Mobility of Seahawks quarterback to be tested in 2011: A fan’s take

Maybe the Seattle Seahawks didn't replace Matt Hasselbeck(notes) with Tarvaris Jackson(notes) because they thought he was a better quarterback. Maybe they got him simply because he is a better runner. Now that Russell Okung(notes) has ankle issues (again), the Seahawks might have trouble protecting their quarterback from the left side and Jackson (or Whitehurst) may be on the run.

Carroll is optimistic about Okung's return, but I'm guessing that most of the fan base is not convinced. Okung missed a lot of his rookie campaign with these types of injuries, and hurting his ankle on the very first series is not a good sign. Will Okung really return and play a full season, or will the left tackle position be a revolving door?

Tarvaris Jackson is regarded as an athletic quarterback that has the capacity to run, though his running statistics are not exactly overwhelming. His best running year was 2007, when he ran for 260 yards and averaged a solid 4.8 yards per attempt. Jackson does have a career average of 4.5 per attempt. To put that in perspective, Michael Vick's(notes) career average per attempt is 7.1 yards per carry. Of course, Matt Hasselbeck has a career average of 6.7 yards per run, so that may work against the theory that Matt is less mobile. Granted, Hasselbeck was certainly more mobile earlier in his career.

Before getting too excited about the mobility of quarterbacks, fans have to remember that the NFL is not exactly a league that is built around running quarterbacks. Linebackers and defensive ends are just too fast in the pros. If the NFL were built around running QBs, Denver would be much more excited about Tim Tebow(notes). Mobility in the NFL is not necessarily about running. Rather, the mobile signal caller may simply be the player who can sidestep one or two pass rushers or step up in the pocket and make a pass before the pocket collapses.

Will the Seahawk's QBs be on the run this year? Possibly. Hopefully, it will not be because they are running for their lives.


The author lives in Los Angeles, but grew up in Seattle and still roots faithfully for the Seahawks. He has been rooting for the Hawks since the old school days of Jim Zorn and Steve Largent.

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Updated Monday, Aug 15, 2011