We’ll continue our Countdown to Camp by reviewing Seattle’s backup quarterback spot.
Backup QB is one of those positions that can either be hardly important or all — or mean everything if the starter suddenly goes down with a significant injury.
Among the many things the Seahawks love about Russell Wilson is his history of durability and ability to keep himself away from dangerous situations on the field. He took a lot of sacks last year — 44. But he rarely took a really big hit and generally seemed to know when to say when in terms of extending plays beyond their usefulness (the first game against Arizona a notable exception, though he readily acknowledged that and didn’t lose a fumble the rest of the season).
Still, just one hit can change a season.
Fortunately, Seattle appears in pretty good shape on the backup QB front with veteran Tarvaris Jackson (above) back for a second season, with Terrelle Pryor and B.J. Daniels behind him on the depth chart.
While Jackson was the backup a year ago, and as such enters the season with a bit of an advantage, Pryor, recall, ended mini-camp on something of a surge, with coaches seeming increasingly excited about his play.
The spring also quelled for good any rumors that Pryor was brought in to do anything other than play quarterback (remember Pryor’s quote in the above column about not being good at receiving).
Instead, the Seahawks are hoping that maybe they know how too refine some of Pryor’s obvious talent — his 69.1 passer rating with the Raiders last season was the second-lowest in the NFL among qualifying quarterbacks last season.
If so, then the Seahawks might have a decision to make — do they go with the trusted vet and valued locker room presence, or with the youngster with tantalizing upside? If the depth on the rest of the roster works out, they can maybe keep both — Seattle had three QBs on its roster for a few weeks last season after picking up Daniels.
The Seahawks had a little bit of a QB battle last year at this time, as well, between Jackson and Brady Quinn, though this one feels a bit different. Last year, Jackson was signed in June after being released by Buffalo, and to most around the team it was regarded as a formality that he would win the job. Jackson then put any thoughts of a real decision to rest with some good performances in the preseason, beginning with the opener at San Diego.
Expect Jackson and Pryor to each get long looks in the early preseason games this year in a battle that appears more wide open.