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Originally published August 7, 2012 at 10:45 PM | Page modified August 8, 2012 at 2:03 PM

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Matt Flynn to start Seahawks' first preseason game

Tarvaris Jackson isn't expected to play in Saturday's game, as Pete Carroll said coaches have a good enough idea of his ability.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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RENTON — The Seahawks have a starting quarterback.

At least they do for this Saturday's exhibition game against Tennessee: Matt Flynn.

"I need to see him in a situation where now he takes over and see what that looks like," coach Pete Carroll said.

So Flynn will spend the next three days working exclusively with the first-unit offense and then play the first half against the Titans. Rookie Russell Wilson will play the second half, while incumbent Tarvaris Jackson will have his practice time dialed back significantly and is unlikely to play in Saturday's game at CenturyLink Field.

That doesn't mean Jackson is no longer a consideration to start, but it does indicate that the Seahawks entered the second phase of their training-camp quarterback competition. For the first nine days of training camp, Carroll rotated the No. 1 quarterback by the day. That will change beginning Wednesday.

"I can make a little bit of a shift," Carroll said, "and cut down his (Jackson's) reps so that we can get a really good look at Matt and at Russell."

Jackson started 14 regular-season games for the team last year, and he has played for offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell in each of the previous six seasons going back to Minnesota.

"We feel like we have a good understanding of what he can do and how he plays," Carroll said.

So instead, the Seahawks will give more practice time to Flynn and Wilson.

"To make a debate decision like this, it's about the information that you gather," Carroll said. "I really want good information coming in so we can make a good clear choice."

So why didn't Carroll take this approach with the competition from the beginning of training camp? He wanted to give Jackson a chance to show how he could play after recovering from the strained pectoral muscle he played through the final 10 games last season.

Jackson made the most of that chance.

"Tarvaris Jackson came into camp in great shape," Carroll said. "He's a lot quicker than he was, and he worked his tail off in the offseason. His arm is strong and fully recovered."

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com.

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