Sunday, August 5, 2012

2012 Seahawks Training Camp: August 5th News & Notes

Scrimmage day! The team went through normal position drills for the first half of practice, and then transitioned into a scrimmage with each of the quarterback rotating in to get chances to drive the team down the field. My note-taking app ate about one-third of my notes, so I don't have accurate snap counts today.

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.

SIDELINED PLAYERS
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
  1. No starter has been announced for the Titans game. This was confirmed by Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune. 
  2. The rumor about mimosas on the weekends is false.
  3. The Blue Angels are unreal.
  4. There is no way to look presentable when you are sweating like a squeezed sponge.
GENERAL IMPRESSIONS
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.

12 comments :

Anonymous said...

How is tarvaris being one on the depth chart the only possible reason for him starting? Seems like a bit of hyperbole. Couldn't it be related to rumors that they may be shopping jackson?

Anonymous said...

This isn't the first time that Pete made questionable decisions, but I'm always hoping it would be his last.

Matson said...

This makes me extremely worried. I like everything else that Carroll is doing and has done, but why on earth is he messing up the most important roster spot on purpose? Is it too hard for him to admit that he was a bit wrong about Jackson? That Schneider was the one who was right about Flynn?

If Jackson starts week one against Arizona instead of Flynn, I will lose my respect for Carroll. This is the only step that needs to be done in making the team a true contender. One step Pete, you have to take one step!

Anonymous said...

You know darn well that T-jack will start against the Titans, then Flynn will get his shot as starter in the next pre-season game. I believe the decision will be made then.

Anonymous said...

The fly in the QB ointment is Josh Portis, who hasn't earned anything. Both Russell Wilson and Portis are developmental QBs (RW has all the talent in the world but no wisdom and no experience). You don't need two dev projects. If Pete could get over Josh, cut him, then that would perhaps lead the way to pronouncing Tarvaris as QB3 (or QB2) with a clear conscience, and they could end this farce and get Flynn the reps he needs to get to the next level.

davidno88 said...

I am increasingly losing my faith in Pete Carroll's ability to pick talent at QB and cultivate that talent. His first move when he got here to Seattle was to trade for Charlie Whitehurst. When he got here, it was obvious that he couldn't play, so why couldn't he notice that on the game film before disrespecting Matt Hasselback? The second stupid move was letting go of Matt when he could have stayed and groomed the next QB into above average performance. Instead he went with Tarvaris, who is servicable but nowhere near Matt's ability to dissect the defense. Now we have Matt Flynn who was obviously John Schneider's choice. He's looking to be a good QB, but Pete can't pull the trigger. What more does he need to see? What does he risk in naming Matt Flynn the starter now and giving him the most reps? I get the point that he wants to create an atmosphere of competition. But according to these reports, the QB competition is over. All these reasons lead me to believe that Pete is a DB coach and tries to apply DB coaching techniques to the offense. High turnover and competition probably works well with coaching the defense, but it seems to be creating inconsistency with the offense. This is our breakout year. The defense is possibly top 5 and our run game is solid. We need a QB to push us over the hump. Pull the trigger, Pete!

Matson said...

I´m starting to accept the depressing fact that Carroll is going to start and end the season with Jackson. He is too pig-headed for anything else. The more everyone says it should be done this way, the more certainly Pete will to do it that way. His QB decisions so far have been failures. He should accept that this is not his strongest area and listen to others. Bevell, as offensive coordinator, should say that this is hurting the offense, but he just might be in "camp Tarvaris" too.

Matt Flynn must feel like he is cursed. After being the backup for the best QB in NFL for four years, he is now in a position, where the whole planet sees and agrees that he should get the starter job, except the guy who makes the decision...

This competition has already hurt the teams chances next season and it will make them even worse if its not ended immediately.

Mr Posh said...

The only thing I can think of behind this wait is that PC/JS are playing psychological games here - make Flynn fight.

By all accounts Flynn is by far the most consistent QB in camp. Add this to Seattle taking him as the second most sought after QB in FA, then this wait, for me at least, says they are keeping Flynn from thinking he was a shoe-in for the job - a lot of reporters and observers thought he was given the circumstances how and why he arrived in the NW.

The danger as so many of your rightly say is there is no rapport developing with the 1st team receiving corps (RBs included), especially for someone of his style who relies much more on anticipating the open space.

In Pete we trust? It's running very thin.

Brian said...

Great Stuff Brian!

I think everyone should calm down just a bit on the TJack stuff... Think of the way Wedge and Jack Z have handled the Mariner's aging under-performers... Chone Figgins says he is only failing because he's not hitting lead-off... ok be lead-off for a bit, but this is your last shot... they did the same with Ichiro, and MItlon Bradley...
Seems to me like one way to avoid locker-room fallout is to let TJack fail a little as we all know he likely will. By all accounts this competition has been at the least close and if Pete & co pulled the trigger too fast it may undercut their competition mantra.

I don't think there is much to worry about here... Flynn will start week 1 and the team will just have to figure it out as far as chemistry goes. Our offense is primarily run focused that should help.

keep faith Hawks fans!

David said...

Tarvaris still has a lot of guys on his side in the locker room. They all will come around soon enough and see that Flynn is the better option. Once that happens and Pete sees the players gravitating to Flynn, Pete will then name Flynn the starter. Until EVERYONE on that team sees that Tarvaris lost his job fair and square, Tarvaris will be around. Don't worry, it won't be much longer.

Pete has done this before and his teams were usually pretty darn good either in spite of or because of it. I don't think this year will be any different.

Mark said...

Ummm. I am very confused, Hawk Blogger. I was at the scrimmage yesterday, and most of the stuff that you claim happened, didn't happen at all. I want Flynn to be the answer as much as anybody, but of the 4 practices I have been to so far, Jackson has been the most consistent of all the QB's. Flynn seemed out of touch today. His timing seemed off and he looked rushed. He threw a bad interception and then nearly threw two more picks within the next 3 passing plays. Jackson was no model of consistency or anything, but you need to stop giving false information. Just because you desperately want Flynn to come in here and change the culture in Seattle, it doesn't mean that you can will this to happen by skewing the facts to his favor. All you are serving to do is make Pete Carroll look like a clueless drone and drag people's favor away from him. In my opinion, you are the worst kind of football fan, and one that we as the proud 12th Man don't need. WHERE WERE THESE 3 SUPPOSED SCORING DRIVES BY FLYNN??? There were 2,499 other people there, ya know. How about you cut out the blatant lies.

Hawk Blogger said...

Mark, you are welcome to comment any time you wish, but personal attacks against me or anyone else will not be tolerated.

Flynn's first series had him throw a TD that was called back either by penalty or by coach (could not tell from my end of the field). His running back than ran for a TD on the same series with the officials raising their hands to signal TD. Then Flynn threw the pick. I'm not sure how a tipped ball is a "horrible" pick, but that's up to you.

Later in the scrimmage, Flynn threw to 43 for a TD

If you have detailed notes of what happened that don't match mine, I'd love to see them.

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