Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has tapped former West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith as the starter for Seattle’s preseason finale against the Dallas Cowboys.
Smith has been locked in a battle for the starting job with former Denver Bronco Drew Lock, who was acquired as part of the trade that send Seattle’s franchise quarterback Russell Wilson to Denver.
Smith started week one of the preseason against the Pittsburgh Steelers and completed 10/15 passes for 101 yards while adding a touchdown through the ground. Lock in that game did slightly better, albeit with and against the backups, as he completed 11/15 passes for 102 yards and two passing touchdowns.
Lock was set to start their second preseason game against the Chicago Bears, but tested positive for COVID-19 and was ruled out for that game. Smith started instead, but failed to perform against a rebuilding Chicago team that won 27-11. Smith and the first team offense were boo’ed off the field in that game, which Seattle trailed 24-0 at one point.
Still, it’s a positive for Smith that he starts in Week 3 despite the Chicago game and Lock being set to start in before illness. The team plans on using Lock heavily in their preseason finale, suggesting that while Smith appears to be the front runner he doesn’t yet have the starting job locked up.
Smith entered last season as the backup to Wilson before starting in three games and appearing in four total after Wilson was injured. He put up solid numbers in limited time, completing 68 percent of his passes for 702 yards, five touchdowns and an interception while adding nine runs for 42 yards and a touchdown. He was 1-2 though in his three starts.
Smith was inducted to the WVU Athletics Hall of Fame earlier this year. He remains as one of the most prolific players in school history as the all-time passing yards and passing touchdowns leader with 11,662 yards and 98 touchdowns. He played from 2009-12 before being a second round selection by the New York Jets.