|Created by reader Sean Lewandowski|
News and notes are abbreviated today as I had some guests with me, and needed to leave practice early.
OFF THE CUFF
Enough is enough
Pete Carroll announced after practice that Matt Flynn would start the Broncos game and play the first half while Russell Wilson would play the second half. Yet, Tarvaris Jackson took first-team snaps during practice. Carroll is factually accurate when he says the competition to start is still on, but he is losing credibility with the fans and the players by not being more transparent about the current state of affairs. Starting Flynn for a second game is absolutely the right thing to do. He is leading the competition to start, and deserves as many reps with the starters as possible to be ready for the opening game of the season. He has earned that spot through competition in practice. There is nothing to be ashamed of in acknowledging that truth. The competition has succeeded. There is separation between the players. Celebrate that. Instead, Carroll continues to be coy about everyone being on equal footing.
There are two logical reasons for him to play that game. One, if Flynn gets injured before the season, Jackson would be the starter. That’s right. As excited as I am about Wilson, he has things he needs to learn about NFL defenses and adjustments made in this offense. Jackson and Flynn have years of experience on him, and that won’t change enough by the time the season starts to put Wilson in there. Carroll has said the only reason Jackson is not playing is because they know him well enough to make a judgment. By giving himself this out, Carroll could more gracefully slip Jackson back into the starting role should Flynn go down. The second reason for this dance is to buy some time until the front office figures out what to do with Jackson. As soon as Flynn is named the starter, the questions will begin about what to do with Jackson. They will start about who the backup is. Taking this route allow John Schneider to explore all options with Jackson. My guess continues to be that he gets cut, but Schneider will do all that he can to find a trade partner.
Even taking the public stance as Carroll has while being more transparent with the team privately would be preferred to what is happening right now. The players on the team have no idea what the plan is, who is winning the competition, or when it will be decided. That uncertainty is not helping. It was fine for the first week. It was acceptable for the second week. There is a clear leader emerging in the quarterback race. It is time for Carroll to prove he not only knows the power of competition, but the value of declaring a winner.
Wide receiver tidal wave
It is getting a little silly now with the number of receivers on this roster. The effect was dulled last week when Doug Baldwin Jr, Ricardo Lockette, and Sidney Rice were held out of practice. Yesterday, all were back in action, as was Kellen Winslow Jr. That’s a lot of bodies to work in there. Thirteen receivers are in camp. That simply cannot continue much longer. So much focus has been put on the QB competition, and how that’s being handled, that people are forgetting to evaluate the wide receiver competition. Nine to ten receivers have a case to be made for making the roster. Rotating them in to get enough opportunities is challenging. Receiver, unlike quarterback, requires a variety of things to happen on a play in order for them to get an opportunity. The play call and defense can dictate the ball goes elsewhere. The quarterback may see another player open first. You could run ten perfect routes and never see the ball. Now, divvy that time up among more than a dozen players. Oh, and put the quarterbacks on a roulette wheel so you never know who is going to be throwing to you. It is not exactly a recipe for precise timing and chemistry developing between receiver and quarterback.
Terrell Owens did not shine
Owens stood out in his first few practices. He was not as impressive in the couple hours of practice I watched yesterday. There is some talk that he has a minor hamstring injury as he works back into football shape. Take that for what it’s worth.
Flynn did not have his best practice early on. Tarvaris played pretty well, and Wilson was okay. It turns out the NFL asked teams to try out a ball with rubber laces yesterday. The quarterbacks did not like them, and ditched them toward the end of practice. That may have something to do with the inaccurate throws we saw early on.
STAND-OUT NEW FACES
Walter Thurmond, Allen Bradford, Cordarro Law, Pierre Allen, Matt McCoy
THINGS I NOW KNOW
- Walter Thurmond is walking around without any sign of a limp and without any boot or brace. He sure looks like a guy that will be back by mid-season. That effects the roster choices.
- James Carpenter continues to put in work on the side. Having a first-round pick come back mid-season also effects the roster choices.
- Bobby Wagner was raised well. I had the chance to take his sandwich order at lunch (longish story I will tell in another post sometime). Every other player was friendly, but Wagner noticed I was not the regular sandwich person, and stopped to shake my hand and introduce himself. The way people treat staff speaks volumes about who they are as a person. Wagner’s parents did a good job. He’s got a new fan.
- Red Bryant has been working out at the VMAC far more this off-season than any other. He and Brandon Mebane are workout partners, and have been pushing each other. Bryant appears to be serious about earning the contract he was given.
Today is the final day of open practice for the public. It’s been a terrific Summer for the team, and for me. Thanks for reading!