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Former NFL QB doubts Tarvaris Jackson will improve

By Brady Henderson

Pete Carroll has tried to assuage skepticism of Tarvaris Jackson by saying that an offseason to get healthy and work with teammates should lead to improvement from the Seahawks quarterback.

Rich Gannon doesn’t see that happening.

The former NFL quarterback and current analyst joined “The Kevin Calabro Show” on Tuesday and said he thinks Jackson is playing as well as he ever will.

Former NFL quarterback Rich Gannon: “I don’t know if it’s going to get a whole lot better with Tarvaris Jackson.” (AP)

“I think what you see is what you get. I don’t know if it’s going to get a whole lot better with Tarvaris Jackson, and that’s really my concern,” Gannon said.

“Is he a good player? Certainly. Is he ever going to be a dominant player at his position? Is he ever going to be one of the elite players? Is he going to be a Pro Bowl player? I don’t think so.”

Jackson threw 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions while playing through a torn pectoral muscle on his throwing side that might require offseason surgery.

He played significantly more this season than he ever has in his six-year career, so comparing his numbers to those of previous seasons can be difficult. That said, some of his 2011 totals suggest at least slight improvement, such as his 60.2 percent completion rate (59.4 percent for his career) and his 79.2 QB rating (77.7 career).

Gannon, however, doesn’t think it will get much better than that.

While Jackson was in Minnesota, the Vikings brought in Gannon — a former league MVP and four-time Pro Bowler — for some tutoring. Gannon said he was impressed with Jackson’s work ethic but suggested that he had concerns about his decision making and ability to process information quickly.

After watching Jackson start for the Seahawks this season, Gannon said he doesn’t play the game fast enough, an indication that he doesn’t have as firm an understanding of the offense as he should. Jackson was drafted by the Vikings in 2006, the same season Darrell Bevell became the team’s offensive coordinator. They came to the Seahawks together last offseason.

“He has as much experience in this system as anyone on that football team from an offensive standpoint,” Gannon said. “That’s one of the reasons why they went out and got him. They brought in Darrell Bevell. Tarvaris had spent all that time with him; he was his quarterback coach. So if anyone should have known the offense it’s Tarvaris Jackson.”

Gannon’s role as a TV analyst for Packers’ preseason games has given him ample opportunity to watch backup quarterback Matt Flynn. Gannon said Flynn’s performance this past offseason convinced him that Flynn is ready to be a starter. He said that if he were running the Seahawks he would be more inclined to bring in a quarterback with some NFL experience like Flynn as opposed to drafting one.

Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson

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