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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Smith expected to start in QB when Seahawks open preseason

Renton, Wash. ( Associated Press) — Geno Smith is expected to get a start at quarterback when the Seattle Seahawks open the preseason against Pittsburgh this weekend, coach Pete Carroll said Tuesday.

Smith has been leading the competition with Drew Locke to be Seattle’s starting QB throughout the offseason and will be cleared for the first of three preseason games.

“He’s still going with the guys (and) he’s going to start the game this weekend,” Carroll said. “He had a great day today, he did some big throws today.”

Locke played well during Seattle’s mock game over the weekend, leading to a No. 2 offense against the Seahawks’ opening defense. But it was Smith who was with the No. 1 offense when Tuesday resumed.

“I think it was his most solid performance. He also had really good days, but I think he was the best under the circumstances,” said Carroll. “I really like his poise and his comfort in the pocket, stuff Loved handling, adjusting, making calls, handling all that he had to do on the line of scuffle very well.”

Despite Smith getting the call as a starter against the Steelers, Carroll said the Seahawks would prioritize getting both quarterbacks equal reps with starting wide receivers.

Smith and Locke are competing for early clearance after Russell Wilson is traded to Denver in the off-season. The lock was part of a package Seattle received in exchange for sending Wilson to the Broncos. This is the first quarterback competition for the Seahawks since 2012, when Wilson won a job as a rookie.

While the quarterback has been the primary focus, Seattle is suddenly becoming thin on the spot in the secondary. Cornerback Sydney Jones has been ruled out with an injury and fellow cornerback Artie Burns suffered a groin injury during practice on Tuesday.

Versatile safety Ryan Neal is also out after suffering a high ankle sprain, which Carroll said will keep him out, “a little bit. It’s a pretty good ankle sprain.”


More Associated Press NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/ Associated Press_NFL

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