Seattle Seahawks offensive and defensive linemen jog up the field before the team's mock NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, in Seattle. (Jennifer Buchanan/The Seattle Times via AP)

Lock wins first big test in Seahawks’ QB competition

The 4th-year quarterback outplays veteran Geno Smith in Seattle’s mock game at Lumen Field.

By Bob Condotta / The Seattle Times

SEATTLE — The numbers spoke pretty loudly about who had the best game in the first big test in the Seattle Seahawks quarterback competition Saturday, even if Seattle coach Pete Carroll didn’t.

“We need to see what it looks like on film,” Carroll said following a mock game at Lumen Field that gave the Seahawks their first real look at Geno Smith and Drew Lock in a scrimmage-like situation. “It might not tell us as much as I hope, but we will see.”

The stats, though, indicated pretty clearly that Lock — who has been the backup throughout training camp — had the better day.

Lock finished 18 of 27 for 185 yards and a touchdown, while Smith was 10 of 19 for 94 yards.

But making those numbers stand out more is that Lock had just one of his five series with the No. 1 offense, while Smith led the first-team offense against the backup defense in four of his five series.

Lock led touchdown drives on his first two possessions, one with the starters and one with the backups, completing all five of his passes on each drive as he completed his first 12 passes overall.

On his drive with the starters, he hit DK Metcalf for 25 yards on a seam route to set up a four-yard TD run by Ken Walker III.

He followed that by leading the second-team offense down the field and capping the drive with a 20-yard TD pass on a fade route to Cody Thompson, who caught the ball after it was deflected amid tight man coverage from rookie cornerback Tariq Woolen, who was a standout all game.

“A little bit of luck there,” Lock acknowledged.

Smith, meanwhile, hit six of his first eight passes on his first series with the starting offense against the backup defense, including completions of 19, 12 and seven to Metcalf, to set up a one-yard TD run by Rashaad Penny.

But Smith struggled from there, completing just four of 10 the rest of the day. That included what looked like it might have been the only turnover of the day, a third-down pass to Marquise Goodwin on his second series in which Woolen had inside coverage, dove and appeared to have made the interception — Woolen said later he thought he caught it — but that was instead ruled incomplete, leading to a Jason Myers field goal.

After each quarterback got a series with the starters and one with the backups in the first four series, each then reverted to how they have been used in camp — Smith’s final three series all came with the starters and Lock’s with the backups.

Smith did not lead a scoring drive in any of those three series, with each ending in punts and two going three-and-out.

Lock, meanwhile, followed up his two TD drives with a two-minute drill that ended in a field goal (which was kicked on second down with just four seconds left in the half), a series that ended with a punt and then another that ended on downs, though only after Lock barely overthrew a wide-open Bo Melton for what might have been a 64-yard TD if completed.

“Definitely the one I really want back,” Lock said.

Lock also ran twice for 13 yards, once gaining six to convert a third-and-5.

But, maybe predictably for a team facing its first quarterback competition in a decade, Carroll didn’t want to make any sweeping judgments without taking a closer look.

“It looked like they threw the ball pretty well,” he said of the two quarterbacks. “The way it worked out, Drew had some more opportunities (to pass), but I thought that they threw the ball really nice in the controlled stuff and underneath. We were clean with the ball coming out, the protection was good early, so it will give us a good chance to see them. If you noticed that both guys got to work with the first O-line today and the first receivers, so it will be a nice chance to compare these guys.”

In fact, Saturday marked the most work Lock has gotten with the starters in a competitive situation all camp as he has worked almost exclusively with the twos.

“It’s what I wanted to do today,” Lock said. “It’s what I wanted to show today.”

Smith, meanwhile, didn’t skirt the fact that after his fast start things were a bit of a slog.

“I feel like we started out really well,” he said. “I think the first two drives we had things moving. I thought we started pretty well. Then, I think we had a few mistakes here and there, and some of that’s to be expected. By the sixth day of camp, things are kind of piling up with the install, so we have a few things that we have to clean up.”

Carroll, though, did everything he could to not try to tip his hand about what he might have really thought.

Asked if it seemed the offense appeared to get Lock in more situations to use his legs compared to Smith, Carroll said it was a coincidence and just “the situations that came up.”

And asked if Lock might now get more chances with the starting offense going forward, Carroll said, “I don’t have anything to tell you right now, I have to wait and see.”

So, will the film clear everything up?

“It depends on what it tells me,” Carroll said. “I don’t know that, but it’s really important to see where we’ve come. We handled the line of scrimmage well, I was back behind there so I could see what was going on with all of our checks, audibles, and things like that. We did that really well, so we’ve made a lot of progress.”

And undoubtedly, the Seahawks need to see more from both QBs before making any real declarations, with the thought from the start that the battle could go all the way through the final of the three preseason games.

But with the first of those games now less than a week away — next Saturday night at Pittsburgh — the next week of practice will be interesting to see if anything shifts in how the reps with the first team are divvied up.

What the two QBs said was clear is that whoever wins the job, the other will support him unconditionally.

“As far as the competition, I’m not the one judging all that so I’ll leave it up to the coaches,” Smith said. “But I think Drew played really well. I will go on record and say I have his back. No matter what, I have Drew Lock’s back. I want that to be known.”

Appraised of Smith’s comment, Lock said, “It means a lot. … I would go on record I would have Geno’s back and do everything I can to make him feel good going into gameday on Sunday.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

Marysville-Pilchuck’s Darren Johnson-Jones, left, tries to block a pass to Miguel Chavez, right, during football practice on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021 in Marysville, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Vote for The Herald’s Prep Football Game of the Week

Stanwood at Arlington, Friday, 7 p.m. Wesco 3A North leader Stanwood (4-0,… Continue reading

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Drake London, center, scores a touchdown during the second half of their 27-23 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at Lumen Field. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Grading the Seahawks’ 27-23 loss to the Falcons

Seattle’s offensive improvement is canceled out by struggles on defense.

The Atlanta Falcons’ Marcus Mariota keeps the ball and scores Atlanta’s first touchdown of the game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Sep. 25, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Seahawks stumble as Falcons claim first win of season

Atlanta tops Seattle 27-23 as Patterson rushes for career-high 141 yards

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Luis Castillo throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Castillo falters as Mariners blow 9-run lead in loss to Royals

Kansas City’s 11-run 6th inning delivers 13-12 win, spoils Seattle’s hopes of climbing wild-card standings

Everett Silvertips’ Vincent Lamanna puts the puck on net during the season opener against the Vancouver Giants on Saturday, Sep. 24, 2022, at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Silvertips open season with dominant win over Vancouver

Everett exacts a small amount of revenge over the team that ousted them from the playoffs last season with a 4-1 victory.

The Arlington Eagles girls basketball team won the 1982 AA state championship. (Photo provided by Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame)
County Hall of Fame Class of 2022: 1982 Arlington girls basketball

The Eagles went on a remarkable postseason run to claim the 1982 AA state championship.

The Herald's prep football roundup. (Photo by Elaine Thompson)
Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 23

Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 23: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To reports… Continue reading

Washington's Zion Tupuola-Fetui, left, and Cam Bright, right, sack Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
No. 18 UW dominates in all phases in win over Stanford

Michael Penix Jr. throws for 309 yards and two TDs and the Huskies defense piles up eight sacks in a 40-22 win.

Snohomish runs a reverse play against Edmonds-Woodway on Friday, Sep. 23, 2022, at Snohomish High School in Snohomish, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish pulls away for key league win over Edmonds-Woodway

The Panthers force four second-half turnovers and Mason Orgill runs for five touchdowns.

Most Read