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Pete Carroll vows to take competition to succeed Russell Wilson “in stride”

With training camps open throughout the NFL, press-conference transcripts are falling from the trees and filling up our email boxes.

Some significant comments get noticed right away. Others, buried deep in the document, aren’t seen until there’s a chance to take a closer look at the things said by players and coaches.

Here’s something that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said to reporters the other day regarding the shift from Russell Wilson to either Geno Smith or Drew Lock at quarterback. He essentially likened Wilson’s departure to a college quarterback leaving school.

“You guys forget that I coached in college for quite a while,” Carroll said. “Guys graduated all the time. Heisman Trophy winners graduated. You went on to the next guy. You always miss when the guys leave. You can see it and you start planning for it and work and you can find success whether its Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, John David Booty, or Mark Sanchez. All those guys played for us and won all those games. I’ll take it in stride but I’m really determined to make it work.”

And so, as Carroll sees it, it’s no different than replacing a college quarterback who has moved on.

“There is a lot of developing of the players and giving them the background they need and the substance they need to be able to play like they are a capable,” Carroll said. “This is a hard, hard freaking position to play. It is so demanding. Fortunately, we got guys that are talented. Geno, we’ve known that for years that he was talented. He was playing behind Russ. When he had a chance last year to get going, he’d been on ice for quite a while, he did some great things and we can see it and we saw it through the offseason as well. Drew had a very, very good offseason with us. He’s just behind and learning and he’s catching up. But he’s a really talented football player. They are not exactly the same but they are both big guys that can throw and run. We just going to have wait and see what happens. [Jacob] Eason did some good stuff today too and he did all through the offseason. All these guys can chuck the football. We can use the whole field. We are going to bomb it and we are going to do all those things we love doing.”

Although many think Lock will emerge as the starter, Smith has been the No. 1 option throughout the offseason. The 10th-year veteran continues to hold the spot.

“We’ll just see how the competition plays itself out but Geno is in the lead right now and he’s ahead,” Carroll said. “He isn’t looking back. He’s going for it. Drew is not going to take the backseat. Something is going to happen. Jake will be there if we need him. It is going to be exciting to see.”

Carroll refused to take the bait when asked for a timetable on picking a winner. He also declined to say when Lock will get first-team reps. But it apparently will happen, at some point.

“We have to do everything,” Carroll said. “We got to make the competition show us something. You’ll see, you’ll see how it goes.”

They’ll need to make a good decision for Week One. Because Russell Wilson didn’t graduate from Seattle College. He instead transferred to the University of Denver, and he’s coming back to face his old school on the first Monday night of the season.