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Carroll: Geno’s emergence as Seahawks starting QB ‘seamless’

Nov 1, 2022, 9:28 AM
Seahawks Geno Smith...
Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks looks to pass against the New York Giants at Lumen Field on October 30, 2022. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

One of the best stories in the NFL this season has been Geno Smith‘s play for the Seahawks.

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The 2013 second-round pick of the Jets largely struggled in New York for his first two NFL seasons before going to the New York Giants as a backup in 2017. He then signed with the L.A. Chargers as a backup before joining the Seahawks in 2019, where he backed up Russell Wilson.

But Smith has been with Seattle ever since and after Wilson was traded this offseason, he re-signed with the Seahawks and earned the starting quarterback job.

Despite many thinking Drew Lock would start or that Smith would lead a lackluster Seahawks offense, Smith has instead been one of the best quarterbacks in football. He leads the NFL in completion percentage, is tied for fifth in passing touchdowns and is eighth in passing yards. He’s also helped lead the Seahawks to 26.3 points per game, fourth in the league through Week 8.

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Head coach Pete Carroll has had no shortage of praise for Smith’s play this season, and that continued on Monday’s Pete Carroll Show on Seattle Sports 710 AM, a day after Smith threw two touchdowns against the Giants in a 27-13 win. Seattle’s 27 points was the most any team has scored against New York this season.

Carroll was asked what life is like with Smith as the Seahawks’ starting quarterback.

“He’s one of the guys. He’s been here long enough, he’s comfortable with everything, he stands for what we believe, he talks and will point out and support when when it’s appropriate at all times, he’s easygoing, he’s got great confidence, self confidence,” Carroll said. “He knows that he knows, and he’s always had that awareness even two or three years ago.”

Smith, Carroll said, “never really accepted the fact that he was a backup.”

“He just knew that this is what you needed to do, and this is the job that I have, but just look out when you give me a chance. It was kind of how he’s always been,” he said. “Now he’s just living it like he knew it to be true. So it’s not hard for him to transition (from a backup role to a starting spot). He’s not struggling or laboring with the attention at all. He’s just having fun playing football. He knew this was going to happen, which is a marvelous mentality and makeup, so that when he got the chance, he’s assumed it, and it’s been seamless. There’s been no bumps. He’s just rolling.

“And if we need to throw it 50 times, he’ll throw it 50 times. I love the way it’s going.”

When looking at Smith’s day on Sunday, which saw him complete 67.6% of his passes for 212 yards and two scores, Carroll said his quarterback could have had a “monster” game.

“Our guys missed a couple of opportunities … He could have five touchdowns easily yesterday while not doing anything different,” Carroll said.

Smith is thriving as one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks and a potential MVP candidate, so why did it take from 2014 until now for him to get another starting opportunity?

“Let me take a shot at this. Geno’s hard-headed. He’s a hardline guy. He thinks tough and might not have adapted to the challenges early on. He does get affected by stuff. He gets (angry) and he’s got a temper about him that makes him competitive and all that,” Carroll said. “And maybe in the earlier days, he wasn’t able to utilize that as well as he does now. Now he feeds off it. And it’s because he’s a great competitor, but it might have been misinterpreted maybe. I don’t know. And so then maybe they missed the glorious ability he has.”

What’s really stood out in Smith’s game is his accuracy. He’s completed 72.6% of his passes, far and away the best in the NFL. As Carroll pointed out on Monday, that’s been the case dating back to the Seahawks’ first preseason game.

“He hasn’t not been on it. Remember, we talked about it in the preseason, he could have been 10-for-10 in the first game of preseason, and then he should have been 5-for-5 in the other game and then he was 12-for-14 (in the other one),” he said. “It was stupid numbers. He was just doing his thing. He’s so marvelously sticking with the reads and the concepts. He’s doing it just like textbook.”

Listen to the full Pete Carroll Show at this link or in the player below.

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