QB battle heats up after Seahawks mock game

The Seattle Seahawks have several questions leading into the 2022-23 season after hitting the reset button this offseason by trading longtime star quarterback Russell Wilson to Denver.

The biggest question is who will replace him: backup Geno Smith or newly acquired from the Broncos Drew Lock?

The question became a bigger head-scratcher for coach Pete Carroll after the Seahawks mock game Aug. 6 at Lumen Field.

In that game, the first-team offense faced the second-team defense and vice versa. There were three 15-minute quarters that included 75-yard drives, situational moments and spectacular plays.

Both quarterbacks had five drives, including three regular drives, one two-minute drive, and one four-minute drive. Smith ran with the first team while Lock ran the second.

In Smith’s five drives, he completed 10-19 passes for 94 yards, and threw an interception to cornerback Tariq Woolen.

Lock finished 18-27 for 185 yards and a 22-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Cody Thompson. He had no interceptions.

Although Lock played better, and against the tougher defense, Carroll has yet to commit to a starter for Week 1 against Wilson’s Denver Broncos.

“Will Drew Lock now get more time with Ones (the first team) after a sharp, varied Seahawks mock game?” Carroll said. “I don’t have anything to tell you. He was really comfortable and wasn’t rattled. That’s how it should be when not getting hit by teammates.”

The quarterbacks wore a red jersey, so the defense was not allowed to hit them in the mock game.

In Smith’s first three drives, he had a few standout moments. In his first drive, Smith went 5-7, including three completions to superstars DK Metcalf and two to Tyler Lockett. He looked smooth in the pocket, calling hot routes and audibles based on what the second-string defense showed him.

In Lock’s three regular drives, he proved to be a more versatile option, completing a 20-yard pass on an RPO play. Lock scrambled a few times, earning 5 yards.

Although both showed upside, neither quarterback succeeded in the two- or four-minute drills.

Smith’s two-minute drill began with a 5-yard sack. A few plays later, Smith led the team to a three-and-out. Lock earned one first down after a couple of completions. However, he was unable to string any momentum, leading to a long field goal to end the half.

On the flip side, Smith began the four-minute drill. His squad ran three plays for negative 4 yards and drained slightly over one minute on the clock. Lock went 1-3 in his four-minute drill and drained 40 seconds off the clock. However, the drive ended with a punt near midfield.

As the quarterback race heats up, Smith stated he was eager to help Lock progress in his career. “Drew played really well,” Smith said. “I will go on record and say I have his back. No matter what, I have Drew Lock’s back. I want that to be known.”

Lock responded that he will support whatever decision is made. “That feeling is mutual,” Lock said. “I did everything I could to help Teddy Bridgewater in Denver last season after Bridgewater was named the starter.”

The competition will be spiced up more when the Seahawks kick off the preseason in Pittsburgh against the Steelers Aug. 13.