The blogosphere has been abuzz since Pete Carroll announced that rookie quarterback Russell Wilson will start Friday's preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs, but some of the criticism is probably undeserved.
A lot of it stems from two lines of thinking, as Danny Kelly wrote for the Field Gulls. The first is that the third preseason game is supposed to be a running dress rehearsal for the season opener.
The Pete Carroll line of thinking, and apparently the more "unconventional" line of thinking, is that the Seahawks still truly haven't figured out who has won the quarterback competition between Wilson and Matt Flynn -- so why stop now?
It will be interesting to see how Wilson functions behind a line that can provide better protection to him and offer a cleaner pocket. It will be meaningful to see how Flynn fares behind a line that gave up 11 pressures in 25 passing snaps last week for Wilson
As it stands, if Flynn ends up the starter he isn't really losing very much by missing out on 10 or 20 preseason snaps. Wilson, on the other hand, has everything to gain by seeing more snaps with the first-team offense against a first-team defense. Most important isn't if the team wins a preseason game on a quarterback's arm, but if it wins many regular-season games on that arm.
The Seahawks' coaching staff wants more information so they can choose which player is best-equipped to quarterback this offense, and if you assume that player is most likely going to be at the helm for at least the first three or four games before any plug is even considered being pulled - I think debating 'convention' is an acceptable cost to getting there.
As the post points out, it isn't like Carroll is making a bizarre, arbitrary decision based off of a Ouija board. The Seahawks coach has said a specific plan is in place to foster this competition in a healthy way and they are aware of the sacrifice in splitting reps over the preseason. Carroll believes the competition keeps the quarterbacks hungry, as he told Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times.
"To have competition, which is the central theme of our program, go directly to the heart of the team is perfect," Carroll said. "That's exactly what we stand for."
For more on Russell Wilson and Matt Flynn, head over to Field Gulls and join the discussion.