The least interesting quarterback battle across the league continues to develop in Seattle. The Seahawks will make their preseason debut on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll recently confirmed that Geno Smith will receive the start at quarterback. Smith continues to get the vast majority of the work with Seattle’s first-team offense and remains ahead of fellow quarterback Drew Lock in their head-to-head competition. Should Lock fail to defeat Smith in this battle, the former Missouri product has likely squandered his final opportunity to become a starting quarterback.
Lock arrived in Seattle as part of a package that included additional players and picks via the blockbuster deal that sent Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos. Lock was initially expected to win Seattle’s starting job, but that expectation has yet to become reality throughout training camp.
Smith re-signed with the Seahawks earlier this offseason after serving as Wilson’s backup since 2019. Smith’s familiarity with offensive coordinator Shane Waldron has given him a leg up in the competition. Smith is entering his fourth season in Seattle and his second under Waldron. It’s an advantage Smith continues to hold roughly one month away from Seattle’s Week 1 Monday night opener against Wilson’s new-look Broncos.
Smith started three contests for the Seahawks last season and played extensively in another as a result of a finger injury suffered by Wilson in early October. Smith completed 65-of-95 throwing attempts (68.4% completion percentage) while throwing for 702 yards and five touchdowns versus just one interception. The Seahawks went 1-2 throughout Smith’s three starts, losing both games by a field goal. That respectable sample size has likely aided Smith throughout his competition against Drew Lock.
But honesty is required. Smith is a veteran journeyman that failed to establish himself as a worthy starting quarterback throughout a four-year tenure (2013-16) with the New York Jets following his entry into the league as a second-round selection out of West Virginia. If Lock fails to wrangle the job away from Smith’s grip, it’s difficult to imagine Lock ever finding himself in another QB battle alongside a quarterback worse than Smith. It should add a sense of urgency to Lock’s overall approach.
Recent reports out of Seahawks training camp have indicated that Lock is beginning to gain momentum. Carroll has praised his latest performances. But it’s Smith, not Lock, that’s receiving the start against the Steelers. It proves Lock must continue stringing together standout showings before dethroning Smith.
In 21 career starts for the Broncos, Lock compiled a less-than-desirable completion percentage of 59.3%. He holds a 25:20 TD:INT ratio and an 8-13 record as a starting quarterback. Inconsistent accuracy issues and poor results as a deep-ball thrower limit Lock’s upside in today’s pass-happy league. Growth must be achieved if he hopes to establish himself as a starting QB.
Lock routinely lost playing time to below-average quarterbacks in Denver. It’s currently happening again in Seattle. It’s a sink-or-swim final stretch of the offseason for Lock, who may become a journeyman backup if he fails to defeat Smith and become the Seahawks’ starting quarterback.
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