710ESPN Seattle: QB races and more

I'm working my way through a few NFC West mailbag submissions and figured this one could provide an opportunity to share audio from a recent discussion with 710ESPN Seattle.

We discussed Ron Jaworski's rankings for NFC West quarterbacks, among other issues. Audio here, followed by an initial dip into the mailbag (more to come).

Paul from Wenatchee thinks Russell Wilson thinks the media is misreading Pete Carroll's handling of the quarterback situation. He thinks Wilson has "an excellent shot" to win the starting job and might even have the inside track. He also thinks Matt Flynn could be in trouble. His reasoning:

  • Wilson, unlike Flynn, has gotten rave reviews from coaches and teammates;

  • Wilson's extensive starting experience and record-setting production in college makes him better prepared than the typical rookie;

  • Carroll has an open mind regarding Wilson's height;

  • If Carroll thought Flynn would win the job, he would plan to make the choice earlier, not later.

Mike Sando: The praise for Wilson has been justified, but the preexisting expectations are also framing our reaction. Flynn received a relatively lucrative contract. Wilson was a third-round draft choice. Jackson struggled some last season, playing through injury.

Those circumstances set different standards for each player. Flynn has the highest bar to clear. He would have to perform at a higher level to exceed expectations. Wilson merely has to look impressive for a rookie third-round choice. Deflated expectations for Jackson affect how we view him.

Let's imagine a 20-yard pass missing its target in practice. Our analysis of that pass might differ based on which quarterback threw it. If Wilson threw the pass, we might blame his relatively short stature, assuming he didn't have a clear view of his target. If Flynn threw it, we might suggest he didn't have the raw arm strength to fire the ball to his target. If Jackson threw it, well, what did you expect?

None of those analyses might accurately describe what happened. Each might tell us more about our expectations than about the passes themselves.

Doubling back to your original point, Paul, I think it's a good reminder. We shouldn't make assumptions based on what we think should happen. We might logically assume Flynn will win the job based on his salary. I think that's a factor, but not a strong enough one by itself to make him the starter.