Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith has held the No. 1 spot on the depth chart throughout the offseason program and the early phase of training camp. That possibly changed on Saturday, during the team’s mock game.
Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune characterized it as a win for Drew Lock. He completed 19 of 26 passes in four drives with the second-string offense against the first-team defense, and one drive with the first-string offense against the second defense. He engineered two touchdowns and a field goal in those five drives. Smith completed 11 of 20 passes in four drives, three of which happened with the first-string offense against the No. 2 defense.
Per Bell, the offense “just did more” with Lock.
After the scrimmage, coach Pete Carroll shed no light on the status of the competition for the Week One starting job.
“It looked like they threw the ball pretty well,” Carroll said. “The way it worked out, Drew had some more opportunities, but I thought that they threw the ball really nice in the controlled stuff and underneath. We were clean with the ball coming out, the protection was good early, so it will give us a good chance to see them. If you noticed that both guys got to work with the first O-line today and the first receivers, so it will be a nice chance to compare these guys.”
So how important was the mock game to the quarterback battle?
“It depends on what it tells me, I don’t know that, but it’s really important to see where we’ve come,” Carroll said. “We handled the line of scrimmage well, I was back behind there so I could see what was going on with all of our checks, audibles, and things like that. We did that really well, so we’ve made a lot of progress, but now we need to see what it looks like on film. It might not tell us as much as I hope, but we will see.”
Carroll wouldn’t say whether the performance from Lock earned him more practice reps with the first-team offense.
“I don’t have anything to tell you right now, I have to wait and see,” Carroll said.
Quarterback Geno Smith acknowledged that the decisions aren’t up to him, but he wanted it to clear that, either way, he supports Lock.
“As far as the competition, I’m not the one judging all of that, so I’ll leave that up to the coaches,” Smith told reporters. “But, I think Drew played really well, as I’ve always said, and I will go on record to say that I have his back. No matter what, I have Drew Lock’s back. I want that to be known. We’re teammates, we’re competing, but we’re in the same offense, we’re in the same room, and we’re going to make each other better.”
“It means a lot,” Lock said regarding Smith’s remarks. “It’s the exact same thing I would say up here. I went through that with Teddy [Bridgewater] last year. When Teddy got announced the starter in Denver, I did everything I could do for him throughout the week and even on gamedays. I would do the same here. Going on the record saying that I got Geno’s back. I’d do everything I can throughout the week to make him feel good going into gameday on Sunday. That’s what that job is. I’d give everything I got for him if that ended up being the case.”
In 37 days, one of them will be starting on the first Monday night of the year, against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. Although we still don’t know who it will be, we know the other one will have the starter’s back.