It's been a slow day of updates on Field Gulls today and so I wanted to get a quick thought out on the fate of our 2011 starting quarterback, Tarvaris Jackson.
With the news that Tarvaris is almost certain to be released or traded in the coming week, I wanted to just take a moment to look back at the Jackson era in Seattle. He was brought in because of his familiarity with the offense and the lockout that kept the Seahawks players from having much time to learn the playbook. Without many other options, Jackson was summoned and not Kevin Kolb. And not Matt Leinart. And not a draft pick spent on Colin Kaepernick, Andy Dalton, or Ryan Mallett. It was Jackson that came in to be the starting quarterback and it was Jackson who a little over a year later is being shown the door.
Kolb is on the verge of losing his job to John Skelton and cost the Cardinals millions of dollars, a player, a draft pick. Leinart played a few snaps for the Texans and is now backing up Carson Palmer in Oakland. Kaepernick couldn't overtake Alex Smith, and while we can't make any hard determinations about Mallett, we won't go overboard and say that not drafting him was a mistake.
Andy Dalton had a very good rookie season for the Bengals, but he also did that for the Bengals. Not the Seahawks. We can't sit here and say that he would have been comparable without A.J. Green or all the other trappings of the Cincinnati offense in 2011. Instead, we had Jackson as the player that held down the quarterback spot between Matt Hasselbeck and Matt Flynn/Russell Wilson. And I think he did pretty well.
Jackson was tasked with coming into a new environment after years of being benched in Minnesota and without an offseason, he held his own. He completed 60.2% of his passes. He threw for more touchdowns than interceptions. In his final six games, he had a QB rating of 89.1 and threw 7 touchdowns against 2 interceptions. He carried himself with class during the season and especially carried himself with class during what must have been a difficult offseason for his ego. Right after finishing a season of criticism as the starting quarterback for Seattle, he remained under contract while Seattle wooed free agent quarterbacks and signed Flynn.
He remained quiet and under contract when they drafted Wilson. Not only did the Seahawks make one statement about how they felt regarding Jackson, but they made two very bold ones. They got double insurance against having to start Jackson for another season. Pete Carroll made it a competition, but it wasn't long before it became a two-way battle. We can't say what happened behind the scenes, we can't say for sure what Jackson was incapable of doing to secure himself a real shot, but it never worked out. And yet, it never detracted away from Seattle was trying to do, which is win games. It doesn't seem to have corrupted the locker room or the team.
There were maybe rumblings here or there, but at the end of the day, Jackson composed himself. He was a professional. Just like he's been a professional throughout his short Seahawks career that will come to an end sometime this week.
The Seahawks don't have a great history with quarterbacks. It's funny that Rick Mirer has the most starts ever for a quarterback that Seattle drafted, with 51. That Seneca Wallace is next with 14. They didn't draft Hasselbeck or Krieg or Zorn. They aren't yet sending a quarterback to the Hall of Fame and Jackson will not be the first. He wasn't brought in for a long term plan and he's leaving after a year.
But I want to thank him for his service. For playing well under the pressure of the fans and the media, even if he didn't play well under the pressure from pass rushers. He wasn't a perfect quarterback. He wasn't a great quarterback. But he wasn't a terrible quarterback either. He was a fine quarterback and the idea that Flynn or Wilson could be good-to-great has overshadowed him so he's going to go somewhere he's needed and be one of the better backup quarterbacks in the NFL.
Good for him. Good for us for having him while there weren't many better options, even if the day he'd be traded or released always seemed inevitable. Thanks, Tarvaris. Good luck.