Pete Carroll’s Motivational Tactics Have Seahawks Fans Panicking | Would Coach REALLY Replace NFL’s Passer Rating Leader Geno Smith With A Career Backup?

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks entered the 2022 season with a lot of uncertainty after trading away franchise player Russell Wilson in March and allowing their defensive leader for the last 10 seasons, Bobby Wagner, to leave via free agency.

In fact, Wilson and Wagner were both selected in the 2012 NFL draft and quarterbacked the offense and defense for the next 10 seasons. With the team in the midst of a mini-rebuild, filling the quarterback position after Wilson’s Denver departure was top priority. 

Smith vs. Lock 

Throughout the offseason coach Pete Carroll let it be known that longtime Seahawks backup Geno Smith and former second-round pick Drew Lock, who arrived in the Wilson deal, would battle for the starting position. Smith won the competition because he is the better quarterback by a wide margin. Through the first five weeks of the season Smith has been one of the five best QBs in the league. In fact, he leads the NFL in passer rating (113.1).

The former West Virigina star has passed for over 1,300 yards, nine touchdowns and just two interceptions. His 75 percent completion percentage is tops in the entire NFL, and his teammates seem to be responding to him. Hearing that, one would think he’s solidified as the starter, but comments made by Carroll this week suggest that the position is Smith’s for now but he could get yanked at any minute. 

 

Carroll’s Odd Comments Amidst Smith’s Great Start

During a media availability session earlier this week, Carroll mentioned how well Smith is playing. But in the same sentence he also said Lock was playing good in practice.

“He’s doing everything we could ask of him right now,” Carroll said. “It’s good, too, that he’s got Drew Lock nipping at his heels every day in practice. Every day in practice, Drew does stuff. He’s got good stuff going right there in support of what Geno does. It just keeps everybody on their toes. It’s the whole thing about competition; it’s good, and we like that it continues to be that way.”

It’s a little awkward for Carroll to be praising Lock so much when his current starter is playing so well. Lock had ample opportunities throughout the offseason to prove he was the best man for the job, and he was thoroughly outplayed by Smith. On the other hand, it’s also a sly strategy by Carroll to keep the confidence of his backup high while not allowing Smith to get too complacent.

But it’s just strange timing to make those remarks. And nobody is buying it. But nobody is leaving anything past Carroll, who’s known to be a bit wacky at times. He doesn’t always make the best decisions under pressure. Just go back to what should have been Wilson’s second Super Bowl ring in a row. 

Smith Has Also Outplayed The Guy He Replaced In Seattle

Through five weeks of football, Smith has managed to do something that most believed wasn’t possible. He’s outplayed Wilson, the guy he backed up from 2019-2021. He’s doing it with basically the same pieces Russ wasn’t enthralled with. While Smith is thriving at the helm in Seattle, Wilson’s struggles through five games this season have been well documented. And while the expectancy is for Russ to figure it out, as of now Smith is playing at a much higher level.

And that’s what makes Carroll’s comments even more strange when you think about it. Genius at work? 


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