Tarvaris Jackson expected to start at QB
RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle coach Pete Carroll expects Tarvaris Jackson to be the Seahawks' starting quarterback on opening day.
"In this situation, to make things the most competitive for our team, Tarvaris needs to be our starter right now," Carroll said Saturday morning during his first media availability of Seattle's training camp. "He comes in as our starter, he's going to own that position."
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Jackson signed a two-year deal with the Seahawks on Friday, and then watched Saturday's practice in shorts and a T-shirt, unable to participate in camp until Thursday, when a new collective bargaining agreement is expected to be ratified.
Carroll says Jackson's familiarity with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell gave the newcomer the edge. Jackson and Bevell worked together in Minnesota from 2006-10.
"He's really good to work with; very detailed in his work," Jackson said of Bevell. "He makes sure to point out key things. This is a different experience for both of us, so it might be a different Bevell. I can't say exactly how it's going to be."
Jackson alternated between starter and backup during five seasons with the Minnesota Vikings from 2006 through 2010, starting 20 games and throwing almost as many interceptions (22) as touchdowns (24).
Carroll said Charlie Whitehurst will compete for the starting job once he gets caught up on Bevell's offense.
The coach said the Seahawks' thought process changed regarding the quarterback position during the 4½-month lockout.
The need to create continuity became important because of how little time there is to prepare. That's where Jackson's familiarity with Bevell came in.
"We realized that if we could sign Tarvaris, who's been with Darrell for five years, we can hit it running full speed," Carroll said. "If you can imagine, we only have seven days between (when Jackson can first practice) and our first game."
That game will be played on Aug. 11 in San Diego, when the Seahawks head south to take on the Chargers. Under rules ending the lockout, free agents who have signed new contracts may not practice until Thursday, when the new league year will take effect.
"It's tough, standing out here watching these guys out here competing," Jackson said. "You want to be out there with them and show them what you're about. Those are the rules right now, and I'm just trying to do as much as I can."
When Jackson does get on the field, he'll be throwing to one of his favorite targets -- former Vikings teammate Sidney Rice, who also was acquired this offseason by the Seahawks. On Friday, Rice's five-year contract was also made official.
"He was in the same offense I was in, so there's not a lot of turnover," Jackson said.
Still, Carroll had reason to be unhappy -- four potential starters were standing around in shirts and shorts under the same circumstances. Not only were Jackson and Rice unable to practice, but new left guard Robert Gallery and defensive tackle Alan Branch, acquired from the Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals respectively, were under league-year limitations.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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