BY SPNW Staff 03:20PM 03/19/2012

Seahawks’ new QB: ‘Ready To Work My Tail Off’

Coach Pete Carroll proclaims an “open competition” at QB between newcomer Matt Flynn and incumbent Tarvaris Jackson; Flynn was impressed by “family atmosphere.”

New Seahawks quarterback Matt Flynn says he welcomes an open competition with incumbent Tarvaris Jackson. / Green Bay Packers photo

Although it’s hard to imagine Matt Flynn not becoming the Seahawks’ starting quarterback, especially after the club’s $24 million ($10 million guaranteed) deal with the former Green Bay backup, both Flynn and head coach Pete Carroll emphasized Monday there will be an “open competition” for the position once Flynn arrives in Seattle and the team gets back to work.

“It is going to be a competition (with Tarvaris Jackson) and whatever my role is, I just want to make the Seahawks a better football team,” Flynn said during a conference call with reporters who cover the Seahawks. “I’ve always been a very competitive and confident guy and a big believer in competition because it brings out the best in everybody. I’m excited about it and I can’t wait to get started.”

“Right now,” Carroll said, “Tarvaris is well ahead in the open competition because he’s been our starting quarterback. I told Tarvaris that this (the signing of Flynn) will make everybody better. So that’s where it is. I expect T-Jack to be better and I expect Flynn will come in with his guns blazing.”

To underscore the “open competition” between Flynn, 27 in June, and Jackson, 29 in April, Carroll said the Seahawks will still look at quarterbacks in the April 26 NFL draft.

“We’re always looking for a quarterback,” said Carroll. “We don’t have to take a quarterback, because this (Flynn’s signing) does take the pressure off having to take a quarterback. But we’re always looking at that position.”

Flynn, who agreed on a contract with the Seahawks Sunday afternoon, was courted by the Miami Dolphins, now coached by Joe Philbin, a former quarterbacks coach in Green Bay. Flynn said he opted to accept Seattle’s offer following his visit to Seattle last week and after a lot of “soul searching.”

“I really enjoyed my visit to Seattle, the whole organization,” Flynn said. “I didn’t know what to expect when I got there, but I went in there with an open mind. The city and the facilities were great. The vibe I got was that it was a family atmosphere with all the people going in the right direction.

“It just felt very comfortable. I felt like this was a chance to become part of something special, that it was the best fit for me, and would give me the best opportunity to be successful. So I’m excited and ready to come in and work my tail off.”

Flynn came out of Louisiana State in the 2008 draft as the 12th quarterback selected. He spent the four seasons since backing up MVP Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, and made two NFL starts, both eye-popping. In the first, near the end of the 2010 season and subbing for a concussed Rodgers., he nearly upset Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

On Jan. 1, Flynn received his second start when the Packers elected to rest Rodgers before Green Bay launched its playoff run. Flynn responded with one of the more memorable games in modern league history: 480 yards, six touchdowns.

“I learned a lot from Aaron,” Flynn said. I can’t put a price on the time I put in Green Bay. I’ve grown in the last four years and learned a lot about what it takes to be successful in the NFL.”

“We had good background knowledge on Matt,” said Carroll. “We knew what he could bring and what kind of competitor he was. He’s worked very hard and has improved in many ways. He is a better athlete and thrower now than he has ever been.

“Regardless of how it works (for the starting position), Matt is a team guy first and we want him to be a part of what we’re doing. We’re going to have a real good 1-2 punch no matter how works out.”

Flynn, who wore No. 10 in Green Bay, will wear No. 15 with the Seahawks, a number that belonged to wide receiver Doug Baldwin last season.

“I’m going back to my college number,” Flynn said. “Doug called me and offered me the number and said he was happy to do it. I couldn’t wear No. 15 in Green Bay because of Barr Starr (who retired No. 15).”

Flynn said he has not yet spoken with Jackson, but looks forward to it.

“I’ll look forward to working with him,” said Flynn. “I’m sure we’ll make each other get better.”

Flynn is the second outside unrestricted free agent to sign with the Seahawks, following defensive end/tackle Jason Jones, formerly of Tennessee, who signed Saturday. Carroll said the Seahawks are likely not through.

“Jason has unusual quickness for a long, tall guy,” said Carroll. “We are really hoping we can feature him as an inside. He’s got big-play ability and this is a big area for us to improve in. We still have some things we’re working on. We’ve got a number of irons in the fire. We’re just trying to get a couple of more spots filled.

“Now Matt comes in and anybody who joins this team can feel the energy of it. It’s the sense that we’re going somewhere. I think there’s a very good feeling about what we’re trying to put together.”

CARROLL ON MANNING: Carroll disclosed that he had been in Denver last week when the Seahawks attempted unsuccessfully to persuade Peyton Manning to board a private jet and fly to Seattle. “We tried to hook up with him, but it didn’t come together,” Carroll admitted. “We just couldn’t quite get it together.” As for Manning signing with the AFC’s Denver Broncos (instead of NFC rival San Francisco), Carroll said, “I’m glad he’s over there.”

Free Agents Signed

Date Player Pos. Terms
Feb. 10 *Breno Giacomini OL $1.5 million base in 2012, $3 million in 2013
March 4 *Marshawn Lynch RB 4 years, $31 million, $18 million guaranteed
March 14 *Red Bryant EE 5 years, $35 million, $14 million guaranteed
March 14 *Heath Farwell LB Contrat terms not yet disclosed
March 15 *Paul McQuistan OL Contract terms not yet disclosed
March 16 *Michael Robinson FB Signed two-year deal; terms not disclosed
March 17 ^Jason Jones DL Signed one-year deal; terms not disclosed
March 18 ^Matt Flynn QB Signed 3-year $24 million, $10m guaranteed
March 23 ^Kregg Lumpkin RB Terms not disclosed for ex-Buc back

Free Agents Lost

Date Player Pos. Terms
March 14 Roy Lewis CB Seahawks did not offer one-year tender
March 15 John Carlson TE 5 years, $25 million with Minnesota Vikings
March 16 Charlie Whitehurst QB Signed 2-year deal with San Diego Chargers
March 16 Atari Bigby S Signed 2-year deal with San Diego Chargers
March 31 Anthony Hargrove DL Signed with Green Bay Packers

*=Own free agent; ^Outside free agent


YourThoughts

  • Old Dog

    Looking at free agents signed vs lost Pete and John are batting close to 1,000 (If we ignore the Manning snub). It looks like another fantastic “building” year for the Hawks. It gives me a revved up, can’t wait feeling for the upcoming season!

  • Old Dog

    Looking at free agents signed vs lost Pete and John are batting close to 1,000 (If we ignore the Manning snub). It looks like another fantastic “building” year for the Hawks. It gives me a revved up, can’t wait feeling for the upcoming season!

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  • jafabian

    You’d think someone would draft him, give him a contract laden with various health incentive clauses and stash on on some PUP list if necessary.   The trend in the NFL with RB’s is playing the RB by committee approach.  Polk could still fill that kind of role easily.

    • Artthiel

       When it comes to draft choices, teams are often more risk-averse than with vets. 

  • RadioGuy

    I’m a lifelong Cougars fan, but I wish Chris Polk well and hope he proves he can play (and play well) in the NFL.

    • Artthiel

       Noble of you, Radio. Glad to know some Cougs fans see beyond the colors.

      • RadioGuy

        Thanks, Art.  I grew up near Seattle when guys like Sonny Sixkiller, Jim Krieg, Bo Cornell and Ernie Janet (who was on my P-I route when he was with the Bears) were playing for them, so I liked them early on…except for one week a year.  Mom did a great job of indoctrination.

  • Huskiesrock06

    I hope Polk continues to shine like he did at UW.  I just wish Seattle would have taken Polk at the very least as a FA pickup

  • Huskiesrock06

    Funny how NFL teams will take proven drug users, felons ect. but they wont take a player who might have a problem with his shoulders.  I didnt hear teams saying oh Andrew Luck has a knee problem yet he was taken #1

  • Artthiel

    Amazing a player could run as hard and well as Polk and be discovered to be too unhealthy to play in the NFL.

  • Artthiel

     Apparently NFL docs saw enough damage to say it’s not worth a draft choice, especially after the hard miles he put in at UW.