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Monday, August 13, 2012
Seahawks camp battle update: QBs

By Mike Sando

Revisiting the Seattle Seahawks training-camp battle we previewed back in early July:

Quarterback: Tarvaris Jackson versus Matt Flynn versus Russell Wilson was the projected camp battle.

My take then: "Flynn, Wilson and Josh Portis are the quarterbacks they would ideally keep for the long term, but Jackson is the only one with meaningful experience. Jackson is the only one they know for sure they could trust to keep the team competitive right now. Flynn and Wilson will earn roster spots. Jackson could win one, too. He could even start, but so could Flynn or Wilson. Wilson made a spectacular first impression during organized team activities and minicamp practices. ... While it's natural to assume Flynn will emerge as the starter based on his salary and Wilson's inexperience, the Seahawks' excitement for Wilson has been palpable at every turn."

The update: Flynn and Wilson are getting the meaningful reps as the team works to determine which one, if either, represents an upgrade over Jackson. Both players helped their cause with their performances against Tennessee in the exhibition opener Saturday night. Flynn was efficient working against the Titans' starting defense. Wilson was dynamic working with -- and against -- backups.

The Seahawks will presumably want to see Wilson work with the starters in a game situation before making their decision. I have a hard time envisioning Seattle going into a season with a rookie third-round choice behind center. But if any coach would embrace such an opportunity, the unconventional Pete Carroll might be the one to do it -- especially since Wilson demonstrates more poise than many veterans.

If the competition remains close, going with Flynn as the starter heading into the season would be the easiest move.

Flynn, as a veteran earning more money, has more to lose entering the season as a backup after spending most of the offseason as the presumed starter. It might be tougher for him to bounce back from what would look like a benching. Wilson, as a rookie, came to Seattle amid lower expectations in the short term. The team could always turn to him if necessary.

That's what conventional wisdom says, at least. With Carroll, it might not apply.