Tarvaris Jackson will have to savor his reps with the first unit on Tuesday practices – because it looks like those are the only meaningful ones he will receive in Pete Carroll’s staged three-man quarterback competition.
For a second straight Tuesday Jackson took reps with the first unit. But afterwards, Carroll told reporters that he’ll stay with the same rotation he went with last week against Tennessee, with Matt Flynn starting against Denver and Russell Wilson working with the reserves.
“We’re going to start Matt and kind of keep the same format in this game as well as we did last week,” Carroll said. “We thought that we gained a lot of information. We thought that we need to see it come back again. So we’re going to bank on the experience that T-Jack has, that he can hold off, and push Matt and Russell out there and see how they do again.”
Jackson did not play against Tennessee, and Carroll said there’s no guarantee he’ll play against Denver this week.
So is Jackson’s time in Seattle coming to a close?
Carroll says no – for now.
“He’s still in the competition,” Carroll said. “He absolutely is. This is the way I’ve just chosen to do it, that I’m banking on the 18 games I’ve seen him. He knows the offense. He knows what’s going on. And I watched him play last year on practicing one day a week for five weeks, and he could function. So I’m using all that information to allow us the opportunity to see these other guys.”
Carroll went on to say that this was the plan all along going into training camp, and that the coaching staff has not veered from the plan.
Carroll was asked how Jackson is dealing with the unconventional way he is handling the quarterback competition.
“He’s holding well,” Carroll said. “I think this is very difficult for him, and I admire the heck out of this guy. This isn’t the way he would like to battle for his job. These guys are battling to show what they know and where they are, and then we have to assess if they can catch up with him. And that’s what’s going on.”
Asked if Jackson has expressed a desire to seek an opportunity elsewhere, Carroll said the team hasn’t talked about that at all.
For what it’s worth, Jackson struggled in practice today, with the ball twice slipping out of his hands on attempted throws, a fumbled snap and two interceptions. I wouldn’t exactly call that holding up well under the trying circumstances he’s facing.
Carroll said the team considered starting Wilson against Denver after his impressive performance last week, but ultimately decided against it.
“I think this is the right way to do it,” Carroll said. “I think this is where they sit right now. This kind of what I thought would happen. I did consider that as one of the possibilities. And it was going to be based on making the progress that we’re making. And
“Matt’s done a really good job of commanding all of the stuff. He understands the game in great depth. And he gives us a veteran presence, even though he hasn’t had a lot of starting time because he recognizes defense. He’s well into that whole understanding on what’s going on, on the other side of the ball. And it’s a challenge for Russell to catch up to all of that stuff. He’s battling to get that done. There’s a difference right now.”
Carroll said that the team will not begin preparation for Denver until tomorrow, so today was kind of time to look at different rotations on both sides of the ball. We really saw a mix of different players rotating with the first and second groups.
One player who stood out today was cornerback Phillip Adams. He had two interceptions at practice, and is working as the No. 3 corner on the outside behind Brandon Browner.
“He’s been a very active player out here,” Carroll said about Adams. “And we want to give him a chance to show where he can go.”
Rice takes off red jersey
For the second time in training camp, receiver Sidney Rice did not wear a red jersey and fully participated in contact drills during team period.
Rice had been limited in training camp as he recovers from surgery on both shoulders this offseason.
However, Carroll said that Rice will not play against Denver on Saturday.
“No, this is his first week back getting banged around,” Carroll said. “So we’ll give him some time and see how it goes.”
Terrell Owens made a couple plays today, but also dropped an easy catch on a go-route from Tarvaris Jackson against Brandon Browner.
Carroll said he would like to see Owens take the field for the first time on Satuday, but does not know if the veteran receiver will play.
“I want to see how he responds to the week,” Carroll said. “He looked very good today. He had a little something that was bothering him at the end of last week that I think is just from the load of work. And we need to see if he can make it through the week.”
Carroll said that offensive guard John Moffitt had surgery to remove loose bodies in his left elbow, and that the team still is anticipating a two to three-week timetable to get the University of Wisconsin product back on the field. Also, with Lemuel Jeanpierre suffering a groin pull today, the Seahawks are thin at center. Rishaw Johnson had to move to center to work with the second unit.
Tight end Zach Miller did not practice today after suffering his fourth concussion in over two years against Tennessee last week. Carroll said Miller has been diagnosed with a slight concussion and that he looks clear, but the team still has to go through it’s regular concussion procedures.
Defensive end Cordaro Law suffered a second-degree, high-ankle sprain and will be out for an extended period of time.
Others who returned to practice today include linebacker Barrett Ruud (knee), receiver Doug Baldwin (hamstring), receiver Ricardo Lockette (hamstring), linebacker Allen Bradford (hip) and defensive tackle Alan Branch (ankle).
Michael Robinson (unknown) did not practice today, along with Jeron Johnson (unknown) and Pierre Allen (unknown), but all three of those players are expected back by the end of the week. Others who did not practice today include linebacker Matt McCoy (knee), cornerback Ron Parker (unknown) and linebacker Malcolm Smith (unknown). Cornerback Walter Thurmond (leg) and offensive lineman James Carpenter (knee) remain on the PUP list.