Geno Smith will get the first crack at winning the Seattle Seahawks' starting quarterback gig. The veteran will start Seattle's first preseason game Saturday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"He's still going with the ones (and) he's gonna start the game this weekend," coach Pete Carroll said Tuesday, via The Associated Press. "He had a very solid day today, made some big throws today."
Smith entered training camp with the slight edge over Drew Lock to win the starting job to open the 2022 campaign.
But Lock has made strides as he gets his feet wet in the new offense. During Saturday's mock game, the signal-caller impressed onlookers, moving the offense with short throws and avoiding the big mistakes that plagued his time in Denver.
"I think it was his most solid performance. He's had really good days, too, but I think that was the best one under the circumstances," Carroll said of Lock. "I really liked his poise and his comfort in the pocket, handling stuff, adjustments, calls he had to make at the line of scrimmage, all of that he handled very well."
Joining NFL Network's Inside Training Camp Live on Tuesday, Smith declined to get into where he stands in the competition with Lock, preferring to stick to the coaching staff's desire to remain mum on the situation.
"I don't want to give too much information out here," he said. "I think you guys will be able to get that information from coach. But looking forward to this week coming up with the game. We'll let those deciding factors happen as they may."
With the Seahawks taking on Russell Wilson and the Broncos in Week 1, Carroll could have designs on starting the veteran to open the season against his former QB. Smith performed solidly last season when standing in for Wilson.
The veteran said he's not fretting about the competition with Lock as the preseason approaches.
"It's the same as a game. One play at a time," Smith told NFL Network. "You don't focus on too much. Execute, do your job, and like I said, all the other stuff is other stuff. You can only be who you are. My goal is get better every day."
Thus far, the competition has played out as most expected. Smith has received most of the first-team reps as the veteran in the offense that Carroll trusts. But Lock has steadily improved. The drumbeat has begun to see the younger QB get more reps with the ones, but Carroll continues to play it close to the vest.
"It's just gonna take some time," the coach told NFL Network. "We need the opportunities to present themselves as we go, and we try to create them all the time. ... We're accumulating a lot of information for us, and it's working out well."
Preseason performances could tip the scales. If Lock shines while Smith struggles, Carroll could have to flip the order. Smith opening the exhibition slate as the starter gives him the first chance to lock down the job.
Unless the Seahawks come out of the gate hot with whoever wins the starting job, it's easy to imagine both quarterbacks getting a chance at some point in 2022.
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