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Sun, Feb 7, 2016

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Seahawks coach Pete Carroll in no hurry to name starting QB

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com
Here's what we know: Seattle's QB job is a three-man race. (US PRESSWIRE/AP/Getty Images)

The Seahawks signed free-agent quarterback Matt Flynn in March, and at the time, we figured that meant he was the early favorite to win the starting job over incumbent Tarvaris Jackson. After all, it wouldn't make much sense to pay Flynn $26 million over three years (with $10 million guaranteed) if the plan was to sit him on the bench.

A month later, however, Seattle took quarterback Russell Wilson in the third round of the NFL Draft, and coach Pete Carroll has not only been impressed with Wilson's progress, but remains noncommittal on who will be the Seahawks' starter in September. On Thursday, Carroll was asked about the state of the depth chart after each of the three QBs had one minicamp practice to work with the first-team offense.

"We'll sit back and make a big evaluation," the coach said according to the Seattle Times' Danny O'Neill. "We have to finalize that in the next two weeks, the end of this week and next week, to see where it comes to this point. I'm really pleased with the way they've worked. They've busted their tails to get their stuff done. They've all been able to run the club. They've all been able to function in the huddle and make their adjustments and changing the plays as they have to, protections and all that. Those are all really good signs."

As for specifics, Carroll remained predictably vague.

"It's going to take us until we start playing games, we'll see something happening," he said. "At this point, they're doing everything they can do with the opportunities, and they look good. I can't tell you that there's anything that has happened then we'll stay with the same format going into camp. T-Jack will go first and away we'll go. Other than that, let the games begin. It will be really exciting to see what happens."

Jackson has struggled with consistency going back to his days with the Vikings. He showed flashes of NFL-starter ability at times last season, but clearly it wasn't enough to earn the job outright.

Flynn, meanwhile, is a former seventh-round pick of the Packers who has two career starts. In February, NFL Films' Greg Cosell offered this evaluation: "His attributes, based on film breakdown of his two NFL starts, derive from his talent as a timing and rhythm passer who's decisive with his reads and throws, and has shown good accuracy in the short to intermediate areas. …One thing I liked was his pocket movement. He showed the ability to slide and maintain his downfield focus. That's a far more important trait than running out of the pocket. …

"At 6-foot-2, (Flynn) does not possess prototypical size. He has above-average arm strength, nothing more," Cosell said. "There are power throws he will struggle to make, like deep digs at 18-22 yards, or deep comebacks. In fact, these are not throws you would ask Flynn to make. The bottom line: Flynn is not a top-level passer."

ESPN analyst Ron Jaworkski sounded a familiar tone, not altogether surprising given that he works closely with Cosell. "What I saw was a timing and rhythm passer who's decisive with his reads and throws," Jaws said via Rotoworld.com. … "But the more throws I watched, the more his arm strength limitations were evident. I was concerned that his few deep balls lost energy at the back end. They had a tendency to die."

Finally, there's the wild card: Wilson. At 5-11, he's decidedly undersized for an NFL quarterback but certainly not short on arm strength or maturity. And the Seahawks thought so much of him that they took him in the third round, the highest they've selected a quarterback since drafting Rick Mirer second overall 19 years ago.

Ultimately, all that matters is how things play out over the next 12 weeks in training camp and preseason. Because as legendary coach Bill Walsh used to say, it doesn't matter where you're drafted, it's how you play.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Ryan Wilson on Twitter here: @ryanwilson_07.
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