The Seahawks have had a revolving door of backup quarterbacks behind Russell Wilson for the last several seasons. Once Tarvaris Jackson's three-year run as Wilson's backup came to an end following the 2015 season, the Seahawks have had a different backup every year since. That run will continue this fall as either Geno Smith or Paxton Lynch, presumably, will take over the job.
Smith and Lynch are expected to complete for the job throughout the preseason with the Seahawks doing their best to give the pair equal opportunities to show what they can do.
"I like the competition," head coach Pete Carroll said on the final day of mini-camp last week. "Today we just let those two guys go at it and kept Russ out for the most part. As of yesterday, I think they both had exactly the same number of pass attempts.
"it's just going to be a wide open competition and what we need to do is a really good job of giving them an equitable shot at it with reps, the people they work with and all that kind of stuff and that will be a big plan. It reminds me of when Russ was coming up in his first year. We had the whole thing mapped out. I don't think that they're going to catch Russ, but you know, you never know. That's what competition is all about. Their reps in particular are really going to be monitored strictly to see that we can get a great gauge. Let the games begin."
Trevone Boykin, Austin Davis and Brett Hundley have each spent a season as Wilson's break-in-case-of-emergency option off the bench. Wilson's only really come close to needing an injury replacement in 2016 when a high-ankle sprain and MCL sprain threatened to take him out of the lineup.
Lynch is getting a second chance in Seattle after the former first round pick of the Denver Broncos flamed out after just two years with the team. Smith is on his third new team in as many years after stops with the New York Giants and Los Angeles Chargers.
"Paxton's got a big time, live arm. He really does," offensive coordinator Brian Schottenehimer said. "For a big guy, he's really quick and athletic, picked up the system well. Geno hasn't been here nearly as long. He's got a lot of moxie about him, great huddle command which is cool to see."
Special teams coordinator Brian Schneider had described earlier in the offseason how the team charted every kick made by Sebastian Janikowski and Jason Myers throughout the offseason last year before settling on Janikowski as their choice for last year. The quarterback battle between Smith and Lynch is likely on a similar path with preseason games being a vital bench mark for both players.
"We're getting a good gauge on them but we're going to have to get to these games," Carroll said. "The games are going to be really important. The first half of preseason for those guys is crucial for their competitive opportunity. And game three, we'll wind down Russ and get some more work in that game. So game one and two are really big for those guys and game four will be a big deal for them too. We just let it go.
"We're really happy with the way they've progressed. They're applying the meeting room stuff well on the field. They're handling it. You can tell Geno has played a little more. He's been around more. Both guys have the big arm and they can make all the throws that we're asking in the offense and they both move well too. So it's just going to be a wide open competition and what we need to do is a really good job of giving them an equitable shot at it with reps, the people they work with and all that kind of stuff and that will be a big plan."