Tomorrow night big test for Seahawks backups
BY Jeff Schneberk
Going back over the past couple of months or so, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback situation has gotten muddier instead of clearer.
Going back a couple more months, the Seahawks knew they had their starter (Russell Wilson), but who would be his backup through the 2013-14 season, remained to be seen.
The Seahawks held a workout for 4 quarterbacks (2 of which were big stars in college). They were Brady Quinn (Notre Dame) and Matt Leinart (USC). Between the 2, Leinart should have beat out Quinn easily because Leinart was far better at USC than Quinn was at Notre Dame. However, the Seahawks felt that Quinn would be the better fit and they sent Leinart packing. The other 2 QBs who were brought in for this 4-man workout were: Seneca Wallace and Tyler Thigpen.
This is nothing new for Brady Quinn. In fact he spent most of his time with the Cleveland Browns playing musical quarterbacks, with Derek Anderson and Charlie Frye. I don’t think Brady Quinn has ever won a QB competition before.
This time in Seattle, he appears to have done that for the first time. This time, Quinn emerged the winner and the presumed backup to Russell Wilson.
Things have changed since then.
In 2011 Seattle signed Tarvaris Jackson, who started for them the entire season, then they traded Jackson to the Buffalo Bills this time last year, and he never played a game, then Seattle signed him again for the 2013 season.
That puts Jackson and Quinn in direct competition to back up Wilson.
It is my hope that Quinn and Jackson each get one quarter tomorrow night when they host the Denver Broncos.
I don’t understand why the Seahawks would re-acquire a QB that they didn’t seem to want last year, to compete with who is already there (Quinn)?
Head coach Pete Carroll seems like he is definitely expecting some kind of show this year; or at least for the pre-season.
Jackson did not practice in the team’s final day of minicamp, however. “I think it’s a great boost for us in a competitive sense,” he said. “We thought of Tarvaris as a tremendously tough football player and a competitive kid that battled for us. And we’re a little better than we were in those days.”
Carroll clearly said all of those things that would clearly indicate some (or a lot) of disappointment in Brady Quinn. Still there are reasons to believe that Jackson may have an advantage over Quinn.
Jackson, 30, has his familiarity with the Seahawks system, along with 6 years playing under Darrell Bevell (Seattle’s offensive co-ordinator) and his West Coast based offensive system.
Jackson has also been more efficient overall, although he has also been disappointing in several key, late-game situations.
His career as starter in this league is dead even at 17-17
Quinn is 2 years younger, has a 4-16 record as a starter (mind you he played most of his career in Cleveland!), but he also has 3,043 yards passing and 12 touchdowns along with 17 picks. Quinn, if nothing else, has been known for his work ethic; he will be the first to practice in the morning and the last to leave. It is still beyond me why his first NFL coach, Romeo Crennel gave him such a cold shoulder upon drafting him in 2007. The only consolation Quinn can take from all that mess is that NOBODY ever succeeded in Crennel’s system. Even Crennel couldn’t succeed with whatever it was he was trying to teach his players. When Quinn got dealt, he ended up in Denver. That might have been one of the worst moves. Having to battle Kyle Orton for top spot, Denver then went out and signed Tim Tebow. That basically ensured that Quinn would be demoted to clipboard holder (again).
He may have caught a break when he was traded a 2nd time to the Kansas City Chiefs. Ten games played and 112 completions out of 197 attempts and 1,141 yards.
His career completion percentage is 53.8 and his passer rating is only slightly better, but again, he has been in Cleveland for most of his 7 NFL years.
Carroll said that bringing Jackson back in was not a reflection on the way Quinn has performed during the team’s offseason.
“In the situation he is in,” Carroll began, “He’s been next to perfect. He has worked like crazy. He knows exactly what we are asking of him. He is a tremendous guy in the meeting rooms, on the practice field, and supporting Russell’s (Wilson) efforts to figure it all out. And he has competed really well. He’s had plenty of looks and he has done a good job for us.”
Quinn started in the Seahawks win over the San Diego Chargers by capitalizing on a Charger turnover and found Jermaine Kearse for an 11-yard touchdown to put the Seahawks up 7-3, a lead they would not relinquish. Quinn went only 6-11 but put up a 100.2 QB rating.
Quinn had spent last season with the Kansas City Chiefs. He started in 8 games and threw as many interceptions with only 2 touchdowns. He was also sacked 21 times with 197 pass attempts and went just 1-7 as Chiefs’ starter. That was Quinn’s 1st regular season action since way back in 2009 (he had started 9 games for the Cleveland Browns that year, the same team that had drafted him in the 1st round in 2007). He also spent time on the Denver Broncos roster but never saw any playing time.
Fast-forward to now. When the Seahawks decided to part with Matt Flynn. The original plan was for Flynn to be the starter after the team signed him to a 3-year deal. That was before Russell Wilson arrived and beat him out for the starter job in training camp, and eventually leading the Seahawks to an 11-win season as well as a playoff win on the road. Seattle wound up trading Flynn to the Raiders for a pair of draft picks.
Both Quinn and Jackson could be in for the test of a lifetime when they will hopefully split the game Saturday night when Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos come to town.
The final 3 preseason matches for the Seahawks come Aug. 23 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay and they will wrap up the fun stuff Aug. 29 when they play host to the Oakland Raiders.
The real season begins for Seattle on Sept. 8 when they take on Carolina, in Carolina and their first home game is slated for Week 2 when they host the defending Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 15.
Follow me on Twitter @Game7overtime.