Gino Smith will enter the 2022 season as the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll named Smith the starter for the first week of the regular season after the team’s preseason loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Friday night.
Smith appeared to be the front-runner in the quarterback game against Drew Lock, and Carroll announced the start of his postgame news conference after Lock’s 3-point interception Friday.
“He’s going to start the opener, he won it, he won the job,” Carroll said. “We were a mess with Drew because of the timing, he just didn’t have time to bid. So yeah, I’m cool with that, so I just wanted to let you know, so everyone knows, you don’t have to ask me again. In the meantime, Drew will keep fighting because he’s going to play and he’s got all kinds of things in him and I hope he’s ready at all times. And he’s going to keep growing and pushing and developing into a great player I There’s no problem playing with him. So, we’re lucky to have two guys who can go, and when he comes off the bench, if he takes his chance, he’ll be ready to go and try to light it up.”
Smith, 31, gets a second chance just a decade after New York’s Jets selected him in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Smith started 30 games in four seasons at Green Green, but ultimately failed. Now, entering his third season with the Seahawks, he will make his regular-season starter on Sept. 12 when Seattle hosts the Denver Broncos and quarterback Russell Wilson. Wilson has been a nine-time Pro bowler and a Super Bowl winner for the Seahawks over the past 10 years, while Smith has been his backup for the past two years.
“You know it means a lot and it’s something I’ve been preparing for and the reality is it’s just the first step, it’s just the beginning, I have to make sure I’m ready to go out there and win and Play 17 games or more,” Smith said of being named a starter. “So for me, I’m grateful, grateful, forever grateful to the Seattle Seahawks, but now it’s time to get to work.”
Smith started three games for Seattle last season, To relieve the pressure Wilson was injured. That was the start of his rivalry with Rock, who was acquired by the club in the deal that sent Wilson to Denver.
Having been the club’s leader throughout the QB battle, Smith largely cemented the job on Friday’s bench.
Rock has more of an advantage in the playoff department, but as he showed against the Cowboys, his disadvantage is far greater. His second pass of the night was a poor pass to Dallas’ Israel Mukuam, the first of his three picks. Smith started, but only with one series. He went 3-for-6 from 43 yards and led Seattle in field goals. Lock’s stumble in the first week of the preseason led to the Seahawks’ loss to the Steelers, and his performance was good, but the poor performance clearly drew more attention from Carroll.
“Gino only knows our stuff, he’s doing a really good job, he understands that, he can manage everything we’re doing, and he’s good with football,” Carroll said . “He will give us the best chance to play good football right away.”
As Carroll said, Locke also had some bad luck. He was due to start the team’s second preseason game but tested positive for COVID-19.
Earlier this week, Carroll said he had no timetable for a decision, but by the end of Friday night, it was clear to him that it was time for Jaeno to move forward.