“We’re talking about practice. We’re talking about practice. We ain’t talking about the game. We’re talking about practice, man.”
Allen Iverson unleashed this famous rant about how little practicing with the 76ers mattered to him at that moment. I find some relevance in this case with Trevone Boykin. Why? Well, it’s hard to ignore the reports out of the Seahawks practice regarding Boykin’s struggles with command, passes being way off target, turning the ball over, etc. Fans were on their knees begging for a backup solution behind starting quarterback, Russell Wilson. Most fans were calling for Colin Kaepernick, which is a tasty alternative, but not necessary. Enough about practice, it’s game time. I’m here to tell you that the Seahawks do not have a backup dilemma.
Trevone Boykin finished his first action of the 2017 preaseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers completing 80% of his passes, 12.6 yards/att, with a 113 QB rating. He threw one touchdown, one interception, rushed for 31 yards on four carries and scored with his feet. He struggled out of the gate, but on his second series, he took off and didn’t hold back.
On just his third drop-back, he scrambled for 23 yards. What stood out to me the most on this play was his awareness of his surroundings with only seconds to make a decision, all while managing to keep his eyes downfield. In my opinion, Boykin’s best attribute is his ability to buy time and executing it with his legs. His elusiveness is smooth as a baby’s bottom. He runs with confidence and swag and that alone extends my praise for this kid.
I’m not suggesting running is the extent of Boykin’s production, as his development in the passing game is improving and he showcased it with his arm and accuracy. With this next play, on 1st and 20, Boykin drops back and lets it fly to one of his bigger receivers, Kasen Williams, for a 29-yard gain. This would be a theme for these two in the game. Recognition needs to be given to the offensive line for allowing Boykin to drop back, set his feet and recognize the separation Kasen draws from the defender in coverage. The ball placement wasn’t 100% on point, but it was enough to give your big receiver, let alone a world class high jumper out of high school, a chance to get it. Williams showed great radius and strength at high point. This was a great play all around starting from the protection to the throw to the catch.
The very next play was my favorite by Boykin from this game. He looked like he belonged as an NFL quarterback. He receives great protection yet again (I can get used to this), this time on play action and stands tall in the pocket. Russell Wilson might be one of the best quarterbacks in the league when selling the play action. The Seahawks rely on this a bunch. Boykin witnesses that daily and demonstrates this technique beautifully. Now what I loved about this play the most was how composed he was while delivering the ball. Why? Well, while Boykin is waiting for Tanner McEvoy to run his crossing route, there’s a 300 pound defensive tackle coming straight for Boykin’s life. However, he firmly stands tall and delivers velocity right between McEvoy’s numbers for another explosive play.
Another accurate throw I liked, but this time while on the run and buying time, was when Boykin takes multiple looks at his receivers before throwing a dart across his body to the back of the end zone to Kenny Lawler. Yet again, the protection is solid while trying to find relief. It was an incomplete pass, but further proves my initial point of how much athleticism Boykin shows.
Boykin played great in the Seahawks preseason opener and I expect him to keep developing as time goes on. Was he perfect? No. There were under throws and poor decisions when he was greedy, but all around it was a solid performance. We should be excited about his play, not finding reasons to criticize it. He proved to me that he can be a competent quarterback for this team’s system. The Seahawks have a backup quarterback and his name is Trevone Boykin.