Pete Carroll on starting Russell Wilson this week, 'This is about competition'
RENTON -- Rookie Russell Wilson will start at quarterback for Seattle on Friday at Kansas City, the team's third exhibition game.
Coach Pete Carroll announced that decision and explained the rationale after Tuesday's practice.
"This is about competition," Carroll said. "That's what we've always been about, and if somebody doesn't see it that way, then they just don't understand us, and I can't do anything about that. It's a great competitive opportunity to watch."
|Through two exhibition games, here's how Seattle's quarterbacks stack up|
|Matt Flynn||Russell Wilson|
Wilson has played the second half of each of Seattle's first two exhibition games. He has complete 22 of the 33 passes he has attempted for 279 yards and three touchdowns. He's also the team's leading rusher with 92 yards and a touchdown.
"He has done a very nice job throughout," Carroll said of Wilson. "We think that it has warranted this."
As for Matt Flynn, the free-agent signee from Green Bay who has started both exhibition games?
"Matt has done extremely well," Carroll said. "We're pleased as can be about what he has done."
Flynn has yet to lead the Seahawks on a touchdown drive in his four quarters of play, but Carroll pointed out that he had two balls that could have easily resulted in touchdowns on Saturday in Denver as Terrell Owens dropped what was a perfectly thrown pass for what would have been a 46-yard touchdown, and Golden Tate nearly caught a pass in the back of the end zone, but landed out of bounds.
Carroll said the decision to start Wilson in Kansas City doesn't signify any plans beyond this week, only that the team wants to see what Wilson does playing with Seattle's starters and against Kansas City's first-unit defense.
The third exhibition game is typically the closest thing to a dress rehearsal for NFL teams, but Carroll said he's not going to constrained by the typical schedule for declaring a starting quarterback.
"I know that's not standard, but why be conventional now?" Carroll said.
And pretty much everything about this competition has been pretty unorthodox from the fact that when training camp began, Carroll switched his first-unit quarterback daily to the fact that Carroll says incumbent Tarvaris Jackson is still part of the conversation to giving a rookie quarterback his first exhibition start in the game that is considered the most important.
So does the fact Seattle is starting Wilson this game signify a change in its plan?
"The change was that we didn't start Russell in Game 2," Carroll said. "That was one of my thoughts that we were pretty strong about so this is not a big deal for us to be doing it in Game 3 because we already thought that that would be the right thing to do. But then after reevaluating, I thought, 'Let's just stay the course one more team here.' So we did."
And now, it's Wilson's turn, ahead of Flynn.
"This is not a big shock to our system that Russell is starting now," Carroll said. 'We had not decided that Matt was the starter. Maybe it looked like that, but it's not the case."
So how did Flynn take the news?
"He took like it a real competitor," Carroll said. "He didn't want that news. He wanted to keep starting, and I don't blame him. I thought he was exactly on point with the way he responded."