Seahawks Insider

Two vs. three quarterbacks; an endorsement for Byron Maxwell; starting defense getting whole; 7 more cuts today

Post by Gregg Bell / The News Tribune on Aug. 26, 2014 at 9:39 am with 32 Comments »
August 26, 2014 10:05 am

Ah, nothing stokes the flames of an already passionate fan base like the raging debate over whether to keep two or three quarterbacks on the regular-season roster.

That’s how smooth the Seahawks have it right now — you can knock on your proverbial slab of wood here. Their most compelling issue heading into the exhibition finale Thursday at Oakland is whether Terrelle Pryor makes the team.

The other primary issues of training camp — who will be the starting right tackle, who will be the punt returner, will Byron Maxwell nail down the cornerback job opposite Richard Sherman — have already been settled. Rookie second-round draft pick Justin Britt will start the Sept. 4 opener against Green Bay at right tackle, Earl Thomas seems to have the punt-return job (despite many howls here over the risk) and Maxwell has been strong the last two exhibition games after a shaky start to training camp and the preseason.

This was coach Pete Carroll on Maxwell yesterday, with a jab at his personal conditioning being subpar entering camp: “Maxie’s finishing this camp really well. He may have started a little slower. The conditioning stuff that he feature right near the end after the five weeks that we broke I thought didn’t help him as much from some of the stuff that we do. He came in and as always, he’s done everything that we could ever ask him to do. He looks great now and back to full speed. He had a great play last week to show you his burst and play making ability. He’s a terrific football player. The dynamics that he brings is that he gets the football. He gets after the ball. I mean, he knocked the ball on the ground last week again almost got that turnover. He’s just a big play guy that is really strict and discipline too. We love the way he plays.”

As for the QBs, it seems obvious now that Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell covet Tarvaris Jackson’s experience and popularity within the team — they don’t forget he played games with a torn pectoral muscle a few seasons ago because the Seahawks needed him to. That display of loyalty and guts goes a long way, certainly long enough to be Russell Wilson’s primary backup again this season, no matter how much he plays or how well he does or doesn’t do two days from now against the Raiders.

The issue at hand is whether Pryor’s undeniable athleticism has piqued Carroll’s and Bevell’s interest enough to do what Carroll had done just once in his previous four seasons in Seattle: Keep three quarterbacks on the active roster to begin the regular season. That roster must be set by 1 p.m. Saturday, after today’s seven cuts the Seahawks must make by 1 p.m. to get to 75 players.

There are factors here beyond the fact Pryor would never be active on game days this season as the No. 3 quarterback. Jackson’s has a one-year, guaranteed contract for $1.25 million. After that he will be 32 years old with 10 seasons and, for now, 34 starts in the league. Pryor has one year remaining on the four-year deal he signed with Oakland in 2011. It is scheduled to pay him $705,000 this season. He will be 26 after this season, with 10 starts over parts of three seasons with the Raiders before now. So either way, the Seahawks would have to offer a new contract to either one or both of them, or go find a new backup quarterback after this season.

Pryor has a ways to go on accuracy in his passing, but he strikes me as a QB that is yearning for continuity in training and coaching — things he believes he has found in Carroll’s and Bevell’s system here.

“I had some great coaches (in Oakland),” Pryor told me yesterday, “but I only had each coach for a year, so it was hard to get a taste and good look at and good feel for an offense.”

The fact the Seahawks traded a seventh-round pick for Pryor only a few months ago matters. Schneider and Carroll don’t just give away draft choices without getting something useful in return; they’ve built a Super Bowl champion with mid- to late-round choices as cornerstones (Richard Sherman, fifth round; Russell Wilson, third; starting guard J.R. Sweezy, seventh; key tight end Luke Willson, fifth; K.J. Wright, fourth; Jeremy Lane, sixth). Heck, their Super Bowl MVP, Malcolm Smith, was a seventh-round pick.

I sense that if they think they can use Pryor at all, in any way during the season — or even as a threat to an opponent that they could use him in any way — they will keep him. And I believe as of right now they think they can use him.

I alluded to it here yesterday, but this is what Carroll said in full when I asked him for his philosophy on two versus three QBs on the regular-season roster:

“Sometimes you just can’t afford not to have three guys because they’re so good and you just got to have them. We were very fortunate that we made it through with the two-quarterback thing last year. Russell’s young and physical that can handle the pounding. He does a great job. He’s not a guy that puts himself in harm’s way very often.

“The two-quarterbacks thing really helps you because you get another football player on your team — but sometimes you can’t afford to do it because your guys are too good.”

That’s the crux of it: Are Carroll and general manager John Schneider willing to keep Pryor at the expense of an extra backup offensive or defensive lineman?

And this is what Carroll said about the fourth quarterback on the roster right now, B.J. Daniels. The Seahawks may end up trying to get him through waivers and onto their practice squad again, but Daniels is getting known around the league and there is a chance another team would claim him onto their 53-man roster instead this weekend:

He’s done well. We had to make sure and get the good looks to get Tarvaris back and make sure he knew what he was doing. He had to see Terrelle that really took a lot of reps away from him because we knew less about him. In the last two weeks, he’s been getting more reps, showing what he can do and he’s done well with it. We know he’s a really good competitor and he does a lot of cool things for us.”

–In today’s News Tribune I wrote about middle linebacker Bobby Wagner returning from more than three weeks out with a hamstring injury, how the starting defense is becoming whole just in time (10 days before the opener vs. Green Bay), and how undrafted rookie Brock Coyle has all but won a spot on the team.

Also in that story is the news that 10-year veteran Heath Farwell’s career may be over because of a major groin injury that the Seahawks believe will require surgery. Carroll said the backup middle linebacker and special-teams captain last season is flying to the East Coast Thursday to get a second opinion from doctors there.

–Make sure you are done eating your breakfast or lunch before viewing this gem in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution via Seattle’s KIRO-TV on a diehard Seahawks fan’s fashionable body part.


Leave a comment Comments → 32
  1. yankinta says:

    Yeah,, I hugely disappointed if we end up losing BJ Daniels to another team. Hopefully,, we’ll only keep 2 QB on Roster and steal him again mid season, like last year….

    He’s definitely a great fit for us next year,, cheap and more than capable with a high ceiling…

  2. doubledink says:

    Good stuff Gregg.

  3. montanamike2 says:

    I second that, great write up and inside info. I wouldn’t want BJ or Terrell going to the Whiners.

  4. bird_spit says:

    The niners are having some major issues with the OL. The DL is aging. They aren’t likely to grab another QB project. Kap is project enough.

    I’d still like to see Pryor out the door or made into a split-end or flanker back. Not going to happen cause Pryor does not believe he can do it..

  5. banosser says:

    Well if Pryor doesn’t want to go the way of the T-dodo he had better seriously consider expanding his roles…

  6. brucetir says:

    So is Bill VandenBush’s new nickname “Hawkeye”?

  7. SandpointHawk says:

    Browns place Michael Bowie on injured reserve….just because someone asked about Bowie…

  8. RDPoulsbo says:

    The 49ers have Blaine Gabbert behind a running QB and an o-line showing red flags all preseason. Don’t think for a second that they wouldn’t want Daniels back in their system again. Don’t worry about it happening though. They are #30 on the waiver wire list. With the teams like the Jets and Rams ahead of them, neither would make it down the line far enough. Neither player is vested, so they won’t just go straight to becoming a free agent.

  9. montanamike2 says:

    I don’t want them to have any decent backup QB.

  10. RDPoulsbo says:

    montanamike2, I don’t worry about other teams picking from the remains of Seattle’s castoffs. I’m comfortable with the idea that anyone other teams get are not as good as the 53 guys Seattle does keep.

  11. I would not be overly concerned about BJ Daniels being claimed by another team. Even if he is, it’s no big loss. He his a very long-term project, at best, who will most likely never play a down in a regular season NFL game. Besides, we have a franchise quarterback, so any other QB will never be a factor here.

    There are a plethora of NFL-experienced quarterbacks who will be without a job in the next few days. To name a few:

    Brady Quinn
    Jason Campbell
    Curtis Painter
    Matt Barkley
    Colt McCoy
    Christian Ponder

    The Rams will grab one of these guys. Anyone else looking for depth might take a flyer on another one of them. I just don’t see demand for a guy like Daniels. Unless, the 49ers just want to piss us off. But with Gabbert already there as the #2 and all of the issues they are dealing with on both lines, that would be a ridiculously dumb move, even for them.

  12. yankinta says:

    Lol,, these Fools are in for a rude awakening… :)

    None of them picked us for the SB but someone picked RW for MVP… good for him!! at least he’s on the same page with me in that regards…

  13. “The conditioning stuff that he feature right near the end after the five weeks that we broke I thought didn’t help him as much from some of the stuff that we do”

    Good Lord, Carrol! What in the heck does that mean?!

  14. Hubrismh says:

    Pryor will be gone
    BJ will go to PS

    If were lucky well get a 7th for Pryor, and that experiment will come to a rude ending…

  15. SandpointHawk says:

    Maxwell spent the five week break with Bowie touring all you can eat restaurants….

  16. HawkfaninMT says:

    Ha! I thought the same thing Slave!

    I feel like the determining factor with Pryor will be whether or not he is willing to sign an extension. I think keeping him and t-Jack for the year is a waste if both are only signed for this year. God willing, neither will play; and both will go. Meaning we wasted a roster spot on Pryor, who probably wants a chance to start shown by his unwillingness to sing an extension. We also spent a roster spot on T-Jack because he will either move on to another team, or begin to have his skills erode to the point of ineffectiveness. Furthermore, we probably lost out on Daniels!

    I realize that’s a lot of “probablies”, but it makes sense to me. I say if Pryor will sign an extension for two more years, he stays. If not, he goes.

  17. PugetHawk says:

    So Ryan Wilson picks Russell Wilson as the MVP over Rodgers but then thinks the Pack will be Super Bowl champs. Interesting…

    LaConfora thinks the Whiners will win it all. MMMkay…I would be concerned about them getting a wildcard spot.

  18. freedom_X says:

    I wish I could see what Carroll sees in Pryor. Pryor has demonstrated little passing ability in the preseason games, from all accounts, not much in practice, and self-admitted he flopped last week because he “wasn’t expecting to be put in the game.” Just what you need from a 3rd QB.

    Obviously Carroll sees something in Pryor that he thinks would translate into potential @ QB, but he’s never really explained it other than saying he’s a fantastic athlete. I suppose if Carroll is thinking about bringing in the wishbone or option offense, then I could finally see where it translates.

  19. RDPoulsbo says:

    Here’s the rest of the cuts:

    Waived/Injured: DT Michael Brooks, WR David Gilreath and LB Horace Miller

    Placed on Injured Reserve: LB Heath Farwell, CB A.J. Jefferson and G C.J. Davis

    Placed on Reserve/Non-Football Injury: CB Eric Pinkins

  20. HawkfaninMT says:

    Glad to see AJ Jefferson stashed… Hopefully he remains to give depth/compete with Simon next year. Maxwell should be taking his rightfully earned pay bump with another team!

  21. Sorry, but Pryor has no trade value today. If any team has a desperate need for a QB, they can wait four days and have their pick of retreads. Seattle was willing to give up a 7th for him because they had all of the offseason and training camp to coach him up and evaluate what they had. He had all that time to learn the system. Everyone knows that he, or a comperable veteran, will be available for nothing in a few days.

  22. montanamike2 says:

    They treated Farwell good.

  23. HawkfaninMT says:

    Agreed. No team should trade for Pryor. Have stranger things happened? Yes. But I would say it is a 99% chance that nobody is trading for Pryor

  24. montanamike2 says:

    Pryor better light it up in Oakland if he wants to stay.

  25. Might as well give my guess for roster spots:

    Offense (24):
    QB(3)- Wilson,Jackson, Pryor
    RB(4)- Lynch, Michael, Turbin, Coleman
    WR(5)- Harvin, Baldwin, Kearse, Richardson, Lockette
    TE(3)- Miller, Willson, Helfet
    OL(9)- Okung, Carp, Unger, Sweezy, Britt, Jeanpierre, Bailey, Winston, (Schilling or Hauptmann)

    Defense (26):
    DL(10)- Avril, Bennett, Mebane, McDaniel, K. Williams, Schofield, Marsh, Mayowa, Hill, Scruggs
    LB(7)- Wright, Wagner, Smith, Irvin, Pierre-Louis, Morgan, Coyle
    DB(9)- Thomas, Chancellor, Sherman, Maxwell, Lane, Shead, J. Johnson, T. Simon, Jefferson

    Specialists (3): Ryan, Hauschka, Gresham

    Practice Squad: D. Bronson, BJ Daniels, Phil Bates, Rashaun Allen, Nate Isles, Garry Gilliam, Terrance Parks, Eric Pinkins, Horace Miller, Jimmy Staten

    IR: (Don’t know if there are limits on #s here)
    WR Kevin Norwood (no reason to rush him back; early return designation)
    WR Taylor Price
    TE Anthony McCoy
    OL Garrett Scott
    SS Dion Bailey
    LB Korey Toomer
    LB Mike Taylor
    DL Jesse Williams

  26. Already out of date given news from today. Sigh.

  27. jchawks08 says:

    Yea that link Yank posted should be some serious bulletin board material. What a joke.

  28. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Pryor has no trade value at this time?

    Remember two years ago about this time folks were saying the same thing about Jackson?

    Who knows what will happen. Thursdays game could change a lot of minds that are sitting on the fence.

  29. Newborough says:

    Interesting article from Sports Illustrated on the people helping Wilson to manage the commercial aspects of his life :

  30. SandpointHawk says:

    Thanks Newborough….

  31. freedom_X says:

    Tavaris Jackson did have trade value two years ago and some people saw it and said so. But there was such pathological disdain for Jackson back then that most people on the blog couldn’t imagine it.

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