Who is the Seahawks' quarterback of the future?
Trust the team's braintrust to make the right call
Matt Ludtke / Associated Press
Green Bay backup quarterback Matt Flynn looks to pass against Detroit on Jan. 1. Will Flynn end up a Seahawk?
Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press
Is Tarvaris Jackson the quarterback of Seattle's future, or will the Seahawks go after somebody else? Jackson's first season as a Seahawk makes that decision complicated. He was just good enough that coach Peter Carroll believes he can win with him, and just inconsistent enough, especially late in games, that it's hard to see Seattle making a Super Bowl run with him.
We can discuss the quarterback situation. We can rationally debate the options, but please, please, let's not freak out about what the Seahawks will do in the upcoming months. Let's keep the volume at a civilized level, let's not bang our heads against a wall or pound our fists on the table.
Look, everyone gets it. Talking about the Seahawks' future at quarterback is an offseason tradition that has gone on for years around these parts because, well, the team has spent years not figuring out its long-term plan at quarterback.
It's not that we shouldn't all be able to talk about Seattle's future at the game's most important position -- the arguments are a big part of why sports are so great -- but during these next two months, do yourselves a favor and don't stress too much about it. We at The Herald care about your health and don't want anyone coming down with any stress-related maladies in a time when, let's face it, nothing can happen.
You know what moves teams can make right now? They can sign their own players and players who were unemployed at season's end. So, unless you want to see the Seahawks re-sign Charlie Whitehurst or sign somebody none of us has ever heard of, now is not the time for action.
What should we be doing during this excruciating part of the year with no major professional sports taking place (thanks again, David Stern, Howard Schultz, Clay Bennett, et al)?
Well, certainly there is plenty of time to discuss Seattle's options. Should they make a play for Green Bay backup Matt Flynn, who will be a free agent? Should they trade up to draft Robert Griffin III? Should they draft a quarterback in the middle rounds and hope he develops behind Tarvaris Jackson?
The best thing to do for the next couple of months is take a deep breath, wait, and trust that head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider will do what's right for the franchise.
During the past two years, Carroll and Schneider have made a lot more good moves than bad ones in reshaping the Seahawks roster, and they are certainly aware of the importance of finding the right quarterback. If they think Flynn is the right choice -- and few people outside of the Green Bay organization have more information on Flynn than does Schneider, who worked in Green Bay's front office during Flynn's first two seasons -- they'll pursue him aggressively.
If they think Griffin is a can't-miss prospect, they'll do everything in their power to trade up in the draft to get him. And yes, by the way, "trust they'll make the right decision" is the biggest cop-out answer possible. But really, have Schneider and Carroll made a series of bad decisions that make you fear they'll screw this one up?
Sure, the Seahawks wish they would have found a quarterback in the past two drafts, but by not panicking and taking a quarterback just for the sake of taking a quarterback, they've instead put together a solid foundation that should make life much easier in the future for whoever is playing quarterback next year and beyond. Spending big on the wrong quarterback of the future is much more costly that waiting a bit too long to find him.
Jackson's first season in Seattle only makes the upcoming decision more complicated. He was just good enough that Carroll feels like he can win with him, and just inconsistent enough, especially late in games, that it's hard to see Seattle making a Super Bowl run with him. Throw in the fact that he played more than half a season with a partially torn pectoral muscle, and that he was playing behind an offensive line that was young and, let's face it, pretty bad, early in the year, then beat up in the second half of the season, and that his top target, Sidney Rice, played in only nine games, and we don't really know what Jackson might be able to do next year.
"I don't think we were ever really able to see him in the full light that we wanted to," Carroll said. "Although we've gained a lot of information and we know him well and we think a lot of what he brings to our club and we're grateful that he survived the season under the circumstances."
Carroll has long endorsed Jackson as a potential starter for next season and beyond, but that doesn't mean the Seahawks won't try to get better there if they see an opportunity. In their brief history running the Seahawks, Carroll and Schneider have shown a willingness to go out and get players they covet, whether it was spending months working out the trade for Marshawn Lynch or spending big to land Rice and Zach Miller. So again, if they believe Flynn, Griffin or someone else is the answer, expect Carroll and Schneider to aggressively go after their man.
"He's done a lot of good stuff," Carroll said of Jackson. "I think he's a really good football player. I think he's tough as you can imagine the guy to be and I'm hoping that he'll grow with all of us and we'll grow with him. Clearly that's where we are right now. That's where we stand right now and we'll see what happens with the rest of it. We're going to battle like crazy to get as good as we can in all areas."
Does getting "as good as we can" at quarterback mean drafting a rookie? Does it mean signing Flynn? Or maybe just sticking with Jackson for another year? It's a fun debate, but ultimately, the answer won't come until March at the earliest, or possibly in April's draft. So talk all you want about Seattle's future at quarterback over these next two months, just remember not to take it too seriously. Let's resolve to have a slightly less stressful 2012. Well, until April anyway. After the draft, all bets are off, right?
Herald Writer John Boyle: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more Seahawks coverage, check out the Seahawks blog at heraldnet.com/seahawksblog
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