“Denver,” he said with a smile, referring to the September 12 regular season opener against Russell Wilson and the Broncos. After a pause, he added, “We have a plan though.”
He said the plan would be kept at home.
And while Waldron joked, remained consistent with coach Pete Carroll’s overall contention of being as vague as possible about where things were with the QB contestant, Tuesday’s fifth practice session in Seattle did nothing to deter the notion it would take while deciding on a start between Geno Smith and Drew Lock.
In the team’s first padded drill, the attack had a better day than Monday, when the defense turned in a fair impression on the 2013 Legion of Boom in their dominance.
Both quarterbacks spoke to the media after Monday’s practice and openly admitted it had been a tough day to attack with Smith saying it now “is about how we respond”.
There were, at least, some offensive highlights in the team’s response on Tuesday, with Smith throwing in two goals during the team’s 11v11 and Lock 3 sessions.
As has been the case all along, Smith once again worked exclusively behind offensive line #1 against Defense #1, and Locke with offensive line #2 against defense #2. However, receivers like DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett had ample reps with both QBs. .
After intense sessions of the third down and the red zone, the practice ended with each player behind the center receiving two no-drives.
Smith’s first possession in the second play ended in an interception by Josh Jones, in the play as a third safety with Jamal Adams and Quander Diggs, when Smith attempted to throw it to Lockett in double coverage.
Locke then led a campaign that ended with a third pass and a 9 TD to Benny Hart. Smith responded on his next drive with a short TD pass to Marquis Godwin, who made a dip, juggling, and finally pinned the ball between his feet for the score (although the defenders argued, perhaps correctly, that the ball hit the ground first).
Locke then led a short run that ended with a 6-yard TD pass to former Husky Aaron Fuller for third and the goal.
Including all sessions 11-11, Smith was unofficially 9-17 with two TDs (with another to tight end Tyler Mabry in red zone drills) and an interception and lockout 8-19 with three TDs (he also had one for Walker) in the red zone exercise) and no options.
As for the camp, Smith has now thrown three interceptions in 11 to 11 sessions while Lock had no interceptions.
As noted, Smith went exclusively against the starting defense, shutting down the backups.
However, one of Locke’s biggest needs for improvement has been to reduce the number of games, so his interest in the ball largely so far is a positive.
Waldron noted that first camp practice ended with Luke rolling to his left and trying to make a deep pass across the field for what would have easily been an interception and that he “came back the next day about the same situation there, sees it at the bottom of the field because it’s probably tough, puts the ball away and runs With her. He’s just constantly making those quality decisions.”
So, who has the advantage? Coaches do not say. For now, Smith’s continued work with those indicates that if the team plays today’s game, it will be the man.
But as Waldron points out, Seattle hasn’t played for nearly six weeks, and a lot can change.
Waldron also said he doesn’t assume that what fans and media see at open practices and pre-season games is all that will win the job.
When asked why Smith gets nearly all the work with those, Waldron noted that there’s plenty of other work going on behind the scenes.
“There are also a lot of different things with the trails and all we have,” Waldron said. “And there were some scenarios here where there was some overlap. And so we follow our plan here, and we really evaluate these guys, and we evaluate everything they do.”
Waldron noted that factors such as “communication, how they interact with teammates, how we throw individual ways, how we conduct training periods” will also play a role in the decision.
But Waldron said the main determinant is “Winning. … In every situation they are in, are they winning that moment?”
The first big moment comes at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday when the team holds its annual mock game at Lumen Field. And the most telling moment in that match could be whether Luke gets some action behind one’s offensive line against Defense No. 1, or if the split continues as it is thus far.
Carroll has said several times that Smith has the upper hand due to his better knowledge of crime, having been with Seattle four years and into his second year with Waldron, while Luke arrived in March from Denver on a Wilson deal.
But Waldron notes that this has become a lesser factor. He praised the help of Smith and Jacob Eason, who have been with the Seahawks since October, in helping Lock learn the game guide, saying, “They really help each other out and that’s what allowed Drew to really capture the offense in good fashion and on time.”
- Speaking of Metcalf, both QBs had trouble communicating with him on Tuesday. Unofficially, he has one pass for eight goals in the red zone and sits down third and then the last two for an 11v11 team. One, in the end zone of Luke, was turned away by rookie linebacker Kobe Bryant, who continues to impress. Once again, Metcalfe broke but Smith’s pass hung in the air and Artie Burns – who had a nice camp – recovered to break it up. But it was the third such drill for Metcalf since last season. “Like anything else, it’s still a process of going back to the swing of things, and back to timing and rhythm,” Waldron said. “But as far as the mental state of a physical being in good shape, it picks up where it left off. So it does nothing but try to be that positive leader day in and day out inside the building.”
- Receiver Dee Eskridge did not again participate in any exercises. He’s been out since the first workout last Wednesday with a hamstring injury.
- Also not training on Tuesday were cornerback Ugo Amadi, fullback Lakim Williams and defensive tackle Bona Ford. Ford appears to be getting a veteran’s day off while the problem with the others isn’t obvious. Ryan Neal picked up a foot/leg injury early on and never came back. It was not clear how dangerous it was.
- Jake Korhan again worked with the starting line in the right interference with rookie Abraham Lucas with the second team. The rest of the starting attacking line remained steady – left tackle Charles Cross, left goalkeeper Damien Lewis, center Austin Blythe and right goalkeeper Gabby Jackson. Phil Haynes occasionally continues to alternate with Jackson in the right guard.
- Jamal Adams trained throughout his second day after breaking his splint-covered middle finger.
- Carroll is staying away from the team after testing positive for COVID-19. As soon as I can come back on Friday. Assistant coach Carl Smith has once again taken on some of his regular duties on the field, but Carroll is almost in touch with the team. It’s in the spirit and also in those wheezes,” Waldron said.