Seahawks coach Pete Carroll buried the lead Friday night.
Carroll was almost two minutes into his opening statement in his postgame news conference when he announced Geno Smith has won the starting quarterback job. Smith will start the season opener when former quarterback Russell Wilson returns to town with the Broncos.
“He’s earned it. He’s won the job,” Carroll said. “The timing got messed up for us for Drew (Lock). He just ran out of time in his bid for it. I’m clear about that.”
Lock contracted COVID-19 days before his scheduled start in the second preseason game. He didn’t start in the final preseason game Friday night against the Cowboys but saw extended action.
In nine possessions, he threw three interceptions and one touchdown, and the Seahawks scored 20 points with Lock as their quarterback.
But it was clear from the moment Smith re-signed with the Seahawks that it was his job to lose. He spent two seasons as Wilson’s backup and has 34 career starts, giving him a head start on Lock from day one of the competition.
“Geno, he knows our stuff and he does really well and he understands it and he commands everything that we’re doing,” Carroll said. “He’ll give us the best chance to play great football right off the bat.”
Carroll told the team of the decision in the locker room after the 27-26 loss to the Cowboys.
“It wasn’t a major reaction,” Smith said. “Obviously, I’m thankful for the opportunity and grateful, but I have a lot of work ahead of me. That was my mindset from the start is getting ready to go out there and win games. This is just step one in the process, but it’s really about winning. None of this will matter if we don’t go out and win the games we’re supposed to win.”