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Bump & Stacy: How Seahawks can use Drew Lock to push Geno Smith

Nov 8, 2023, 8:51 AM

Seattle Seahawks...

Drew Lock of the Seattle Seahawks warms up prior on Nov. 5, 2023. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

(Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks’ offense has some problems.

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They’re 20th in yards per game, 23rd in rushing yards per game, 19th in the pass, and an abysmal 30th on third down.

When an offense struggles, fingers naturally point to the quarterback. That becomes especially easy when it comes to Geno Smith, who has six interceptions and eight total turnovers in his last four games.

Surrounding Smith is additional context for offensive struggles: an offensive line that hasn’t been whole since the first half of Week 1, a run game that can’t get going consistently, and miscommunication issues.

Still, throw picks and play an underwhelming brand of football, and you’ll hear calls for change.

Michael Bumpus isn’t calling for a change at quarterback right now. Rather, he pointed out that competition is a core belief not just for football players in general, but in particular for Pete Carroll’s program with the Seahawks. And the competition needs to be turned up, but perhaps not for the reason you think:

“Drew has to be in the conversation now,” Bump said. “I’m not saying Drew takes over. I’m not saying you go into the meeting room and it’s Geno or Drew. But you give him more reps. You do something to push Geno to that place over a year ago when he was competing for that job.

“It’s not all on Geno, but Drew needs to be in the conversation, just like Charbonnet needs to be in the conversation, just like anybody on that offense line needs to be in the conversation. When you lose 37-3, anything’s up for grabs. Fundamentally, you don’t change who you are. But you’ve got to switch something up. I’m not saying bench Geno. But I like the way Geno operates when he feels like his back is against the wall and he has to compete for something.

“Now, I don’t think (switching to Lock) is going to be better. All I’m saying it mentally, what can you do to tap into a place that Smith hasn’t been in a while? But you’ve got to make sure everything else around him is working as well, including some playcalling stuff that had me scratching my head.”

Do I think Lock will come in and save this team? No, I don’t. Seattle’s offensive woes extend beyond the quarterback. Bump’s argument is that a change in mentality for the starter could boost numbers.

Even without that, Smith and Seattle’s offense have a chance to perform better in their next two contests.

There’s a real opportunity, though it goes without saying that pressure makes that improvement a necessity. The Washington Commanders are allowing the third-most points per game and are 28th in yards allowed per game.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

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• Seahawks have missed chances to prove they’re among NFL’s best
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• The Next Day: Should Seattle Seahawks fans hit panic button?
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