RENTON — After nearly two weeks of observing his quarterbacks splitting reps in this team’s three-way competition for the starting job, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll finally made his first decision.
Matt Flynn will work exclusively with the starters during practice this week, and start the team’s first exhibition Saturday against Tennessee at CenturyLink Field. Carroll said Flynn will play the entire first half.
Carroll went on to say that rookie Russell Wilson will work only with the second unit in practice this week and play the majority of the second half against the Titans.
“To make a big decision like this it’s about your information that you gather,” Carroll said. “And I want really, really good information coming in so that we can make a really clear-cut choice as we do it.”
Incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson appeared more nimble moving in the pocket, Carroll said, and in better shape while working with the starters in Sunday’s scrimmage and throughout the first portion of training camp.
But Carroll already has seen Jackson play in 14 regular-season games and four exhibitions last year, and that Jackson has a good grasp of the offense means that the coaching staff feels comfortable cutting down his reps so they can better evaluate the other two quarterbacks.
Jackson struggled during Sunday’s scrimmage, going 4-for-12 passing for 22 yards while taking two sacks. He also rushed for a 5-yard score.
“He’s quicker than he was,” Carroll said about Jackson. “He worked his tail off in the offseason. You could tell. His arm’s strong. He’s fully recovered (from a pectoral injury). He knows what we’re doing, and he’s solid with everything.”
Carroll emphasized that the quarterback rotation was just for this week, and that Jackson remains in the hunt for the regular season starting job.
When asked if Jackson will work back into the rotation next week, Carroll said, “You’ll have to wait and see. We’ll take it one week at a time.”
Flynn was Seattle’s most expensive addition in free agency this offseason, signing a three-year, $26 million deal, with $10 million guaranteed.
Saturday will be Flynn’s first real opportunity to seize control of the position. And Flynn fared well in exhibitions during his four years in Green Bay serving as Aaron Rodgers’ backup.
Flynn completed 105 of 175 passes (60 percent) for 1,178 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions for an 86.32 passer rating in exhibition play.
Flynn’s also been sacked 16 times over that span.
“Matt has done a fantastic job so far,” Carroll said. “He’s learned the system. He’s on it. He can make all of the adjustments, all the calls. He can see the defense really well. I love that he’s moving well in the pocket. All of the things we’re asking him to do, he’s fit that together so far.
“Now I need to see him in a situation where he takes over and see what that looks like.”firstname.lastname@example.org