RENTON — Pete Carroll had seen enough.
After three days of watching third-round draft choice Russell Wilson zip perfect spirals around the Seahawks practice field for completions, Seattle’s head coach said the Wisconsin product had earned the right to compete for the starting quarterback job with incumbent Tarvaris Jackson and free-agent signee Matt Flynn.
“He’s showed us enough,” Carroll said. “He’s in the competition. And that is going to tax us, as you know. It was already going to be taxing with two. But he’s shown us enough that we need to see where he fits in with these guys.”
Carroll said he had an inkling that Wilson was up to the task when Seattle drafted him. And that thought was confirmed after watching Wilson make completion after completion during Seattle’s three-day rookie minicamp.
According to Carroll, Wilson threw over 400 passes and took over 500 snaps this weekend.
“That’s an amazing load that we threw on him, but he handled it like he’s been here,” Carroll said. “And that was a great first sign, just about his willingness to prepare, hold all the information and use it quite well.”
So now the two-man race for Seattle’s starting quarterback job is a three-person battle to the finish that will begin in earnest when training camp starts in late July.
Asked how he plans to oversee a three-man competition for the top quarterback job, Carroll said he’ll lean on his experience in college, when Matt Barkley, Aaron Corp and Mitch Mustain battled for the starting quarterback job at USC in 2009, a competition won by true freshman Barkley.
“It’s going to take us a long time to do this,” Carroll said. “It’s going to be frustrating for you guys. You’re going to keep asking and wanting to know and I’m just going to be more patient than you can imagine as we go through this process, and we’ll just figure it out when we do.”
Wilson showed a good command of the offense and exuded confidence out on the field over the three days.
“You’ve got to have a great knowledge of the game and feel comfortable,” Wilson said. “When you know things, you play fast. That’s something I’ve learned throughout my career, and I’ve just got to keep learning and get in the film room and just try and learn as much as I can.”