- Sydney Rice was not in a red jersey today; signaling that the trainers have okayed him for full contact. He still didn’t take part in the team drills though.
- Golden Tate had a huge day, and is making a serious case for himself to be the starting Split End this season now that
- Speaking of good day’s by receivers Ben Obomanu has played his way back into contention for with 2 very good days. After poor mini-camps, I moved him off the bubble and into the “has work left to do” category in the roster battles. After a good day 1, and an even better day 2, it’s time to move him back up on the depth chart.
- Deuce Lutui worked out with the first team offense today, this time at RG. This is a good sign if he’s going to eventually take over the starting LG from Paul McQuistan as expected.
- RB Robert Turbin seems very natural in the zone blocking scheme the Seahawks use. He was decisive in his cuts, and repeatedly found daylight after cutting back against the grain.
In one on one drills with the linemen, there were some surprises:
- Rickshaw Johnson, the surprise darling of the mini-camps, looked shaky. Rookie Greg Scruggs made him look foolish a couple times in the row.
- JR Sweezy, a college DT who’s making the transition to guard, held his own again Brandon Mebane. This is a very good sign as he learns the position.
- Alex Barron has been working out at LT, and is looking like a former first round pick. His problem was always penalties, so we’ll see how he does once the games begin.
There’s a lot to get to, and very little time, so I’m placing this in bullet points. Enjoy:
- Sydney Rice, James Capenter, Walter Thurmond and Jermaine Kearse started camp on Friday on the PUP list. Rice was activated off the PUP list in time for today’s practice.
- None of the 3 QBs competing to become the starter looked like he belonged in the starting lineup. It’s still VERY early though. Lets wait and see how they look in a week before we start to worry too much.
- Tarvaris Jackson looked like Tarvaris Jackson. Slow on making decisions, only seemed to be reading half the field, made some great throws, especially down the field. Then there was the pick-6 he threw…
- Matt Flynn has an arm like Matt Hasselbeck’s. His deep balls were ugly. He short to medium stuff was very solid though, and seemed to be more accurate than Jackson, hitting players in stride so they could catch and run. He also threw an ugly interception on a ball that shouldn’t have been thrown.
- Russell Wilson looked good for the most part. His passes had great zip on them, and were mostly accurate. The problems he had seemed to be his inability to see down field past the line at times. There were also multiple jump-throws trying to get the ball over the linemen. His height was a major factor today.
- Richardo Lockette looked much improved today, and his speed was obvious. He’s still not going to get open much on anything but on a go-route, but he a the deep threat that teams will have to be wary of when he’s on the field.
- Phil Bates looks like he expects to make this team. The undrafted WR might have been the best player at his position today not named Baldwin (Rice was in a Red jersey and didn’t get many reps)
- The defense is going to be very good. it’s looked good in all aspects already, and many of the drills are designed to help the offense.
- Bruce Irvin was as fast as advertised, and will be a force in the pass rush. He also struggled to read the run game, and ran right past the ball carrier at times.
- Babby Wagner was the #1 MLB, and appeared to be calling the plays for the front seven.
I’ll have a more in-depth look at things available in the morning.
When the Seahawjs released Mike Williams last week, they were left with about $11 million in cap room. In the last couple days, they’ve been putting that cap room to good use.
In the past few days, The Seahawks have extended the contracts for both Max Unger and Chris Clemons. Completing the bulk of re-signing to-do list for next year. Now they have just 12 expiring contracts for unrestricted free agents next season.
- DT A. Branch
- WR D. Butler
- QB T. Jackson
- TE C. Morrah
- CB M. Trufant
- LB M. McCoy
- LB L. Hill
- DL J. Jones
- OG D. Lutui
- MLB B. Ruud
- OL F. Omiyale
- RB T. Sutton
Of that group, only Branch is likely to be a high priority target at this point, though there are quite a few who could play their way into that status this season.
Clearly, next offseason appears that it will have a lot less drama than this past offseason had.
The quarterback “competition” in Seattle has been covered fairly extensively over the last few weeks due to OTAs and mini-camps that are now over until training camp begins. As the phrase goes, the cream rises to the top. However, the competition in Seattle is becoming both meaningless and overplayed. Let me explain.
Tarvaris Jackson has played in virtually the same offense his whole career. He is at maximum familiarity with the system. He has also been able to start many times and demonstrate what he can and cannot do, both when he is healthy and unhealthy, which I’m sorry to say is not impressive. I applaud any athlete who guts it out while being hurt, but let’s be serious, we all play hurt – those of us that play in amateur recreational leagues all the way to the pros – and what that means goes only so far. Circumstances can change and nothing is 100%, but that shouldn’t paralyze a team from change. For the Seahawks, Jackson’s ability is a known quantity. He’s not the quarterback of the future and if he is re-signed, it will be for less than he is making now and not to be the starter.
Matt Flynn, who was signed in the offseason for at least a guaranteed $10 million, is entering a new offensive system with new players. He has only started two games (both of which were amazing) and has no meaningful historical record outside of practice situations. That’s okay. The Seahawks knew that going in. The issue, however, is that Flynn is an unknown entity in regards to the Seahawks. Even if he has grasped 100% of everything that he has learned so far, he cannot catch up with six or so years in the same system that Jackson has. What Flynn has is upside potential that Jackson does not have.
For arguments sake, let’s say Jackson has reached 100% of his potential which registers about a 5 on a scale of 1 (Tebow) to 10 (Brady, Rodgers, etc.). That means that Jackson will never play better than a 5. Flynn, who is currently splitting first team reps three ways in camp, may not be higher than a 4, let’s say, due to the factors listed above. His potential however could be a 7 or an 8. That potential alone should make Flynn Seattle’s starting quarterback. Whether or not Flynn achieves starting quarterback potential greater than Jackson doesn’t matter because Jackson is known and Flynn is not. So even if he matches Jackson, it’s a wash with regards to the record and the correct choice financially.
Assuming my case is true, or at least plausible, it makes no sense to continue splitting first team reps between Jackson and Flynn (and even Wilson). This is just extending the time it takes for Flynn to reach maximum potential to a point where an informed decision can be made on Flynn’s future with the Seahawks.
As a fan, watching another season of Chicken Little in the pocket makes me want to take a long walk off a short pier (and I’m not sure my heart can handle the stress), but if I were to approach this rationally, I would stand by my case above. There is no point in wasting another season starting Jackson, when you could educate yourself on Flynn. Jackson isn’t taking Seattle to glory, that much is known. So there is a very limited downside to naming Flynn the starter. If Seattle misses the playoffs again it’s not like that wouldn’t have happened anyway with Jackson under center. If Flynn is absolutely atrocious, Seattle can start grooming fifth round draft pick Russell Wilson.
The quarterback decision is more important this season because of Seahawks’ schedule. Seattle plays Dallas, Green Bay, New England, San Francisco, and Detroit in the first half. Those are going to be tough games and if Seattle can manage to steal two, or even three, of those it would greatly improve their playoff chances. That means they need to let Flynn have as many reps as possible leading up to the season. There aren’t any spares. John Clayton just predicted Seattle to go 9-7 for the season. Potentially, this puts Seattle in wildcard contention but by no means guarantees a playoff berth, let alone home field. He’s more realistic than my bullish predictions, but I’m guessing he has Seattle losing to pretty much all the teams listed above.
Seattle’s missing puzzle piece is the quarterback. We know we have one option that doesn’t fit well enough and at least one other option that at least has the potential to fit better if only the Seahawks give him a chance. It’s time to end the “competition,” make a decision based on potential and what is known and unknown, and move forward. Only then, can Seattle take a serious step forward in rebuilding the franchise.
Seahawks fans are a, on the whole, a pretty smart group. I think we all understand that what we, the fans, and what the team wants and does aren’t always the same thing. What I’m trying to decide here is if that applies to the current QB … [visit site to read more]