OFF THE CUFF
Tarvaris Jackson gets the start…logic absent from VMAC
All credible reports I heard had Tarvaris Jackson leading the quarterback race coming into training camp. It was logical, therefore, for him to run with the starters on the first day of camp. That meant he would lead be the “starter” in practice numbers 1, 4 and 7. Today, was practice number eight. It was Matt Flynn’s turn to start. It also happened to be the day of the scrimmage. Flynn also has been the best quarterback in camp so far. It was Flynn’s turn to start, and he earned the start. Instead, Pete Carroll went out of his way to break the quarterback rotation and start Jackson.
The only possible explanation for starting Jackson out of order is that the coaching staff still has him as #1 on their depth chart. How that could be the case is beyond me. Jackson has not been the best quarterback in any practice, save the first. He is completing fewer passes. The passes he is completing are for fewer yards, and are less difficult throws. He converts the fewest third downs, and scores the fewest points in “drive” situations. Unless there is a new evaluation tool for what a quarterback needs to do in order to win a competition, I’m stumped.
Matt Flynn is best quarterback again, even with the second string
My notes saved three series for each of the quarterbacks. Flynn went for a touchdown in his first. In fact, he scored so quickly that the coaches kept him on the field in the red zone, and he led them to a second TD on the same drive. His second series was hamstrung by a terrible drop by Ricardo Lockette along the left sideline for what would have been a 25-30 yard gain. They ran on the next play, and then he scrambled for what appeared to be a first down, but the coaches ended the series there. On the last possession I have for him, he led a nine-play touchdown drive. Jackson led one touchdown drive, and 90% of the yards came on a run by Marshawn Lynch and then a pass interference call. He scored the touchdown on a scramble. He led a field goal as well, that was also almost entirely credited to Lynch’s running. Wilson appeared to lead one field goal drive. I am pretty sure he led another, but that got lost in my notes snafu.
The situation is starting to get frustrating as a fan watching. Not only is Flynn outclassing the other quarterbacks, but he is losing reps with the first string receivers. He had one completion to a receiver who will be on the 53-man roster, Kellen Winslow. The rest of his completions were to players like Kris Durham, Phil Bates and Charly Martin. It is silly to have Flynn developing chemistry with guys that won’t even make the squad.
I was talking with Hugh Millen on my way out of the VMAC, and asked him if I was missing something. Was there anything he was seeing from Jackson that I was missing? No. He seemed to have all the same questions that I had, and made an excellent point about how this is especially harmful to a quarterback like Flynn who is dependent on anticipation. Millen talked about how a strong-armed quarterback can wait for a player to get open and just gun the ball in to the receiver. Players like Flynn rely on anticipating when the player will be open and putting the ball in that spot the receiver will be at just the right time. Developing that kind of chemistry and timing with players takes time. Time the Seahawks are wasting.
Bruce Irvin is fast
Not only did the first-round pick have another sack, and a few pressures, but he also chased down Lynch 70 yards down field from the opposite sideline. I believe we have a player here, folks.
STAND-OUT NEW FACES
TE Sean McGrath
Another nice catch for McGrath today.
CB Jeremy Lane
Lane stood out for the wrong reason. He got thrown out of practice for fighting. Last I saw, he was shoving Ben Obomanu’s face into the ground and ripping his helmet off. Teammates struggled mightily to pull him away. I mentioned in my last notes to expect things to get a little chippy. This was a drastic example. Both Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner spoke to Lane as he went to the locker room.
WR Phil Bates
Bates was solid again, making a few nice catches.
Jameson Konz, Walter Thurmond, Anthony McCoy, Doug Baldwin (still nursing hamstring), Bobby Wagner, Matt McCoy, Red Bryant (resting), Jason Jones (resting)
THINGS I NOW KNOW
- No starter has been announced for the Titans game. This was confirmed by Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune.
- The rumor about mimosas on the weekends is false.
- The Blue Angels are unreal.
- There is no way to look presentable when you are sweating like a squeezed sponge.
Setting aside my frustration about the handling of the quarterback situation, it was great to see Flynn lead productive drives and play well again. Wilson made some nice plays as well. I would love to see the coaching staff do something to encourage Flynn based on his performance instead of discouraging him like I think they did today. He should start the Titans game. Don’t drag this out.
Lynch is running well. It remains difficult to judge run offense and defense in practice environments, but Lynch is running with the same passion we have come to know and love.
Winslow was back on the field after twisting his knee a few days ago. That counts as good news.
The team has the day off tomorrow, before picking up again on Tuesday. Will they continue the quarterback rotation, or will they name a starter for the Titans game and let him get the bulk of the reps? You know what I’m hoping for.