RENTON Like a poorly disguised blitz off the edge showing well before the snap, Trevone Boykin knew it was coming.
“It” was my question on what happened to him that got him arrested twice in a week’s span this offseason in his home state of Texas.
So, yes, the Seahawks’ backup quarterback was ready with his own, well-prepared audible.
“It was just a situation that I really can’t talk about, just because it is still ongoing,” Boykin said Wednesday on the edge of the field following the ninth practice of training camp. “But right now I’m just focusing on football, it’s all about ball to me.
“You live and you learn.
“I’m here just trying to get better.”
Records from Dallas County Court show Boykin has a hearing scheduled for Aug. 22 on a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession stemming from him being in a car that crashed into a Dallas bar in March. That twice-rescheduled hearing date is on his 24th birthday. It is also between the Seahawks’ second exhibition game, home against Minnesota, and the third preseason game against Kansas City.
Boykin was arrested and briefly jailed March 27 in Dallas. He was a passenger in a car that backed across a curb and through the front of a bar, injuring eight. Boykin was booked into jail for about a day before posting $500 bond after charges of possessing less than two ounces of marijuana and investigation of public intoxication, according to jail records.
Boykin said he doesn’t feel any additional need to prove more to the Seahawks as a result of his arrests, including for a possible parole violation in Bexar County, Texas, in San Antonio.
“I feel like you have something to prove every day. You have something to prove every year,” he said. “If you don’t have that mentality, then you are slippin’, that how I feel.”
At the time of his arrest in Dallas, the Seahawks issued a statement that they were “disappointed.” Three months later, as expected, they signed a veteran to compete with Boykin as Russell Wilson’s backup in 2017. But instead of Colin Kaepernick, who they had in on a free-agent visit, the Seahawks signed Austin Davis. The 28-year-old journeyman is a former part-time starter for the Cleveland Browns and the St. Louis Rams.
When I asked Boykin what he thought of the Seahawks passing on a Super Bowl-starting QB in Kaepernick and choosing to stay with Boykin and import Davis instead, Boykin said: “Nothing. I have full faith in my ability and what I can do.”
As for the quarterback’s legal issues, I asked coach Pete Carroll in June if the Seahawks had any information from the NFL on whether the league might punish Boykin for his offseason troubles, per its personal-conduct policy.
“I don’t have any other information than what we’ve had,” Carroll said. “So I know nothing more. We have to wait and see what that’s all about.”
When I asked Boykin on Wednesday if he feared the league might suspend him from a regular-season game or fine him, the quarterback said: “That stuff will all take care of itself.
“I’m just here to play ball. I’m out here every day to compete. And that’s my main focus. ... We are trying to get on one cylinder.”
The Seahawks would appreciate ANY cylinder. Better than neutral. Or reverse.
The Boykin-Davis competition has been rough so far in camp, to put it charitably. Both have been startlingly inaccurate throwing in scrimmages through nine practices. Wednesday, Boykin twice threw about 5 yards wide right and far out of bounds to receivers running 3-yard out routes. Monday during the mock game, he missed C.J. Prosise on a simple dump-off pass over the middle so far wide the running back was looking to both sides and past him to see where that pass was going to land.
This is Boykin’s time to seize the backup-QB job, but has yet to show any sign of doing that.
He and Davis will play the majority of the time in three of Seattle’s four exhibition games, the exception usually being the third one when Seattle’s starters have typically played through the first drive after halftime.
“They are huge,” Boykin said of the preseason games. “There’s nothing that simulates an NFL game.”
Boykin said he’s working on quickening the pace at which he gets the offense out of the huddle and plays, and that his reads of defenses and understanding of the offensive system are so far more advanced than they were last season. He had to play more in real games last year as an undrafted rookie out of TCU than Tarvaris Jackson ever had to from 2012-15 backing up Wilson, because Wilson got his first two injuries of his career and missed meaningful snaps in the third game of 2016 against San Francisco with a sprained knee.
Unofficial statistics from Monday’s mock game had Boykin completing six of 11 throws with an interception, to Earl Thomas. The other two of his three drives with the backup offense against Seattle’s starting offense resulted in punts.
Davis, unofficially, was eight for 13 passing with an interception, a field goal and a punt on his three drives against a mix of first- and second-teamers on defense.
Following Monday’s scrimmage, Carroll gave a tepid (for him) response to the competition to be Wilson’s backup -- a battle that will accelerate Sunday when the Seahawks’ play their first preseason game, at the Los Angeles Chargers. Boykin and Davis are likely to play the final 3 1/2 quarters of that.
“I think we are just in the middle of it, I don’t know. I say that when I don’t know what to tell you,” Carroll said.
The almost-always sunny coach could have stopped there and it would have said plenty of their performances so far.
“I don’t know right now...,” Carroll said. “They are real different. So we have to step back from it in time and we will get some games under our belt and in time we will figure out what it looks like when we are playing with Austin and with Trevone. They both have had days where they win the day and that kind of stuff.
“Russell is on fire right now (and had another sharp day Wednesday), so it’s hard for them to catch him. But still they have been making plays.”