Jackson to push Quinn for Seahawks' backup QB job

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

RENTON, Wash. -- Soon after the Seattle Seahawks agreed to terms with quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, coach Pete Carroll verified the obvious -- that Jackson is rejoining the team to compete with Brady Quinn for the backup spot behind starter Russell Wilson.
Jackson technically rejoined the Seahawks after passing his physical Thursday, only 10 months after he was traded by Seattle to the Buffalo Bills. Jackson did not practice in the team's final day of minicamp, however.
"I think it's a great boost for us in a competitive sense," Carroll said. "We thought of Tarvaris as a tremendously tough football player. And a competitive kid that battled for us. And we're a little better than we were in those days.
"So we bring him back with the thought that he'll make this a real competitive situation."
Carroll said all the right things to defuse speculation that Jackson's presences indicates some disappointment in Quinn. Still, there are reasons to believe Jackson may have an advantage over Quinn.
Jackson has more familiarity with Seattle's players, along with six years playing under offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell's West Coast-based offensive system.
He also has been more efficient overall, although has been disappointing in several key, late-game situations.
Jackson, 30, has a 17-17 career record as a starter, throwing for 7,075 yards, 38 touchdowns and 35 interceptions. He has a career 59.4 completion percentage and a 77.7 career passer rating.
Jackson finished 7-7 in his only year as Seattle's starter in 2011, playing most of the season with a torn pectoral muscle. However, Jackson finished 0-4 in late-game situations in which he had a chance to lead the Seahawks to a win at the end of the contest -- one of the reasons Seattle traded him to Buffalo for a seventh round selection in August of last year and started Wilson with Matt Flynn as the backup.
Buffalo released Jackson on Monday.
Quinn, 28, has a 4-16 record as a starter, throwing for 3,043 yards, 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Quinn has a 53.8 career completion percentage, and a career 64.4 passer rating.
Carroll said on Thursday that bringing back Jackson was not a reflection on the way Quinn had performed during the team's offseason program.
"In the situation he's in, he's been next to perfect," Carroll said of Quinn. "He has worked like crazy. He knows exactly what we're asking of him. He's a tremendous guy in the meeting rooms, on the practice field, and supporting Russell's efforts to figure it out. And he's competed really well. He's had a plenty of looks, and he's done a good job for us."
--With starting running back Marshawn Lynch a no-show at during several offseason workouts, younger runners had an opportunity to show what they can do.
Carroll praised the improved play of reserve running back Robert Turbin. And Wilson referred to the Utah State product as a starting-caliber runner.
Turbin did not practice the last two days of minicamp because of a sore foot. Carroll indicated that Turbin wanted to practice, but the team's training staff was holding him back.
"There's nothing that Robert can't do," Carroll said. "He can run the ball, he can catch the football, he's a really good pass protector, and he's a good special teams player also. We expect a tremendous amount out of Robert. He'll play regularly and we'll have no hesitation of putting him in the game in all situations.
This year's second-round selection Christine Michael also showed a quick burst through the hole and elusiveness out in the open field during minicamp. But his next test will be how he runs when the defense can actually tackle him.
Carroll also praised sixth round selection Spencer Ware, saying he has done a nice job learning both the tailback and fullback position.
"Spencer Ware has made a really good impression," Carroll said. "He came out here to play two positions and we didn't know if he could handle that, but he has. He can play fullback and tailback for us at this time.
"Just by the way, he's demonstrated his savvy and instincts, and we know he's a real tough guy, we think he's going to be a very good special teams player. We can't tell that yet, we don't know because guys are learning, and that doesn't happen until we put the pads on. But we expect Spencer to be a big part of it."
--Seahawks owner Paul Allen was out on the field watching minicamp workouts Thursday. Allen spent time talking with former Seahawks quarterback and assistant coach Jim Zorn, along with Carroll and general manager John Schneider.
"It was good to see the owner out there today," Carroll said. "Mr. Allen came out and saw us work on the last day and it looked like he was having a good time, too. So we ended on a good note, and we'll come back five weeks from now or so and get cranking."

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