But despite being the marquee signing of this free agency period for the Seahawks, Flynn will have to battle for the right to be the starting quarterback leading the team to those special things. That's the message from Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, and it sits just fine with Flynn, who comes to Seattle after four years as a backup in Green Bay.
“We talked about it, he's big on competition, and I've been a firm believer in competition — I think it brings the best out in everybody — and that's what I'm looking forward to,” Flynn said on a conference call. “I can't wait to get it started and get it rolling.”
While the Seahawks won't come out and say it, they'd like Flynn to beat out Tarvaris Jackson for the starting job. They know, to a degree anyway, what they have in Jackson, so if Flynn comes in and outperforms last year's starter, it stands to reason that the offense will be better off in 2012. There's also the issue of money. While Flynn's contract isn't huge by starting quarterback standards, he is making a good chunk of change more than Jackson, and is under contract through 2014, whereas Jackson will be a free agent following the upcoming season. Even so, Flynn will have to earn a spot above Jackson on the depth chart.
“I don't know that,” Carroll said when asked if Flynn will be the starter. “It was very clear how we delivered the message that we now have the opportunity to make this an open competition. Tarvaris is well ahead, he's the guy that's here working for us now. I told Tarvaris when I talked to him yesterday what were doing with Matt bringing him in here to compete for this job and it'll make everybody better and help our football team. That's really clearly where it is.”
And while Flynn obviously came here with the intention of winning the job — he could have also gone to Miami, where he would have been all but guaranteed the starter's role — he is fine with having to earn it. This is, after all, a guy who stuck it out at LSU, waiting until his fifth year to earn a starting job. Someone who wants promises of playing time or shortcuts would have transferred, as so many young athletes do in search of instant gratification. But Flynn backed up former No. 1 pick JaMarcus Russell before eventually leading LSU to a national championship in his only year as a starter.
“I've always been a very competitive guy, I've always been a confident guy and I've always been a guy who believes in working his tail off,” he said. “I'm going to come in here and I'm going to be in a competition, and I know that whatever happens, whatever my role is, I just want to make the Seattle Seahawks a better football team, and that's something I look forward to doing.”
This differs from last year when Carroll went against his “always compete” mantra by naming Jackson the starter before the newly acquired quarterback had practiced with the Seahawks. The situation was different last year, however. Because of the lockout, teams didn't get their usual allotment of offseason minicamps and organized team activities, and since Jackson had played for new Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell in Minnesota, Carroll felt it was best to name him the starter before the start of training camp. That won't be happening this year.
“We weren't able to do this last year in that fashion because of the timeframe and lack of OTA season and all of that, we had to go ahead and make a decision early, but that's not the case now,” he said. “I expect T-Jack to be better and I expect Matt to come in here guns blazing trying to take that job, so it'll be a great situation for us.”
Flynn said the decision to come to Seattle came down to the comfort level he felt when he visited with Seahawks coaches and general manager John Schneider, who was a part of Green Bay's front office when the Packers drafted Flynn in the seventh round of the 2008 draft.
“When I came up to Seattle, I just felt very comfortable with everything,” Flynn said. “I felt like it was a family environment up there. After doing soul-searching, I felt excited about the opportunity up there and I just felt like it was the best fit for me. I felt like it was going to give me the best opportunity to be successful and I'm excited about it.”
OT King released
Tackle Jarriel King was released by the Seahawks Monday, the same day a Charlotte, S.C. TV station reported that King had been arrested for sexual assault.
King was claimed off of waivers by Seattle in September. He spent the entire season on the Seahawks' roster and appeared in one game.
Carroll confirmed previous reports that the Seahawks did pursue quarterback Peyton Manning and even flew to Denver to try to get some face-to-face time with the four-time MVP while he was there visiting the Broncos, the team Manning eventually chose. Carroll said the two sides talked before that trip, but were unable to connect in Denver.
“We tried real hard to see if we could find a way to see where it stood,” Carroll said. “... We tried to hook up with him and we couldn't make it come together. We tried to fit in to their schedule that looked like it had some space in it, but there wasn't enough. So we made an effort.”
Carroll did admit that he was glad to see Manning stay in the AFC rather than sign with NFC West rival San Francisco, which was one of the other teams pursuing him: “Yeah, I like that. He'll continue to serve the AFC in great fashion. I'm glad he's over there.”
General Manager John Schneider said on an interview on Sports Radio KJR that the Seahawks will host visits from free agent running back Michael Bush and tight end Jacob Tamme. Bush rushed for 977 yards and had 418 receiving yards for Oakland last season, both career highs, and scored eight touchdowns. Tamme, who has spent his four-year career in Indianapolis, had 19 catches for 177 yards and a touchdown last year. Tamme's best year came in 2010 when he caught 67 passes for 631 yards and four touchdowns. According to reports from the NFL Network and ESPN, Tamme visited the Seahawks on Monday, as did free agent tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, a 31-year-old nine-year veteran who played the last five seasons with the Vikings.
Herald Writer John Boyle: email@example.com.
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