By John Boyle
Following a loss that saw his team’s offense struggle once again, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said this morning on 710 ESPN Seattle that, even if he wanted to make a change at quarterback—and he says he doesn’t right now—he could not do so because backup Matt Flynn is limited in what he can do in practice because of a sore elbow.
That caught a lot of folks off guard, because Flynn has not been on the injury report, and Carroll said of Flynn prior to the Green Bay game that, “This really the first week in a month that’s he’s been able to throw in practice so just to get him back on the field and having him gunning the ball down was really great to see.”
So the big question at Carroll’s Monday press conference is what exactly is the situation with Flynn?
“Matt has been the backup throughout this time, ever since we camp, and back then right at the last preseason game he had a sore elbow,” Carroll said. “So when Russell took over we gave him all the turns that we could give him, and in that, he took all the work. So Matt hasn’t had a lot of work, and we’ve hoped that would help the elbow situation. He’s never thrown a lot in any of the practices, he’s done the things we’ve asked him to do. We’ve counted on him to play in every game, we haven’t had a third quarterback on the roster because Matt can play, but we have had a pitch count for him in a sense, and made sure we didn’t work him past what we thought was the right way to do it. The one week we did, which was the Packer week—we called on him because of the familiarity—he had a very good week that week and it looked like he’s ready to go, but we still have never had—even at that, that was a limited amount of throws that week—we’ve never had him throw the amount of throws that a starting quarterback does. I think we’ve brought him along fine and he’s been ready and anxious to play in every game.”
In other words, Flynn elbow is sore, but he wouldn’t be throwing a lot anyway because he’s the backup QB. So was there a setback between that Green Bay week and now?
“No, we just have not gone beyond the numbers that we’re throwing,” Carroll said. “He’s been at every practice, he’s been available to us and all, but Russell gets all but every snap.”
But what if Russell Wilson was unavailable for some reason, then would Flynn be able to go through a full week as a starter?
“We haven’t done that yet,” Carroll said. “I don’t know that. I don’t know what would happen. I don’t know. I don’t know if it would act up or not because he hasn’t had to do that. He was OK after the Packer week when we increased throws then.”
If you’re counting at home, that’s four “I don’t knows” in five seconds, so if you’re confused by all of this, don’t feel bad.
So is that a determining factor on whether or not you would consider a change at quarterback?
Matt’s ready to play, we just don’t know what’s going to happen when he gets a lot of work, he might be all right, we don’t know that, but we have not taken him there yet. He’s ready to play in every game and he’s ready to go the very next play we need him, so the competition goes on, in my mind, as it does at every position on our football team. Guys continue to compete, but he has not had the opportunity because we give the starter all the reps, and with a young guy, first time, we’re giving him every single start we can. That’s how this is going throughout.
So regardless of Flynn situation, you still feel like Wilson is the best option at quarterback?
“Sure. We’re going with Russell and he’s working his tail off to get it right. While all of the focus goes to the quarterback position, there are a lot of guys who figure into what’s going on, and he’s one of them. We’re just trying to get better.”
And what did you think of Wilson’s performance after reviewing the game
“He did some really good things in the game. His completion percentage was up there. The throws that got away from us—the three turnovers are huge in the game—but all three of them were situations that he couldn’t do a whole lot about. His ball could have been a little sharper to Doug, he could have gotten the ball off earlier on the blitz situation when he got hit, but the protection did break down there. Then unfortunately Anthony (McCoy) fell down on the breakout route late in the game, so he was throwing the ball right to him and he slipped and fell, so he can’t do much about that one. He wasn’t sloppy with it, he didn’t miss his reads in particular. It wasn’t a big mistake, he wasn’t careless with the ball at all, and he hasn’t been at any time.”
Carroll was asked if Wilson has been missing open receivers, and indicated it wasn’t a big issue, but did point out one play that might have resulted in a touchdown had he seen Zach Miller wide open on a play where he instead tried to hit Sidney Rice in the back of the end zone.
“The one we all want back is the one to Zach,” he said. “He had a chance to dump the ball to Zach and he throws to Sidney in the back end. The way that turned out, that would have been an easy play for Zach to make… That’s the one we regret most of all, because it could have changed the game.”
Also of note from today not having to do with the QB situation… Guard John Moffitt, who missed Sunday’s game with a knee injury, is going to be out another week or two, but the team came out of Sunday’s game without any significant new injuries, Carroll said.
Carroll also said the team has released G Allen Barbre, who was eligible to return this week after serving a four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs.