Nothing changed today as far as the three-man rotation in the competition for the Seahawks’ starting quarterback job in the first practice of training camp, and none of the QBs did anything to alter the situation.
As he did all spring, incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson took the first reps on this first day, followed by free-agent acquisition Matt Flynn and then rookie Russell Wilson. If coach Pete Carroll, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and QB coach Carl Smith follow the same schedule they used in the spring OTA and minicamp practices, Flynn will be up first in Sunday’s practice and Wilson will get his turn to run the No. 1 offense on Monday.
When will all this sort itself out? As soon as one of the quarterbacks makes an obvious move at securing the job. And as Flynn said after practice, that was not the case today.
“There were some good points and some low points,” Flynn said. “It was just the first day, just getting some of the kinks out trying to get on the same page.”
Flynn got no argument on that assessment from his head coach.
“There was a little bit of everything today,” Carroll said. “We’re started. We’re underway. We’ve got a big-time formula that we’re unveiling as we go with the reps and how we do it and the timing and the patience it’s going to take to make really good decisions here. This is just the first step of it.
“There’s no reason to evaluate today.”
Pushed for more info on the how, the why and especially the when, Carroll dated himself by using a line from Johnny Carson’s Karnak sketch on the old “Tonight Show.”
“It’s on Funk and Wagnall’s porch, hermitically sealed (in a mayonnaise jar),” Carroll cracked, cracking himself up with the time-machine reference. “None of you guys have heard of hermitically sealed even.”
Cracking the hermitic seal as far as the practice-field performances of the three QBs involved, Jackson hooked up with wide receivers Ricardo Lockette and Golden Tate for long touchdown passes, but also had a pass intercepted and returned for a TD by cornerback Richard Sherman and another dropped by Pro Bowl free safety Earl Thomas that would have been an interception; Flynn used play-action fakes to setup a couple of nice throws, but also had two passes batted incomplete at the line; and Wilson converted a third-and-15 situation with a pass to tight end Anthony McCoy, but also had another throw go off a receiver that was intercepted by linebacker Mike Morgan.
Tarvaris Jackson. In a condensed week when everyone was wondering if the Seahawks’ quarterback would be able to do anything, he did everything.
“Tarvaris had his best day he’s had,” coach Pete Carroll said after today’s light, 55-minute session that was more than a walk-through but less than a practice. “He’s turned a corner for us, it looks like, and that’s a great report for me to be able to give you because this was the first week that he participated in all of the action that we had.
“So that’s a good sign.”
Since returning from the strained pectoral in his throwing shoulder he got in the Week 5 upset of the Giants, Jackson has usually thrown only on Thursday in practice and then the game on Sunday.
But this week, as the team prepared for Thursday night’s game against the Eagles at CenturyLink Field, Jackson threw in Monday’s walk-through; the walk-through Tuesday morning and then again in the afternoon practice; and today.
And Jackson seemed to throw better each day.
“I think his confidence that he can get through it is there,” Carroll said. “And he’s throwing the day before the game, and he hasn’t thrown less than two days before the game in past weeks. So this is a big improvement for him.”
The Seahawks need Jackson to be at his best – or as close to it as possible – against an Eagles team that is averaging 420.1 yards. So his ability to throw every day in this short week had everyone feeling a little better.
“It’s been a positive for him. He just feels better,” Carroll said. “He’s stronger than he’s been. Even in the short week’s time. We’re even more surprised by that. So it’s a good deal for us and for him, and we’re getting ready to crank it up and go.”
Vince Young. With Michael Vick being ruled out for a third consecutive game because of broken ribs, Young will start at quarterback for the Eagles against the Seahawks.
And Carroll needs no introduction there – not after what the former Texas QB did against Carroll’s USC team in the 2006 Rose Bowl, when Young scored his third rushing touchdown with 19 seconds to play and then also ran for the two-point PAT to give the Longhorns a 41-38 victory and the National Championship.
“I’ll always remember Vince Young and his play with great respect,” Carroll said. “We had gone on a three-year run; 19 seconds from a third national championship and he made the plays that night to make that not happen. I have great respect for him.”
Flash forward to Sunday, when Young passed for 400 yards in the Eagles’ loss to the Patriots.
“He’s very comfortable standing in the pocket,” Carroll of the NFL-version Young. “He’s not a running quarterback any longer, although he’s running the ball seven or eight times a game still very effectively. He’s just growing up, just as guys do when they come into the league.”
IN ’N OUT
The big news, of course, was wide receiver Sidney Rice being placed on injured reserve today after getting his second concussion in three weeks during Sunday’s game against the Redskins. For more on that situation, click here.
Rookie linebacker Mike Morgan was signed off the practice squad to fill Rice’s spot on the 53-man roster.
Middle linebacker David Hawthorne and left cornerback Richard Sherman participated fully in today’s light workout, after being limited yesterday, and Carroll said both should play against the Eagles.
Here’s the official status report:
CB Byron Maxwell (illness)
MLB David Hawthorne (knee)
CB Richard Sherman (calf)
QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)
DT Alan Branch (ankle)
For the Eagles:
OT King Dunlap (concussion)
LB Moise Fokou (ankle)
WR Jeremy Maclin (hamstring/shoulder)
QB Michael Vick (ribs)
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (ankle)
RB LeSean McCoy (toe)
CN Nnamdi Asomugha (knee)
DT Cullen Jenkins (thumb)
The word out of Philly is that McCoy is expected to play, despite being limited in practice all week. Asomugha’s status will be a game-day decision. He played last week, on a limited basis, after hyperextending his knee Thanksgiving Day.
STAT DU JOUR
This isn’t the first time the Seahawks have played on Thursday night, following a short week. It has happened five other times in franchise history and the Seahawks are 1-4 in those games:
Date Outcome, opponent
Nov. 27, 1980 L, 51-7; at Dallas Cowboys
Nov. 27, 1986 W, 31-14; at Dallas Cowboys
Oct. 17, 1996 L, 34-16; at Kansas City Chiefs
Dec. 14, 2006 L, 24-14; vs. San Francisco 49ers
Nov. 27, 2008 L, 34-9; at Dallas Cowboys
The players will have their typical day-before-the-game walk-through on Thursday morning and head to CenturyLink Field in the afternoon for the game.
The flipside of this short week will be a bye week-like situation before the Seahawks play the Rams on Dec. 12 in a “Monday Night Football” game, and Carroll plans to utilize the extra time to rest his players.
“The real positive of it is the weekend. These guys are going to get a big break,” he said. “It’s like a bye opportunity for them and we’re going to take full advantage of that to get strong for the finish of the season.”
YOU DON’T SAY
“Well, it’s great to be here on ‘Saturday.’ ” – Carroll after today’s session