FanPost

Do We Want a Quarterback Controversy?

Right now it seems like the seahawks blogging world is aflutter with discussion about the quarterback situation, and Josh Portis in particular.  Popular wisdom on the issue appears to run along the lines of: "This kid had one good drive against third-stringers, so let's not get too excited about it."

While there's almost always room for disagreement of opinion, particularly on sports-related subjects, the conventional opinion described above is, in a word, wrong.  Why it's wrong begins with two words that I suspect you can guess: Tarvaris Jackson

Jackson's stat line in the week one preseason game is deceptively not-awful-seeming: 3 of 5 for 13 yards, 0 picks, 0 tds.  However, let's look a little deeper: first, T-Jack was sacked twice for 17 yards.  He also scrambled twice for 12 yards, on two broken-down passing plays (rather than designed runs).  So really, in 9 drop-backs, Tarvaris completed 3 passes and netted 8 yards with his arms and his legs.  That's flat-out atrocious, regardless of what level of competition he faced on the field (San Diego's first stringers) or how marginal his receiving options were.  Even worse than the stat line, though, is the eyeball test.  Tarvaris looked jittery, afraid, and skittish in the pocket, ran without going through his progressions, and failed to keep his eyes downfield.  In short, he demonstrated horrible instincts that line up perfectly with his recorded performance in Minnesota.

After Tarvaris came out, both Whitehurst and Portis impressed by exponential measure in comparison.  Sure, it was only the first preseason game, and for the most part they played against second and third stringers (with only second and third string support, by the by), but the point isn't that Portis flashed amazing potential (he did), or that Whitehurst looked better than he has at any prior time in a seahawk uniform (also true).  The point is that Tarvaris is a known quantity, while Whitehurst and particularly Portis are not.  Yeah, so Portis only flashed brilliance for a drive or so in the preseason - it's still more than Tarvaris has ever done, regular season or not.

The real fear here is that Portis or Whitehurst might outperform T-Jack only to find the latter starting week one of the regular season anyway.  By all means, we should see how this plays out for the rest of the preseason before coming to any earth-shattering conclusions, but the moral of the story is that Portis and Whitehurst should have earned the opportunity to get some time in a game with the first-string by default.  And we all know this isn't likely to happen.  So what of it?  Should we be afraid that Carroll will stubbornly stick to T-Jack as a starter even if Portis and Whitehurst outperform him in practice and on the field?  Absolutely.


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