I should not be excited. I know I shouldn’t be excited. Having this much uncertainty at arguably the single most important position in all of sports is almost never a good thing. Yet here I sit, honestly giddy about the prospect of the Seahawks’ upcoming quarterback battle. I’m looking forward to seeing three quarterbacks we know virtually nothing about duke it out for the starting job. The Seahawks have been on their way up ever since Pete Carroll took over and it’s possible that whichever quarterback ends up winning the job could be just what the Seahawks need to become an elite team. No matter who wins the job, the quarterbacks will likely all be better players on opening day than they are right now simply through the virtue of competition. So the question becomes: who are these guys who are going to be competing for the job? Let’s take a look at them in order from least to most likely to be the day one starter.
Russell Wilson: The Seahawks drafted Wilson, out of the University of Wisconsin, in the third round of this year’s draft. He played one year of football at Wisconsin after graduating from North Carolina State University, where he was a three year starter. During Wilson’s final year of college he completed more than seventy percent of his passes as he led the Badgers to a record of 11 and 3. He has yet to take an NFL snap but impressed Coach Carroll enough during the rookie minicamp that he has earned a chance to compete for a starting job at the ripe old age of 23.
Tavaris Jackson: Jackson was the Seahawks starter last year. He completed about 60% of his passes and threw 14 touchdowns during a season in which he, his offensive line and his receiving corps were all plagued by injuries. His time in a Seahawks uniform actually hasn’t told us that much about whether or not he can play well in this league and, to be honest, neither have the other five years of his career. Jackson has never played in a full sixteen game season. Prior to last year, the most games he’d played in a season was 12 in 2007. In 2007 he completed around 58 percent of his passes for 9 touchdowns but 12 interceptions; he threw 13 interceptions in 2011. Jackson has been inconsistent throughout his career. He’s had good and bad games. The overall season stats tell a story of a quarterback who will complete somewhere around 60 percent of his passes and stay near a one to one touchdown to interception ratio but due to injuries and the Brett Favre factor, we don’t really know what kind of quarterback he is.
Matt Flynn: This is a quarterback who has started two games in his four year NFL career. That is through no fault of his own; he’s been stuck behind Aaron Rodgers on the Green Bay depth chart and there certainly has been no quarterback competition on the frozen tundra. Over his career, Flynn has completed about 62 percent of his passes for 6 touchdowns and set the single game record for passing yardage in Green Bay history. The Seahawks were pretty successful the last time they brought over a Green Bay backup QB … maybe Flynn can replicate that success.
Flynn is most likely going to win the job. Rookies who are drafted in the third round don’t often end up starting at the sport’s most important position and the Seahawks wouldn’t have brought Flynn in if they didn’t think he could be better than Tavaris. That being said, the battle should be fun to watch. This is a Seahawks team that reached for Bruce Irvin in the draft; obviously anything can happen up in Seattle.