Seahawks’ Pete Carroll: Will choice of Russell Wilson get him fired?
Of all the quarterback battles coming into the 2012 NFL season, the Seattle Seahawks had one of the more peculiar competitions. During the offseason the team managed to land Matt Flynn who was projected to be the starter ahead of incumbent Tarvaris Jackson. Despite signing Flynn, the Seahawks took Wisconsin signal caller Russell Wilson in the third round of the NFL draft. Wilson’s athleticism made him an instant favorite amongst Seahawks fans who thought he was capable of competing for the starting job immediately. As we all now know, Wilson did indeed beat out both Flynn and Jackson in the preseason for the right to lead the Seahawks offense in 2012. The announcement came as a surprise to some, but was straight out of the playbook of head coach Pete Carroll given his unorthodox approach to the game of football. Will that decision eventually cost Carroll his job?
After four games Russell Wilson has been less than impressive. Wilson has accumulated 594 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions. He is completing 60 percent of his passes however his passer rating is an abysmal 73.5. The Seahawks are 2-2 under Wilson but behind running back Marshawn Lynch, have the 6th rated rushing attack averaging 150 yards per game. The Seahawks also have the league’s second best defense only surrendering 14.5 points and 275 yards per game. Having the ability to run the ball and play solid defense can be a winning formula in the NFL with a consistently effective quarterback. Unfortunately for the Seahawks, Wilson has been anything but. In the team’s two losses, Wilson has averaged a 53 passer rating and has thrown four interceptions with only one touchdown. Despite Wilson’s struggles, head coach Pete Carroll isn’t ready to give up on his rookie QB just yet.
According to NFL.com, when asked about the possibility of making a quarterback change, Carroll had this to say.
“We’re going with Russell right now,” Pete Carroll told The News Tribune on Monday. “He’s working his tail off to get it right, and where all of the focus goes to the quarterback position, there’s a lot of guys who figure into what’s going on, and he’s one of them. So we’re just trying to get better.”
While the Seahawks are trying to “get better” some have begun asking the question, “what about Matt Flynn?”
With Tarvaris Jackson traded to the Buffalo Bills after Wilson was named the starter, Flynn would be go to guy in the event Carroll wanted to make a quarterback change. But Pete Carroll seems reluctant to put the ball in Flynn’s hands.
“Matt’s ready to play,” Carroll said. “We just don’t know what’s going to happen when he gets a lot of work. He might be all right. But we don’t know that. We have not taken him there yet. But he’s ready to play in every game, and he’s ready to go in the very next play we need him, and so the competition goes on, in my mind, as it does in every position on our football team. Our guys continue to compete. But he has not had the opportunity, because we give the starter all the reps. And with a young guy for the first time, we’re giving him every single snap we can.”
The “all right” Pete Carroll is referring to is a lingering elbow injury that Flynn has been battling.
Where Flynn’s elbow may be bothering him, Pete Carroll should indeed make the change if Russell Wilson doesn’t figure things out rather quickly. The weakest part of Seattle’s team has been a passing game that ranks dead last in the NFL. If the Seahawks continue to struggle with Matt Flynn watching from the sideline, all hell could break loose if they miss the playoffs while division rivals San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals move on to the postseason. If that happens, all fingers will surely point to Pete Carroll’s decision to start and stick with Russell Wilson.
For Pete’s sake Seahawks fans, let’s hope Coach Carroll doesn’t let his premature decision to start Russell Wilson, cost your team a shot at the playoffs and him his job.
Follow Aaron on Twitter @Da_Bear_Truth.