Swartz: Quarterback Circus Comes to Renton
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When you already own a shiny new Porsche 911, do you need an expensive Lexus to just park in your garage? Can you make due with a used Honda CRV in case the Porsche breaks down?
That’s the question the Seattle Seahawks front office must be asking this week as it kicks the tires on several used models to back their “Porsche” quarterback Russell Wilson.
Mike Garafalo of USA Today reports four veterans will travel to Seahawks headquarters in Renton trying to prove they’re worthy of the number two spot behind Wilson.
When Pete Carroll built the Trojan football empire at USC he recruited both Matt Leinart and Brady Quinn. Both quarterbacks enjoyed sterling college careers, but have disappointed in the NFL. Now it appears Quinn and Leinart are lobbying Carroll for a Seahawk job.
Unless Leinart has magically found foot speed and a stronger arm, I say no thanks. Quinn was not good enough to beat out Kyle Orton or Tim Tebow for the Denver Broncos starting job.
Seattle will apparently have a four man competition during spring mini-camps. The Hawks already signed Josh Portis to a minimum, no guarantee contract. Hopefully Portis has worked on the accuracy which eluded him all last season when he was on the practice squad, behind Wilson and Matt Flynn.
Of the four veterans coming to the Virginia Mason Athletic Center this week, Seneca Wallace is the closest in athleticism and unique skill-set to Russell Wilson. As we learned a few years back, second string quarterbacks are always the most popular guys in town, until they become starters.
Seneca Wallace had plenty of chances to seize the Seahawks job when he subbed for an injured Matt Hasselbeck. Wallace decision making often led to stalled drives and big yardage losses. Who knows, with the infusion of more bootlegs, and read option, Wallace might be able to better utilize his foot speed with Seattle now.
Tyler Thigpen is a lesser known player to Seahawks fans, but he’s mobile, has started, and has tied to Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. Former NFL and Washington Husky quarterback Damon Huard was Thigpen’s teammate in Kansas City, and believes Tyler would be a good fit as the Seahawks second stringer.
I would also expect Seattle to draft a quarterback in the mid rounds of this month’s NFL draft. University of Arizona passer Matt Scott worked out for the Hawks last week.
With the Seattle Seahawks poised to make a Superbowl run, hiring a competent quarterback-up is an important decision. Whichever player wins the job must be willing to sit in the garage and wait for the fancy Porsche to have a flat tire. Judging Russell Wilson’s first year, that’s not likely to happen for a long time.
-Bill Swartz, 1090TheFan
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