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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.



July 28, 2012 at 5:02 PM

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Snap decisions: Pete Carroll keeps mum on Seahawks' QB plans

QB competition could be television gold
By Danny O'Neil | The Seattle Times

RENTON -- Pete Carroll has a very precise schedule when it comes to his quarterbacks. He assured everyone of that fact after the Seahawks concluded their first training-camp practice of the year.

"We've got a big-time formula that we're unveiling here as we go," Carroll said.

Glad to hear it, coach, because ever since it was announced that Russell Wilson was going to be part of the competition to decide on a starter, there has been very little in the way of specifics with regard to that competition.

Except Carroll is staying mum on those specifics.

"You guys are going to have to dig to try and figure it out," Carroll said. "But you won't be able to because I'm the only one that has the answers."

Well that's not particularly helpful. Then again, Carroll's job is to pick the right quarterback, not to explain or clarify that process to anyone outside his roster.

But what Carroll has done is certainly unorthodox. Most coaches do everything in their power to downplay questions at that position in particular. That's true even when there's extreme doubt about that position like there was in Jacksonville last year. The Jaguars went through the whole preseason with David Garrard as the starter only to release him before the season began.

But Carroll? He's done everything but open up the possibility that he'll insert Matt Flynn, Tarvaris Jackson and Russell Wilson into a terrordome and declare, "Three QBs enter, one starter leaves."

Unorthodox is about the most neutral description that can be applied to Carroll's rationale here. Most coaches feel that training camp affords sufficiently little time to prepare one quarterback to get ready let alone to start training camp with some kind of round-robin tournament to pick the guy you're going to get ready.

The fact that teams are extremely limited in practice time doesn't help, either. Teams can no longer practice twice daily, instead holding one practice and then a subsequent walk-through.

But there is one other thing to consider about quarterback, and that's the importance of responding to pressure. That's a huge part of the job given the microscope that gets applied to a quarterback's performance. Flynn has been a backup the past four years in Green Bay, and Wilson is a rookie so the question of how they'd deal with the pressure that comes with being an NFL starter is a bit of an unknown. A quarterback competition gives Carroll an opportunity to see how they respond to pressure and scrutiny.

On Saturday, the scrutiny started with Jackson taking the practice repetitions with the first-unit offense, and Carroll was so tight-lipped he wouldn't even specify who would be in that spot on Sunday.

"You have to find out tomorrow," Carroll said.

Tune in then.


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