Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

Geno Smith gets nod as Seattle Seahawks’ starting QB for Week 1 vs. Denver Broncos

Geno Smith has beat out Drew Lock in the Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback competition and will start the team’s Sept. 12 opener against Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos, Pete Carroll said Friday.

Carroll made the announcement after the Seahawks’ preseason finale — a 27-26 loss to the Dallas Cowboys — and said he has informed the team. Smith started Friday night, leading a field goal drive on his lone series before giving way to Lock, who threw a touchdown pass and three interceptions, two of which were not entirely his fault.

Carroll has said all along that Smith has been ahead of Lock, noting several times how Wilson’s former backup has had the edge in terms of his understanding of Seattle’s offense.

“He’s earned it,” Carroll said. “He won the job.”

Smith said he learned of Carroll’s decision when the coach addressed the team in the locker room after the game.

“Obviously I’m thankful for the opportunity and grateful,” said Smith, who backed up Wilson the past three seasons and started three games last year while Wilson was hurt. “But I have a lot of work ahead of me.”

Smith took the vast majority of the Seahawks’ first-team reps this summer and started all three of their preseason games, though Lock was set to start the second one before he tested positive for COVID-19.

“I don’t have any question that he can play,” Carroll said of Lock, who was acquired from Denver in the Wilson trade. “I think he’s going to be a fantastic football player soon.”

Smith and Lock have both said that they’d have the other’s back no matter how the competition shakes out, something Lock reiterated after Carroll’s announcement.

“As a competitor, you’re always disappointed,” Lock said of his reaction to hearing that Smith has won the job. “… But it’s now my job to have his back.”

Lock said his recent bout with COVID “kicked my butt,” calling it an interesting experience because he merely had a headache when he had it the first time. Lock tested positive on Aug. 16, sidelining him for Seattle’s second preseason game two days later.

Between the Seahawks’ mock game at Lumen Field and his two preseason games, he completed 42 of 66 passes (64%) for 458 yards, four touchdowns, three interceptions and a lost fumble.

In all four games, Smith went 33-of-58 (57%) for 350 yards, no touchdowns and no turnovers.

By Chala Dandessa

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