By Eric D. Williams The News Tribune
RENTON — After 24 hours of contemplation, Pete Carroll finally had an answer.
Asked if the three-way battle for the starting quarterback will eventually be narrowed down to two, Carroll paused for affect and said, “Yes.”
He’s just not saying when.
For now, Carroll said that incumbent Tarvaris Jackson, high-dollar free agent addition Matt Flynn and third-round pick Russell Wilson will continue to compete for the starting job once the team reconvenes for the opening of training camp at the end of July.
“It’s going to take us until we start playing games to see something happen I think,” Carroll said. “At this point, they’re doing everything they can do with the opportunities. And they look good.
“I can’t tell you that there’s anything that has happened other than we’ll stay with the same format going into camp, I don’t think that will change. T-Jack (Jackson) will go first, and away we go. Other than that, let the games begin”
Wilson got his turn to take the majority of reps with the first unit on Thursday, the final day of minicamp before veterans pack their bags and head for warmer climates and vacation spots.
Wilson once again displayed why Carroll made it a three-way competition, showing a firm command of the offense and the players in the huddle, and a whip of an arm in making some pinpoint throws from inside the pocket.
“He’s been very, very good for a first-time camper, and it’s going to be exciting to see how he plays in games,” Carroll said. “He’s always been a game player that’s done special things.
“You can’t always tell out here because we’re not at full-speed. I’m real anxious to see him in the preseason and see him go against NFL players, and I would expect that he’ll do well. I think he’s going to make things happen and he’s going to be exciting to see.”
Wilson’s also a perfectionist.
After overthrowing a pass by a couple inches during practice, Wilson stayed on the field after practice was over, making the same throw over and over to the corner of the end zone with quarterback coach Carl Smith looking on.
“I always believe to try and fix it right then and there,” he said. “And just focus on it. So that way when you walk off the field I feel like I really accomplished that throw today. I don’t want to be going home and thinking, ‘Aw, I really missed that throw today.’ Now I feel a little bit better about it. I made the completion, whatever it is.”
Cornerback Richard Sherman, also known for his competitive nature, respects Wilson’s fiery approach to the game.
“He’s a gunslinger,” Sherman said. “He puts the ball where it needs to be, and he puts it there hard. He tries not to give the DBs a chance to get their hands on it. And if you get your hands on it, it’s going to be a tough ball to catch.
“I think he’s real confident in his abilities and where he wants to put the ball.”
Bryant thankful for opportunity
One of five players invited for a tryout for the Seahawks’ minicamp this week, 31-year-old receiver Antonio Bryant said Tuesday was the first time he put on cleats and receiving gloves in two years.
“I felt like you couldn’t find another human being to come out here from being dormant and do this,” said Bryant, who was released by Cincinnati before training camp started in 2010 because of a balky knee. “They probably would have quit, or their body would have fallen apart. So I feel good about that, and just being able to progress, not pass out and finish all of my practices.”
Carroll agreed that the veteran receiver’s conditioning was an issue, but said that Bryant could have something to offer if he could get in shape by the time training camps starts. Carroll did not say if Bryant will be offered a spot on the team’s 90-man roster.
“He’s got terrific instincts for catching the football and getting in and out of breaks,” Carroll said. “When we get a chance to see him in really great condition I think he would be a competitive aspect of this thing. He’s not there right now though. He’s a ways away, and he admits that he has not been working out in the kind of setting that he needs to be at his best, so we’ll see what happens and we’ll talk about that.”
Carroll said invited tryout linebacker Brian Banks looked better Thursday than he did on Wednesday, and that he exceeded expectations in his performance on the field. Carroll said the team has not made a decision on whether to add Banks to the 90-man roster. Banks is expected to compete in San Francisco’s minicamp next week. “He looked much more comfortable than I thought he would,” Carroll said. “And he’s not in good shape yet. … But I was really, really surprised that he fit it as well as he did.” … Carroll said he expects disgruntled defensive end Chris Clemons, who skipped this week’s mandatory minicamp because he’s unhappy with his contract, to show up for training camp. “I would expect him to show up to camp and be ready,” Carroll said. “I know he’s worked really hard and he’s conditioning and all of that, but we need to see if there’s going to be some kind of problem with it.” … The offense and defense had a field goal competition to decide the winner of the daily competition at the end of practice on Thursday. Defensive end Bruce Irvin drilled a 20-yard field goal through the up rights, while offensive lineman Deuce Lutui was wide right on his attempt. “I think Deuce has been eliminated from the (kicking) competition,” joked Carroll.