RENTON – Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters on Monday that despite Russell Wilson’s poor performance against the St. Louis Rams over the weekend, the rookie remains his team’s starting quarterback.
“We’re going with Russell right now,” Carroll said. “He’s working his tail off to get it right, and where all of the focus goes to the quarterback position, there’s a lot of guys who figure into what’s going on, and he’s one of them. So we’re just trying to get better.”
Carroll initially said during an interview with local radio station 710-AM on Monday morning that backup Matt Flynn was not an option to replace Wilson because he’s still nursing a sore elbow on his throwing arm that he injured during exhibition play.
“We have a little bit of a problem with Matt” Carroll said, when asked about the quarterback situation. “Matt’s still not full speed, and anybody that thinks, ‘OK, let’s go with the other guy,’ well, he can’t practice yet. He can go in and throw it and make it through a game. He can throw it. He throws 15 throws a day, a couple days a week. And so that’s not really enough to get him ready to go in a game plan.”
However, Carroll told reporters on Sept. 22, the Saturday before Seattle’s Monday night contest against Green Bay, that Flynn looked like he was healthy and back to normal.
Flynn played scout squad quarterback and imitated Aaron Rodgers leading up to the Packers game. And Flynn indicated that week that his elbow was no longer an issue.
“I’m ready to go whenever I need to go,” Flynn said. “That’s how I’m going to look at it. I still have confidence, and I think I can get the job done if I needed to.”
Flynn has not appeared on Seattle’s injury report since early September, leading up the regular-season opener at Arizona.
Carroll later clarified his comments during his regular interview session with reporters Monday afternoon.
“Matt’s ready to play,” Carroll said. “We just don’t know what’s going to happen when he gets a lot of work. He might be all right. But we don’t know that. We have not taken him there yet. But he’s ready to play in every game, and he’s ready to go in the very next play we need him, and so the competition goes on, in my mind, as it does in every position on our football team. Our guys continue to compete.
“But he has not had the opportunity, because we give the starter all the reps. And with a young guy for the first time, we’re giving him every single snap we can.”
Carroll said that Flynn has not aggravated the elbow injury, which he described as tendinitis when it occurred.
He did not rule out the possibility of Flynn having to deal with the elbow issue for the rest of the year.
But if Carroll needed to use Flynn later this season as the team’s starter, he has plenty of experience monitoring an injured quarterback during the week’s practices to make sure he’s available to play on Sunday.
That’s exactly what Carroll did for nine games last season when Tarvaris Jackson suffered a torn pectoral muscle, but only missed the Cleveland game.
Pete Carroll said that offensive lineman James Carpenter played well in his first game of the year. The Alabama product started at left guard against St. Louis, his first game action since returning from season-ending ACL knee surgery last December. Carpenter left the game in the first half after tweaking his healthy knee, but later returned and finished the game. Offensive guard John Moffitt likely will be out at least another week after re-injuring his surgically repaired knee against Green Bay, forcing him to miss the St. Louis game. Paul McQuistan started at right guard for Seattle with Moffitt unavailable. Carroll said offensive lineman Allen Barbre, who was on the team’s reserve/suspended list for the first four weeks of the season while serving a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy for performance enhancing drugs, was released on Monday rather than being added to the Seattle’s 53-man active roster.
STRUGGLING PASSING GAME
The Seahawks, with rookie Russell Wilson playing every snap at quarterback, rank last in the NFL in passing yardage. A look at Wilson’s game-by-game stats: