Seahawks entering 'controversy phase' at QB: The cases for and against Drew Lock
Seaside Bonus: Pete Carroll says Geno Smith needs to start throwing the ball downfield more often
I remember the day I was born.
I was probably about five or six hours old. My mother clutched me in her elbow crook and rocked me back and forth, internally I fantasized about one day getting to eat hazelnut chocolate and growing up to become a blogger. Even back then, before I knew what a doorknob was, I knew that quarterbacks deserved more credit and blame than any other position or coaching role in football.
Ga-Ga. Goo-Goo. You need to efficiently pass the ball downfield to be able compete in the modern NFL.
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I’ve known since I was at least a week old that you open up a can of worms by hinting at the “quarterback wins” debate. It’s not about if quarterbacks win or lose games all by themselves; it’s about the degree of help you are getting from that position and the unparalleled value of that one person compared to every other person in an organization. I think that the New England Patriots dynasty did a lot more to help give answers to this debate than anyone seems to be letting on.
No coach has more control over an organization than Bill Belichick. No single player has been more central to Super Bowl wins than Tom Brady. The quarterback went 10-6 or better in all 18 seasons as the starter, even as personnel kept changing. The head coach is 18-17 since losing Brady. The quarterback is 26-9 since the separation.
Yes, he chose a good team. He’s a smart quarterback.
Through two games, the Seattle Seahawks have scored 17 offensive points, fewest in the NFL. As I write this, that includes the four Monday night teams who have yet to play their second game of the season. Not only have the Seahawks only managed two offensive touchdowns through eight quarters (both coming in the first half of Week 1), but Seattle’s one field goal attempt is fewer than 26 other teams and only the Commanders, Cardinals have yet to try one.
Washington has scored eight offensive touchdowns, Arizona has scored six.
To say that the Seahawks have bigger problems on the offense and the rest of the team than simply at quarterback is a true statement. It is also one of those perfect examples of narrative-biased manipulation that people use to distract others away from the most obvious answers for what’s causing the issues.
It’s not about blaming or forgiving Geno Smith for Seattle’s offensive woes. He should not be expected to be a different quarterback than what he’s been for the last ten years. It’s not even about replacing Geno Smith. This is about understanding and accepting Geno Smith, Pete Carroll, and the Seahawks’ intentions with regards to the quarterback position this year. There is no reason for any Seahawks fans to be separated over a debate on “Who is to blame?” for Seattle’s inept offense.
Blame is not necessary. Acceptance is vital.
Do the Seahawks have an offensive line problem? Yes. They are not the only team that has offensive line problems. Joe Burrow has been sacked 64 times since the start of 2021—15 more than the next-closest quarterback—and amid an early-season disaster, Cincinnati has managed three touchdowns, five field goals. Burrow reached the Super Bowl with the Bengals’ offensive line in 2021, Patrick Mahomes reached the Super Bowl with the Chiefs’ offensive line in 2020.
Do the Seahawks have coaching problems? That is possible. Certainly, based on the 10 new head coaches in 2022 and the probability of continued turnover in the coming months, Seattle is not the only franchise that is questioning the staff’s decision-making in the early going. The Matt Rhule-Baker Mayfield offense is one of the worst in the league and has managed four touchdowns, four field goals.
Do the Seahawks wish they had drafted Amon-Ra St. Brown instead of Dee Eskridge last year? Many teams are grappling with that mistake. Seattle’s depth at receiver is concerning, the tight ends leave a lot to be desired, and DK Metcalf seems strapped and a little disjointed in the early going. Even the atrocious Patriots offense, truly not much better off than Seattle, has managed to score more points than the Seahawks with Jakobi Meyers and Nelson Agholor as the top-two receivers.
Take away the best receivers for Aaron Rodgers and Mahomes, they won’t stop being Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes. And Derek Carr won’t turn into Rodgers simply because he starting rooming with Davante Adams again.
But could making a change at quarterback this season help the Seahawks pass for 200 yards (Seattle’s single-game high for net passing yards in five Geno Smith’s starts is 180), score touchdowns (the Seahawks have a single-game high of 23 offensive points in Smith’s five outings), and give players like Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Noah Fant, Rashaad Penny, and Kenneth Walker III better opportunities to do what they do best?
Now on a streak of six quarters in a row without an offensive touchdown, that is a question that Pete Carroll will not be able to avoid if the Seahawks fall flat again against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3. Carroll told 710 ESPN on Monday morning that Seattle needs to trust Smith to throw the ball downfield more often and to give him those opportunities for explosive passing plays.
That means that not only is Carroll potentially tipping his hand to the Falcons because he feels like he’s up against a wall after a 0-point performance (with Smith going 1-of-2 with an interception on two passes 15+ yards downfield), he’s likely setting the Seahawks up to either feel good about what Geno does with those opportunities…
Or they’re opening the door for Drew Lock to take those opportunities away from Geno.
This is the case for the Seahawks sticking with Geno Smith for at least a few more outings vs. making a change to Drew Lock while the season is young enough to be salvaged.