Heaps: Why Seahawks’ Geno Smith is so key for QB competition

May 25, 2022, 9:01 AM

Seahawks Geno Smith...

Seahawks QB Geno Smith looks to pass against the Jaguars during a game in 2021. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Barring a trade or signing, the Seahawks appear set to have one of Geno Smith or Drew Lock starting at quarterback in 2022.

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Lock is the new face in town, the 2019 second-round pick coming to Seattle after three years in Denver. He was one of three players sent to the Seahawks from the Broncos for quarterback Russell Wilson.

Smith, meanwhile, is entering his 10th NFL season and his fourth with the Seahawks, and he played in place of Wilson for a stretch in 2021 when Wilson was out with a finger injury.

Former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps thinks that Smith’s presence in this ongoing quarterback competition is important on many levels. He explained why during Tuesday’s Jake and Stacy on Seattle Sports 710 AM.

“It sets the bar and it sets a standard for Drew Lock and what he has to compete with,” Heaps said.

Heaps pointed to a specific comment head coach Pete Carroll made on Monday following a Seahawks OTA practice when asked about Lock and Smith.

“Geno really has the package nailed, so I have that to gauge (Lock) on,” Carroll said. “So (Lock is) hanging with (Smith) throughout all of this, and we’re not holding anything back. We’re really just unloading the installation this time. He’s doing well.”

Heaps explained the importance of what Carroll said.

“Why is that important? Well, because Geno Smith has been in this system – he knows the system – with (offensive coordinator) Shane Waldron,” Heaps said. “So why is that an advantage? It is an advantage to push Drew Lock to really understand, to know the system, to try to master the system and to gain his knowledge quickly in Year 1.”

With Smith clearly well-versed in the Seahawks’ offense and terminology, that helps tremendously when it comes to how Lock will be evaluated.

“If you want to win this competition, Drew Lock, you cannot be significantly behind Geno Smith from your knowledge,” Heaps said. “You have to be able to meet his level of understanding of that package, which is then going to help Drew Lock become a better player.”

Heaps said that having Smith is an “advantage” for the Seahawks when it comes to this quarterback race because of his overall familiarity.

“You’re not truly starting from ground level, from scratch, (where) nobody knows the system and Shane Waldron is having to teach a new crop of guys.” Heaps said. “You have Geno Smith, who’s been there and now Drew Lock has to catch up to that knowledge, and it pushes him to really increase his studying and to really get that playbook down, which is a positive.”

Listen to the full second hour of Tuesday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

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