Pete Carroll Says Bringing in QB Sean Mannion ‘a Good Competitive Situation' for Seahawks

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RENTON — On his first full day as a Seahawk, quarterback Sean Mannion mostly watched.

But Seahawks coach Pete Carroll insisted that if Mannion had really been needed he could have run the offense just fine.

"(Quarterbacks coach) Austin (Davis) would tell you he's been here a day and he can already run the offense, he can already call the stuff," Carroll raved. "I don't know how he can do that."

True, Mannion does have a lot of knowledge of the offense. One reason Seattle sought him out is that he spent two years with the Rams when new Seattle offensive coordinator Shane Waldron was on the staff in Los Angeles.

"His background with Shane that he was with him is obvious," Carroll said.

But Carroll noted the Seattle offense isn't an exact replica of the one Waldron helped run in Los Angeles, where he was passing game coordinator the past two years, stating "the terminology isn't all the same. Conceptually it's the same, which he just eats up."

But Carroll said that somehow, Mannion seemed to already know it all.

Mannion, though, has always been a quick study. He was a four-year starter at Oregon State from 2011-14 and he remains the second-leading passer in Pac-12 history with 13,600 yards behind only the 14,481 of Washington State's Luke Falk.

A third-round draft choice of the Rams in 2015, he spent four years there before playing in 2019 with the Vikings and spending two years there (he did not see action in 2020).

Mannion, 29, has just two NFL starts, one with the Rams in 2017 and another with the Vikings in 2019 and is 45 for 74 passing for 384 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions in his career.

Minnesota didn't re-sign him this spring and Mannion remained a free agent when he had a workout last week with the Seahawks.

"He looked great," Carroll said. "He really threw the heck out of the ball."

Seattle signed Mannion on Sunday, waiving Danny Etling to make room and leaving the Seahawks with four quarterbacks on their roster — Russell Wilson, Geno Smith, Alex McGough and Mannion.

Seattle likely will keep only two on the 53-man roster with the presumption that Smith will again be the backup to Wilson.

But Seattle will undoubtedly keep at least one on the practice squad (players with any experience are now eligible for the practice squad). That could mean Mannion and McGough battling for that spot.

"I just think he's an interesting (player) for us to bring to camp," Carroll said of Mannion.

Interestingly, Smith has been one of the highlights of camp so far and Carroll said signing Mannion was not an indication of any unhappiness with Smith, a second-round choice of the Jets in 2013 who has 31 career NFL starts.

"It doesn't have anything to do with Geno right now," Carroll said. "Geno is doing great."

But Carroll didn't rule out Mannion making a run at the backup quarterback job, saying, "We'll see. ... It's just a good competitive situation for us."

Bobby Wagner sits out for family matter

Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner was not in attendance Monday to deal with what Carroll said was a serious family issue.

That left the middle linebacking duties to Ben Burr-Kirven and Cody Barton, each third-year players who appear slated to be the backups at the two inside spots.

Barton and Burr-Kirven took turns working in the middle alongside weakside linebacker Jordyn Brooks.

For the previous nine years of Wagner's career when Seattle needed someone else to play middle linebacker Carroll could turn to K.J. Wright.

But Wright remains unsigned, and Seattle's increasing comfort in Barton and Burr-Kirven is thought to be one reason the Seahawks are OK moving on without Wright.

"Cody's been around long enough," Carroll said. "He knows what he's doing. He knows how to command the defense, he can make all the calls, all the adjustments."

Both Barton and Burr-Kirven figure to get heavy work in the three preseason games to show the team exactly how far they have come, something they didn't get last season with the preseason canceled due to COVID-19.

"We didn't get any of that last year," Carroll said. "This year will be a big difference for a lot of guys."

Notes

* Right guard Gabe Jackson got what was apparently just a veteran's rest day as Carroll said, "We just held him out today just because." Phil Haynes took his place with the starting offensive line.

* It was status quo with Jamal Adams and Duane Brown, who each again took to the field after practice started wearing their jerseys but watching from the sidelines. Adams continues to negotiate a new contract, something that could be done soon. Carroll said Monday when asked about Adams only that he'd learned a while ago not to try to predict when contracts might get done. Brown also is known to be wanting a new contract.

* Jamarco Jones, who has been filling in at left tackle with Brown out, was tended to late in practice after tweaking his knee when he was rolled up on. But Jones got up and walked off, and Carroll said, "It wasn't a bad injury."

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