Back it up: the Tarvaris Jackson & Terrelle Pryor battle


The name Russell Wilson raises a lot of questions. Is he an elite quarterback? Is the the most underpaid player in the NFL today? Is he in fact a robot, or is Johnny Five really alive?

While there’s no doubt that he will be the Seahawks starter in 2014, one of the more interesting questions is who will be his backup. That spot has been an interesting one ever since the Seahawks traded a 7th round pick to the Raiders for Terrelle Pryor. Common sense would seem to favor incumbent backup Tarvaris Jackson, but since when do Pete Carroll & Co. subscribe to common sense? Let’s take a look and see who may have the upper hand.

First let’s take a look at the returning Tarvaris Jackson. In two seasons as a Seahawk, T-Jack has accumulated 3,242 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions on 463 attempts in 18 games. Those are not numbers you want to base a franchise on, but they’re damn fine backup QB numbers. What T-Jack brings to the Seahawks is a familiarity with Darrell Bevell’s offense, experience in the league, and someone who can substitute if necessary and won’t lose the game for you. T-Jack is safe. He’s something we know works. But is that really what we want?

In comes Terrelle Pryor. Taken by the Raiders in the third round of the Supplemental Draft in 2011, Pryor essentially sat for two seasons on the Raiders bench. During his time in Oakland, he threw for 1,953 yards, nine touchdowns, and 12 interceptions on 302 attempts. That is, shall we say, less than spectacular. But, let us not forget his rushing stats; 627 yards, three touchdowns, a 6.9 yards per rush average in 2013, and the longest run ever by a quarter back (a 93 yard scamper for a TD against the Steelers) on 93 attempts. This is the interesting part of Terrelle Pryor’s game.

The last two years Pete Carroll and Darrell Bevell have experimented with the read option with Russell Wilson. This combined with Wilson’s sneaky talent lead to him setting the record for rushing yards in a season by a Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Imagine what they could dream up for someone with the freakish athletic talent that Pryor has.. I just got chills.. Pryor may not be a polished passer, but he has some scary ass playmaking ability. He has stated that he can’t catch, but handing it to him in the backfield or running reverses and end arounds would add a dangerous element in the back pocket. Eventually Bevell, Wilson, and Seahawks quarterback coach Carl Smith (who worked with Pete in New England and USC) can polish up his passing enough for him to be a very interesting and more than adequate backup.

If you ask me, and if you’re reading this article you technically are, the Seahawks should roll with three quarterbacks on the roster this year; Wilson as the obvious number one, T-Jack at two, and Pryor at three. Then next year, we let TJack leave in free agency, and promote a slightly more polished Pryor to the backup spot. T-Jack is a safe backup, but Pete Carroll likes playmakers and excitement. He could very well decide to beat me to the punch and promote Pryor to the backup spot this season, which would free up T-Jack to be traded (not likely barring an extreme injury to a quarterback on a desperate team) or released. I don’t think this will happen, but anyone who says they can accurately predict Pete Carroll & Co.’s moves is a damn liar.

Ladies and gentlemen of the 12th Man, Viva la Competition…

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  • Holden Caufield

    Liars, damned liars and ancient statistics.