It seems Seattle Seahawks fans are clamoring for Lynch. And I don’t mean Marshawn.
This week’s Seattle Sidelines poll concerned the Seahawks. One of the few unresolved questions surrounding the team as training camp concluded is about who will back up quarterback Russell Wilson. There are three candidates currently with the team: Geno Smith, Paxton Lynch and J.T. Barrett. Therefore, this week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers who they thought should get the backup quarterback spot. Here’s how you voted:
POLL: Who should be the Seattle Seahawks’ backup quarterback this season? Full context, including a closer look at the candidates, here: https://t.co/MX63kh6aDv
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) August 12, 2019
Add the two together and the choice is Lynch in a blowout as he received 68 percent of the vote. He was followed by Barrett at 17 percent, with Smith receiving just 11 percent. Another 4 percent thought it should be someone who’s not currently on the roster. These results seem to be a good representation of local sentiment, as the percentages were almost dead even across the blog poll and Twitter poll.
This is an interesting result to me. Lynch has the pedigree, being a former first-round draft pick, and he was the quarterback who played well in Seattle’s preseason-opening 22-14 victory over the Denver Broncos last Thursday. But Lynch didn’t do anything of note his first two seasons in the NFL, then didn’t play last year after being released by the Broncos. So it seems there’s a lot of faith being placed in a player whose track record is a decent half against backups in a preseason game.
I think the number that surprised me most was Smith’s. Sure, Smith hasn’t had a very effective NFL career. But at least he has legitimate NFL experience, with 31 starts under his belt (12-19 record), and he was in the league last year when he backed up Philip Rivers for the Los Angeles Chargers. I know he didn’t have a particularly strong performance against Denver, but he also had the tougher task of facing first-team defensive players during the first half. While I’m not convinced he should be the choice, I also don’t think it’s a 68-percent-to-11-percent slam dunk for Lynch over Smith. And the fact that Barrett, a player who was just signed and has never played a down for Seattle even in the preseason, received stronger support than Smith was eye-opening.
Sunday’s second preseason game, on the road against the Minnesota Vikings, may shed some light on the situation with regards to determining the hierarchy. Wilson didn’t play in the first preseason game, but he’s expected to get some time Sunday. Meanwhile, Smith may or may not play after undergoing surgery last weekend to remove a cyst from his knee. So seeing how the snaps are divvied up could tell us which direction the Seahawks are leaning.
Of course, history suggests this is a moot point, as Wilson hasn’t missed a start in his seven seasons in the NFL. But someone has to wear that baseball cap and hold that clipboard, and the voters emphatically want it to be Lynch.