Geno Smith remains Seahawks’ No. 1 QB, will start over Drew Lock Saturday at Pittsburgh

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Despite what Drew Lock’s coach says was the quarterback’s best performance yet, Geno Smith will remain the Seahawks’ starter for now.

Smith will start Seattle’s first preseason game, Saturday at Pittsburgh. Coach Pete Carroll announced that Tuesday, after Smith remained the No. 1 QB in practice.

That’s despite Lock’s impressive, dynamic work Saturday in the Seahawks’ mock-game scrimmage at Lumen Field.

“Yeah, (Smith’s) still going with the ones,” Carroll said. “He’s going to start the game this weekend. He’s ready to go.

“He had a really solid day today. He made some big throws today.”

Smith was the starter again Sunday in practice a day after Lock out-played him in the mock game, and Tuesday following a players’ day off. The 31-year-old veteran who backed up Russell Wilson the last three years had perhaps his best day of training camp throwing the ball on Tuesday. His best: a sharp dart of 30-plus yards onto the out-stretched hands of wide receiver Marquise Goodwin splitting two backup safeties for a touchdown in an 11-on-11 scrimmage.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith signs a fan’s football after the second day of Seahawks training camp at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Wash. on July 28, 2022.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith signs a fan’s football after the second day of Seahawks training camp at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Wash. on July 28, 2022.

Lock had a couple passes go off the hands of receivers. His best one was when DK Metcalf got behind rookie cornerback Tariq Woolen for the first time in camp. Woolen, the fifth-round pick, was the starting right cornerback with fellow rookie Coby Bryant starting on the left for most of Tuesday’s practice.

That was after Artie Burns injured his groin early in the workout. Carroll doesn’t know how long Burns, who has been starting all camp, will be out. Seattle’s two starting cornerbacks from last season, Tre Brown (knee) and Sidney Jones (concussions), remain out indefinitely, too.

“The last couple days, the QBs are really dialing in and finding guys,” Carroll said.

“Today was one of our best days.”

Lock got one series with the starting offense of five plays Tuesday. Since he joined the team from Denver in the March trade of Wilson to the Broncos, Lock has had by unofficial count 12 total snaps with the ones in practices — plus one touchdown drive ending with his scoring pass to Cody Thompson in the mock game Saturday.

Carroll said the mock game was Lock’s best day yet for the Seahawks. And the coach said the coaches consider that mock game a fourth preseason game for evaluations.

“I think that was his most solid performance...I think that was the best one, given the circumstances. He went with the ones and the twos,” Carroll said. “I really liked his poise, his comfort in the pocket, handling stuff, adjustments, calls he had to make at the line of scrimmage — all of that he handled very well.”

But Lock will remain the number-two QB for Saturday’s game at Pittsburgh.

Smith has had all the rest of the starting reps for four months.

Carroll is aware.

“We are trying to make sure that balances out, so the evaluations are evenly set. It’s going to take us a bit to get that done. But we are on it.

“This is a big week. We did a lot of switching and changing (Tuesday) so that everybody is getting to work with everybody.

“It’s a factor. I want to make sure that we are really clear on it. It’s worked out a little heavier in Geno’s favor to get the guys the work so far. But we’ll pick up on (it) as we get going.

“I am real aware of it. I want to make sure that is not a factor that is out of balance.”

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith works on his throwing passing to his teammates during the second day of Seahawks training camp at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center on July 28, 2022.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith works on his throwing passing to his teammates during the second day of Seahawks training camp at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center on July 28, 2022.

Smith said he believes he’s benefiting from the one season he got last year when Shane Waldron became the Seahawks’ new offensive coordinator and play caller.

“Very beneficial,” Smith, the New York Jets’ starter in 2013 and ‘14, said.

“I feel like right now, where I am mentally, I want things to progress and to go. But again, putting things back into perspective, it’s only a week into camp. So, all of us, we have to collectively come together, and we all have to mentally hit the same strides at the same time.

“So, it’s about having patience and really trusting the process, and I believe great things are going to happen for the offense.”