I watched the Hawks game yesterday with a buddy of mine. He’s a Watch-Games-Every-Once-In-Awhile-Because-I-Like-Football type of Hawks fan. He was astounded by how below-average Tarvaris Jackson was playing. Here’s a typical exchange:
Him: “Wow. Tarvaris Jackson is a pretty bad quarterback.”
Me: “Tell me about it.”
Him: “And the Seahawks purposely signed him to be the starting quarterback?”
Me: “Yeah, that’s correct.”
Him: “Who made that call?”
Me: “Pete Carroll.”
Him: “I was under the impression he’s a good coach.”
Me: “Well, maybe, but he made a really stupid decision” (emphasis mine).
Did Pete Carroll stake his reputation on Tarvaris Jackson? If so, should he be held accountable for that?
The answer to both questions is yes. And he should lose his job.
Even casual football fans know Tarvaris Jackson is, at best, a functional back-up. The entire Jackson-to-Seattle signing was a Carroll-orchestrated move. And from the very beginning, people were dubious. For good reason, too. Carroll could’ve demanded the Seahawks sign Matt Hasselbeck. Instead, the Hawks watched him thread the needle countless times for the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Is Hasselbeck surrounded by better teammates and a talented offensive line in Tennessee? Yes, he is. But he’s also Jackson’s superior, clearly.
Jackson completed 20 passes for 159 yards on Sunday. That’s under eight yards a completion. Hasselbeck haters – of which, evidently, Carroll is one – used to crucify him because of a perceived inability to throw the ball downfield well. Jackson can’t consistently throw an out-route well let alone a deep ball. He doesn’t get rid of the ball when he should. His escape-ability is grossly overstated by his apologists. He is not a good quarterback and competent NFL talent evaluators and decision-makers know it.
But this isn’t only about Carroll choosing Jackson over Hasselbeck, because letting Hasselbeck finish his career elsewhere made sense. Or, at least, one could argue that. This is about investing in a quarterback – and immediately naming him the starter – who, one could argue, should not be a starting quarterback in the NFL . The Carroll-led Seahawks made the Jackson investment a year after investing in Charlie Whitehurst! I don’t mean to be rude, but what the hell is Carroll doing?
In a bizarro-world sense the only “What The Hell is Carroll Doing” theory that works is the Tanking Theory, or what a Facebook commentator called the “Suck for Luck Campaign.” The theory goes like this: Andrew Luck, the quarterback at Stanford, is such a can’t miss NFL prospect that Pete Carroll is intentionally ruining the Seahawks season in order to, potentially, get the first pick in the Draft, aka Andrew Luck. But that’s like believing President Obama is intentionally destroying America in order to usher in a socialist utopia. It’s silly – and offensive, if you ask me. Also, keep in mind that the NFL is littered with bad teams. The Seahawks could win two or three games this year and fail to get even a top-three pick. I can believe the Chiefs or the Colts may be employing the tanking strategy, but not the Hawks.
The most important position in all of professional sports is the quarterback position. Pete Carroll went all-in on Tarvaris Jackson and lost, big time. He should lose his job because of it.
[photo credit: Joint Base Lewis McChord]