Who Will Be the Seahawks Backup QB?


Russell Wilson has more than clinched a secure spot as the Seahawks starting QB for the foreseeable future.  This is obvious.  He didn’t put up ground breaking stats, but he excelled at limiting his mistakes.  In fact, coaches around the league agree he is one of the more frustrating passers to game plan for because he always finds a way to get the job done.

The question people have about Seattle’s QB situation is who will fill the second-string spot?  The battle for the position is garnering little media attention, as it has been played out in the shadow of Vick vs. Geno in New York, Manziel vs. Hoyer in Cleveland, and Ponder vs. Bridgewater in Minnesota.  Although a second-string war is underway in Seattle, it doesn’t demand the attention a struggle for the starting role ever would.  However for the Seahawks, this particular situation is equally as important.

The second-string spot is up for grabs for either Tarvaris Jackson or Terrelle Pryor.  Jackson likely has the edge over Pryor, simply for being more familiar with the offense, coach Carroll, and the Seahawks organization.  His playing time last year was limited, but when his number was called he did what Wilson does, and that’s limit his mistakes.  His veteran status helps his situation as well, having more NFL experience than Pryor.

May 27, 2014; Renton, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) participates in organized team activities at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

What Terrelle Pryor has was enough to convince the Seahawks front office to acquire him via a trade with the Oakland Raiders.  He is a big-bodied, athletic, mobile passer.  His ability to run opens up all kinds of creative options for Pete Carroll, who likes to think outside of the box and utilize his player’s intangibles.  The jury is still out as far as his throwing ability goes, however.  The good news for Jackson is that unlike in Oakland, he will not be asked to create huge plays for the Seahawks, but to simply limit his mistakes.

Pryor has a tendency to get a little jumpy when sitting in the pocket for too long.  Watch films of the man, and count how long he will sit back before deciding to run.  Granted, he didn’t have much protection in Oakland, but there are several times when he could have waited a second longer, allowing his receivers time to complete their routes.  He has a tendency to scramble when it is not called upon, but unlike Wilson, he tucks the ball immediately instead of continuing to look down field.

Tarvaris Jackson is more accurate in short or medium passing situations, but don’t call on him to look downfield.  His long throws is where his accuracy begins to decrease.  He did complete a long ball to Doug Baldwin early on in the season for a touchdown, but that catch was completed because of the athleticism of Baldwin rather than the accuracy of Jackson.  If Jackson has good protection and doesn’t have to sling the ball deep, he can run the offense pretty well.

This will be the story to follow through out training camp and the preseason.  It may be too early to place bets on either one of these guys, but as time goes on a clear favorite should emerge.