‘This is his chance’: K.J. Wright on new Seahawks starting QB Geno Smith

Sep 10, 2022, 9:19 AM | Updated: Sep 11, 2022, 1:17 pm
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)

For the first time since 2011, the Seahawks enter a regular season with a starting quarterback not named Russell Wilson.

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Seattle will be facing Wilson and his new team in Week 1, however, and Wilson’s longtime backup, Geno Smith, will be the quarterback starting against the Denver Broncos.

Smith, a 2013 second-round pick of the New York Jets, bounced around the league after his rookie season concluded after the 2016 season, and landed with the Seahawks in 2019 and has remained in Seattle since.

He played very sparingly his first two seasons with the Seahawks due to Wilson’s presence and regular good health, but Smith was thrust into a starting role early in 2021 when Wilson suffered a severe finger injury. Smith came in in relief of Wilson in a Week 5 loss to the Los Angeles Rams and started three games after that, including a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Overall, Smith completed 68.4% of his passes for 702 yards and five touchdowns to two turnovers.

During the first K.J. Wright Show on Seattle Sports 710 AM, the former NFL linebacker told Brock and Salk why he thinks Smith is the Seahawks’ 2022 starting quarterback.

“I played with Geno. I saw how he prepared as a backup. I went against him as a scout team guy,” Wright said. “The man has a beautiful arm. And sitting back learning from Phillip Rivers – remember, he was with the Chargers – learning from Russell Wilson, I believe this is his chance.”

“It was a disaster in New York. That was ugly. He went to bad team, played bad. That was ugly,” Wright added. “But give this man a chance. He has DK (Metcalf), has Tyler (Lockett). Let’s give him a chance to see how he can do in a 17-game season where you are the guy.”

Smith is the Seahawks’ Week 1 starting quarterback, but he was not named a team captain, making it the first time since 2012 — Wilson’s rookie year — that Seattle’s starting quarterback was not a captain, and just the second time that’s happened since Pete Carroll became head coach in 2010.

So why was Smith not named a captain on offense while Lockett was?

“He’s the quarterback. But captain? Put that ‘C’ on your chest? No, no, no, no. That’s a whole different ballgame,” Wright said.

Why is it so different?

“He’s not there yet,” Wright said, pointing out that Smith hasn’t been a regular starter since 2014. ” … You’ve got to own that. And Tyler has earned that. And Geno, you’re not about to be giving speeches before the game. You just focus on getting the ball to the fellas. Let these other guys handle it. He’s not the captain, nor should he have been.

Listen to the full K.J. Wright Show at this link or in the player below.

Seahawks on the radio

Catch the Seahawks’ season opener Monday night against Russell Wilson and the Broncos on Seattle Sports 710 AM and streaming at, on the Seahawks app and the Seattle Sports app. Coverage begins at 2 p.m. with the pregame show, followed by kickoff at 5:15 p.m. and the postgame show, which airs for roughly two hours after the end of the contest.

Note: Due to NFL restrictions, Seahawks games are available to stream from Seattle Sports only if you are within 75 miles of Seattle. There are several Seahawks Radio Network affiliates throughout the Pacific Northwest. Find your nearest affiliate at this link. If you are outside of the Pacific Northwest and want to stream Seahawks radio broadcasts, the NFL offers a subscription streaming service. For details, click here.

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