Locking It Up?: Seahawks Pete Carroll Clears Air On QB Battle – Sports Illustrated

Who will be the starting quarterback Week 1 for the Seattle Seahawks? That's a battle Pete Carroll is letting work itself out through training camp. 
Seattle traded All-Pro Russell Wilson this offseason to the Denver Broncos in exchange for picks and three players. One player, quarterback Drew Lock, has the experience and perhaps more upside to keep Seattle in slight contention on Sundays. 
Of course, Geno Smith already has a year working in offensive coordinator Shane Waldrop's system. He also has starting reps for Seattle and earned Carroll's trust. 
On Saturday, Carroll praised both quarterbacks for making the most of their reps, each taking snaps with the first- and second-team offense. 
"Drew had some more opportunities, but I thought that they threw the ball really nice in the controlled stuff and underneath." Carroll said. "We were clean with the ball coming out, the protection was good early, so it will give us a good chance to see them. If you noticed that both guys got to work with the first O-line today and the first receivers, so it will be a nice chance to compare these guys.”
Lock's best throw of the afternoon came on a 25-yard pass to Pro Bowl receiver DK Metcalf. He had another 20-yard completion to Cody Thompson. During team, Lock completed roughly 67 percent of his passes as well. 
Smith, meanwhile, struggled with consistency during team drills. Rookie cornerback Tariq Woolen nearly snagged an interception, but the referee ruled it an incompletion instead. 
Of the five drives, the 31-year-old only led Seattle into the end zone once. 
The other four times? A field goal and three punts. 
"We’ve made a lot of progress, but now we need to see what it looks like on film," Carroll said of the position. "It might not tell us as much as I hope, but we will see.”
Carroll's lips are sealed on who will be his starter, but practice would lean toward Lock. The 25-year-old has looked the part of a capable option at times and made the most of his reps with the first-team offense. 
Smith joined Seattle in 2019 and has a rapport with players in the locker room. Unlike the newly acquired Lock, Smith has been viewed among peers not just as a mentor due to age but also as a leader because of his position. 
And that might be the biggest thing keeping a seemingly one-sided quarterback battle up for grabs. Carroll already knows what Smith can do both on and off the field. When asked about Lock, the soon-to-be 71-year-old often answers with the term "both quarterbacks" instead of singling out one player. 
Maybe that's Carroll's way of saying Lock has to earn the locker room's respect before he can earn the title of starting quarterback? The former Broncos starter has been the more consistent of the two options throughout practice. 
Carroll and the front office's outlook on the season could factor into who wins the starting job. If hoping to grab a top-five draft pick and land a potential franchise quarterback in 2023, Smith could be the better option. 
If looking to make the playoffs, Lock quite literally should "lock" up the title. Carroll likely knows it, too. 
"He was really comfortable," Carroll said of Lock. "He wasn’t rattled at all. He was seeing things pretty clear, he got the ball out nicely. "
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