Pete Carroll Provides Update on Seahawks’ Quarterback Competition Between Drew Lock, Geno Smith

by Chris Haney

The Seattle Seahawks and head coach Pete Carroll have some decisions to make this offseason. For years, longtime quarterback Russell Wilson was a lock heading into training camp every year. However, after a blockbuster trade sent him to the Denver Broncos, the Seahawks have a full-on quarterback competition brewing in Seattle.

As part of the Wilson trade, the Broncos shipped Drew Lock to the Pacific Northwest. He’s currently competing with Geno Smith as Carroll and his staff evaluate who will start under center in Week 1. As NFL preseason games are underway, each of their performances will be analyzed ad nauseam. However, after Seattle’s first preseason game on Saturday night, things look to be even so far between Lock and Smith.

Following the Seahawks’ 32-25 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Carroll opened up about his team’s performance. While speaking to reporters, he also talked about his team’s ongoing QB evaluation. Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times relayed Carroll’s comments over the weekend.

“As it turned out, for both guys that was a good outing because they had a lot of pressure on them to have to get things done,” Carroll said, according to the Seattle Times. “We’re coming from behind and drives to go ahead and all that kind of stuff. I’m anxious to see how it looks when we break it down. But those were the kind of options we were looking forward to see how the guys were doing.”

Pete Carroll, Seahawks Continuing to Evaluate Geno Smith and Drew Lock

Pete Carroll hasn’t given any indication yet as to who will be the Seahawks’ starting quarterback in Week 1. But Seattle did start Geno Smith against the Steelers on Saturday, so it seems to be his job to lose. Smith knows the offense and has been Russell Wilson’s backup in Seattle since 2019.

The eighth-year player out of West Virginia started the entire first half. After a slow start, he ended the half with a solid touchdown drive. With under two minutes to play, Smith led the Seahawks on a 61-yard two-minute drill. He capped off the drive with a 2-yard TD run to end his day on a high. Smith finished the game with 10 of 15 completed passes for 101 yards. Additionally, he added nine rushing yards and the single TD.

“I felt great out there,” Smith said after the game “I felt like my decision-making was on point with seeing things well. They had a few good blitzes and things of that nature. But I was able to get the ball out of my hands when I needed to.”

Although Seattle went in the locker room at halftime down 17-10, Drew Lock came out hot in the second half. The former Broncos QB led the Seahawks on an immediate nine-play, 73-yard scoring drive. Two series later, Lock threw a second TD pass and added a successful two-point conversion to tie the game. Yet with the game on the line late in the fourth quarter, Lock fumbled and the Steelers capitalized on the mistake. Pittsburgh would drive down the field and score a game-clinching TD.

“I could have handled that better,” Lock admitted following the preseason loss. “Could have flipped the pro (protection), could have played a hot (read receiver). As a quarterback, you’re always able to fix those things. I’ll always take it on the chest and I could have been better there.”

The Seattle Seahawks still have two more preseason games left before the regular season kicks in. Carroll will use those games to continue to evaluate the quarterbacks as they face off against the Chicago Bears on Thursday night. Then, Seattle will travel to Dallas to play the Cowboys on August 26 before they gear up for Week 1 and Carroll names his starting QB for 2022.