The Seattle Seahawks have a quarterback battle brewing in training camp between Geno Smith and newcomer Drew Lock.
On Saturday, head coach Pete Carroll told reporters that Smith is currently in pole position.
"Geno continues to be on top, he's ahead, he's been in the lead for all the obvious reasons, and he's holding onto it and doing a really good job of battling," he said. "Both guys are communicating beautifully, they're learning well, we don't have any issues with anything we're trying to do. There are no issues here where we have to go, 'Oh, we can't quite do this or that with this guy or that guy,' it isn't like that. They're very talented arm-wise, and the ability to throw the ball down the field is there. So, let the games begin."
As for those "obvious reasons" Smith is the current frontrunner, Carroll provided more details.
"He's just doing things right," he said. "He handles the system, he's making the checks at the line of scrimmage, he's able to control the protections and working with [center] Austin [Blythe], those guys are hitting it really well, and he's just really talented. He's made great throws every day."
That doesn't mean there isn't an opening for Lock to win the job, however.
"I'm still looking for them to really come in, and really own it, and put days together where they don't have any negative plays, the plays that they wish they had back," Carroll noted. "So, in a sense, there's been openings for both guys by not having the complete day, getting everything done, and finishing the day close to perfect."
Smith, 31, spent the previous two seasons in Seattle as Russell Wilson's backup, making three starts last season when Wilson was out injured. He led the Seahawks to a 1-2 record in those games, finishing the season with 702 passing yards, five scores and an interception while completing 68.4 percent of his passes.
After being the starter for the New York Jets early in his career during the 2013 and 2014 seasons, Smith has largely been a backup with the Jets and during stints on the New York Giants and Los Angeles Chargers before finding his way to Seattle.
Lock, 25, was a second-round pick by the Denver Broncos in the 2019 draft with aspirations he would eventually become the team's starter.
But he struggled in 21 starts across three seasons, throwing for 4,740 yards, 25 touchdowns and 20 interceptions while completing just 59.3 percent of his passes. The Broncos were 8-13 in his starts, and when they chose to upgrade at the position by trading for Wilson, Lock was sent the other way.
Gregg Bell @gbellseattle
Pete Carroll says of QB Drew Lock: “He’s got some gunslinger in him.…. We want to see how that all fits with us.” Carroll, Seahawks coaches are trying to manage that, get him to make the right decisions. Carroll said the talent is there. <a href="https://t.co/u0MKwUg1TY">pic.twitter.com/u0MKwUg1TY</a>
For Lock, the chance to win the starting gig may come with more reps.
"He just needs to stay out there and show us how he's going to make his decisions when the big opportunities come," Carroll told reporters. "He's made a ton of plays already. He's made a ton of good throws, he really runs well, he's elusive, he has a really quick trigger, his ability to release the football shows up, he has a lot of talent now. So we just need reps. We need turns, we just need to see more situations to really find any reason to see a difference between the guys. There's just not enough stuff yet."