When the Seahawks acquired quarterback Drew Lock as part of the Russell Wilson trade, many presumed that Lock would become the starter. While that still may happen before Wilson returns to town for the regular-season opener, incumbent veteran Geno Smith continues to hold off Lock.
“They’ve been impressive,” coach Pete Carroll told reporters on Thursday. “They’ve been really impressive, and it’s not been any one sequence here, or one day here, they have just been solid throughout. We’ve shared a ton of reps, Geno has gone with the first group throughout, but they’ve had very close to equal reps in situational opportunities throughout. They really have been very impressive, so I can’t tell you anything other than that, they’ve done a terrific job so far and they look in control. Geno’s still ahead, you can tell that, but it’s not going to be too much for Drew to be caught up. By the time we get through camp, he’ll be there. He’s really bright, it makes sense to him, he’s really sharp in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage and all of that, so it’s just time that he needs and there’s nothing we can do, but just, gain some more of that. The competition is in great shape and you can tell that Geno has been here, you can feel that, and he’s taken full advantage of that. It’s good for us, we didn’t hesitate to do anything. We can do everything we’ve done in the years past, so we’re off and flying, here we go.”
Although Smith has gotten the first-team reps during offseason workouts, the Seahawks are holding their cards close to the vest regarding the first-team reps in training camp.
“You’ll see, I’m not telling you that,” Carroll said.
This implies that a decision has been made. Last week, offensive coordinator Shane Waldron suggested that a decision regarding the distribution of first-team reps in training camp had not yet been made.
Despite the fact that Smith remains ahead of lock, Carroll clearly believes Lock can overtake Smith based on performance in preseason games.
“He’s really competitive, he has all kinds of plays in him, really a natural athlete, natural thrower, and a natural movement guy,” Carroll said. “He had his best day yesterday on the move, he had some big scramble plays that he hit, it was great to see. We’ve seen it on film, so it’s just nice to get it validated here. There’ll just be tons and tons more, so this is not too big for him. He’s ready for it, he is. He’s primed up, ready, has learned a lot in the years past, and he seeks this kind of support, and he’s getting it. We’re showing him that we believe in him as a player and we believe that he can get it done, get the job done, and now we just have to play the thing out. I don’t know that he always felt like that. He’s responded really well, and the coaches are really thrilled about it, so we’re in good shape at the position and we just have to see what happens. The games are going to be important, and everything will be important. This is just, we’re in T-shirts and stuff out here, so it’s not the real deal, however, we can see all of the mental side of it come to light, and we have no reason to restrict our thoughts in any way at this point. . . .
“Really, we just have to watch them play. We got to watch them play and we’ll create as many, like all the situations we’ve been doing with that thought in mind. Let’s put these guys where they have to make decisions and they have to use the clock and they have to use the field and they’ve got to use the sticks and all of the stuff that’s happening and scores. We had the score going the whole time today and all of that. We just need to accumulate all the information and see what happens, so we’ll try to create it in practice and the games will be important.”
So it remains wide open between Smith and Lock, despite the fact that Smith remains technically in the lead. And it all will be determined based on the coaching staff’s assessment of the two players in training camp and the preseason.