Geno Smith heads into the 2022 season as the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll named Smith the starter for Week 1 of the regular season following the team pre-season loss at the Dallas Cowboys on Friday night.
Smith was apparently the favorite throughout the quarterbacks competition with Drew Lock and after Lock threw three interceptions on Friday, Carroll announced the start of his postgame press conference.
“He’s going to start the first game, and he earned it, he won the job,” Carroll said. “With the deadlines, it was ruined for us for Drew, he just ran out of time to make his offer. And so yeah, I’m cool about that, so I just want to let you know, so everybody know, you don’t have to ask me about it anymore. In the meantime, Drew is gonna keep fighting because he can play, and he’s got all kinds of stuff in him, and I want him to be ready to any time. “. And he will continue to grow and push and develop as a fantastic player and I have no problem playing with him too. So we’re lucky to have two guys who can go there, and when he comes off the bench, if he gets his chance, he’ll be ready to go and try to turn it on.”
Smith, 31, has a second chance to start just under a decade after the New York Jets selected him in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Smith started 30 games in four seasons with Gang Green, but ultimately didn’t work out. Now, entering his third season with the Seahawks, he will debut as the team’s regular season starter on a massive prime-time stage. September 12 when Seattle hosts the Denver Broncos and the quarterback Russell Wilson. Wilson was a nine-time Pro Bowler and a one-time Super Bowl winner with the Seahawks over the past 10 years, with Smith serving as a backup the past two.
“You know it means a lot, it’s something I’m preparing for, and the reality is it’s just the first step, it’s just the beginning and I have to make sure I’m ready. to go out there and win and play 17 games and more,” Smith said of being named the starter. “So for me, I’m grateful, thankful, forever indebted to the Seattle Seahawks organization, but it’s time to get to work.”
Smith started three games for Seattle last season in relief of an injured Wilson. It was the start of a head start in his competition with Lock, who was acquired by the club in the exchange who sent Wilson to Denver.
After being the clubhouse leader throughout the QB battle, Smith essentially solidified the job Friday from the bench.
Lock has more upside in the play department, but as he showed against the Cowboys, a lot more downside. His second pass of the night was a bad ball straight to Dallas Israel Mukuamu for the first of his three choices. Smith started, but only one series. He went unspectacularly 3 of 6 for 43 yards and led Seattle to a field goal. Lock, who had a costly fumble in Week 1 of the preseason that led to a Seahawks loss to the Steelers, had his good plays, but the bad ones clearly got more attention from Carroll.
“Geno just knows our stuff and he does it really well and he understands it and he can handle everything we do, and he’s good with football,” Carroll said. “He will give us the best chance to play great football from the start.”
As Carroll mentioned, Lock also had some bad luck. He was expected to start the team’s second pre-season game, but tested positive for COVID-19.
Earlier in the week, Carroll said he had no timeline for making a decision, but by the end of Friday night it was clear to him that it was Geno’s turn to move on.