At least Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made one smart decision regarding his quarterback competition Tuesday.
On a day where Carroll gave Tarvaris Jackson more first-team reps, he also handed Matt Flynn the starting job for the second week of the preseason. Of course, only one of those was the right decision, and it certainly wasn't throwing away reps on a player that probably won't be in Seattle to start the regular season.
According to Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune, Jackson was working with the starting offensive unit during a stretch of practice Tuesday. Carroll later said he used Jackson with the first-team offense to "keep him fresh."
Yet following Tuesday's practice, Carroll confirmed that Flynn will again start Saturday's game with the Denver Broncos.
Carroll, via Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times:
We're going to start Matt...Matt has done a really good job of commanding all of the stuff. He understands the game in great depth, and he gives us a veteran presence even though he hasn't had a lot of starting time because he recognizes the defense. He's well into the whole understanding of what's going on on the other side of the ball, and it's still a challenge for Russell to catch up with all the stuff. He's battling to get that done. There's a difference right now.
Carroll has said all along that there is a method to his madness, but the time has come for the Seahawks to decide on a cemented pecking order at quarterback.
If Flynn is starting two weeks in a row, give him the a majority of first-team reps. If he wants to start Russell Wilson, a third-round pick from Wisconsin who he absolutely loves, then allow him a chance to run the week with the first-team offense.
And if he truly wants to give Jackson a chance to win this competition, then he not only needs first-team reps, but also live game action too. Jackson didn't play in the first preseason game and may not again Saturday.
Say what you want about dividing up time equally in practice, but this is no way to handle a quarterback competition at the NFL level.
There needs to be a sense of continuity at the position, and Carroll is ensuring that doesn't happen with his spinning wheel at quarterback. Obviously Carroll is leaning toward Flynn as his starter, so I see little reason why he shouldn't be getting the allotted first-team snaps that every other NFL starter receives this time of year.
Besides, every first-team rep given to Jackson is probably a complete waste of the Seahawks' time.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Seahawks are likely to shop Jackson on the trade market sometime this preseason. It may already be in progress for all we know.
Even if the Seahawks don't move Jackson over the next two weeks, he's probably unlikely to still be in Seattle when the regular season begins. Barring an injury to Flynn or Wilson, Jackson is a good candidate to get released. Simply put, $4 million is too much base salary for a guy that could be the team's third quarterback to open the season.
On the surface, Carroll's decision to start Flynn Saturday is absolutely the right move. He's starting to show his football team who is likely leading this offense to start the 2012 season.
But if Carroll is going to run Flynn out there with the first-team offense in a live setting, give Flynn those reps in practice like the rest of the NFL does on a daily basis.
And quit wasting them on a guy he hasn't even considered putting into a preseason contest so far.