Should Seahawks stick with Geno Smith at QB or bring in Cam Newton?
The Seahawks will not have star quarterback Russell Wilson for the foreseeable future due to a finger injury, and it appears that backup Geno Smith will be leading the charge until Wilson returns from injury in anywhere from four to eight weeks.
Former NFL quarterback Brock Huard told Mike Salk of 710 ESPN Seattle’s The Mike Salk Show that Smith impressed him when he took over for the Seahawks in the second half of last Thursday’s 26-17 loss to the Rams, because he said Smith never looked that good when watching him during preseason games and even in practices.
“He got his chance with the (first team), he got his chance to come in when there are no expectations and you’re down big and you can just cut it loose,” Huard said. “And even though it was from (Seattle’s own 2-yard line) and he had to drive it 98 yards, he did. And he did an incredible job.”
But that was as an unexpected backup. Now, he’s the starter that team’s will be gameplanning for.
“Now comes the hard part. Now comes an opponent that will prepare for you – your strengths and your weaknesses – now comes a trip on the road, now comes the weight now of, ‘Oh wow. Everyone’s depending on me now and I’ve got to carry this thing. And I’ve got to, in many ways, flush the reputation of the past that people have and I’ve got to flush that all away and be a huge part of why we win this game,'” Huard said. “Because frankly, I think as a team in totality and what you’re playing defensively, if Geno doesn’t play great, you don’t have an opportunity to win (Sunday) in Pittsburgh.”
Salk, meanwhile, thinks the Seahawks should sign free-agent quarterback Cam Newton as long as he is abiding by COVID-19 protocols.
In a vacuum, Huard thinks that Newton would be better than Smith for three games, but there are a few reasons why the Seahawks would look in another direction, such as the learning curve of the offense and how long that could take, whereas Smith is in Seattle already and knows the playbook.
“(Newton’s) strength of keeping plays alive and running and doing those things are not really what this team needs,” Huard said. “Frankly, Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf need you to push the ball down the field and need you to be a great touch thrower, things that are not his strengths.”
Salk thinks Smith is who he is while Newton is a former league MVP. If it’s a longer timeline for Wilson than the most optimistic guess of missing three games, Salk thinks the Seahawks should sign Newton immediately so he has more time to learn the system and take over for a few weeks.
Huard thinks that even if Newton was signed, Smith will get the “first crack” at the starter job because of how he played against the Rams and also because this is his third season with the Seahawks.
“If he is not competent, if it doesn’t work, if it is just a mess – and they’ll get a feel for that not just on Sunday in Pittsburgh, they’ll get a feel for that this week (in practice) … if he falls flat on his face and it’s too much for him and he throws some picks and doesn’t give you any chance at all, I think then you may entertain the Cam Newton conversation,” Huard said.
Listen to the conversation at this link or in the player below.