Geno Smith was named the Seattle Seahawks starting quarterback by coach Pete Carroll, following the team’s final preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys Friday night.
“He’s earned it,” Carroll said. “He won the job.”
Smith has been in a training camp and preseason battle with Drew Lock, who had been brought in during the same trade that saw Russell Wilson head to the Denver Broncos.
Lock received most of the snaps in the final preseason game, going 13 of 24 for 171 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. Lock had previously contracted COVID-19 and missed out on an opportunity to start Seattle’s second preseason game. Smith threw for more than 100 yards in that game and continued to prove himself in subsequent practices as Lock was slow to fully recover from his illness.
“I completely understand Seattle’s decision to name Geno Smith the starter,” said The 33rd Team’s Eric Mangini. “This decision may have been made prior to the game just because of how little he played. And then Drew Lock, who missed the previous week because of Covid, goes in and gets his opportunity.
“There are a bunch of wild plays where you see [Lock] moving around and delivering the ball with different depths and accurately. But then that’s punctuated by three interceptions. And you can’t — regardless of what the upside is of him in terms of being able to to place the ball and make exciting plays — have those exciting plays being made for your opponent. It becomes very clear that the decision had to be Geno Smith.”
Smith has been with the Seahawks since 2019, while Lock only joined the team in March via the trade that sent veteran Russell Wilson to Denver. Carroll hinted that his familiarity with Smith and the quarterback’s familiarity with the staff and system played a role in the decision.
“He knows our stuff,” Carroll said. “He does really well and he understands it and he commands everything that we’re doing. He’ll give us the best chance to play great football right off the bat.”
The 31-year-old Smith has been in the NFL since 2013 when he was drafted in the second round by the New York Jets. He has also played for the New York Giants and the Los Angeles Chargers before joining the Seahawks. He started three games for Seattle in 2021, going 1-2 in the process and was 65-of-95 passing with five touchdowns and only one interception.
The Seahawks face the Broncos in Week 1, where Smith will go head-to-head with Wilson, whom he backed up at the position for the two previous seasons.