Smith expected to start at QB when Seahawks open preseason

Pete Carroll said the Seahawks will prioritize getting both quarterbacks the same reps as starting wide receivers.

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Geno Smith is expected to start as quarterback when the Seattle Seahawks open the preseason against Pittsburgh this weekend, coach Pete Carroll said Tuesday.

Smith was the leader in contention with Drew Lock to be Seattle’s starting quarterback throughout the offseason and will receive the nod for the first of three preseason games.

“He’s still going with the ones (and) he’s going to start the game this weekend,” Carroll said. “He had a very solid day today, made some big throws today.”

Lock played well during the weekend’s Seattle sham game, leading the No. 2 offense against the Seahawks’ starting defense. But it was Smith who was No. 1 on offense when practice resumed on Tuesday.

“I think it was his solidest performance. He’s had really good days too, but I think that was the best under the circumstances,” Carroll said. “I really liked his balance and his comfort in the pocket, the handling of things, adjustments, decisions he had to make on the line of scrimmage, he handled all of that very well.”

Though Smith got the call as a starter against the Steelers, Carroll said the Seahawks will prioritize both quarterbacks getting the same replays as starting wide receivers.

Smith and Lock are fighting for the starting spot after Russell Wilson was traded to Denver during the offseason. Lock was part of the package Seattle received in exchange for sending Wilson to the Broncos. It’s the first quarterback contest for the Seahawks since 2012, when Wilson won the rookie job.

While the quarterback was in the foreground, Seattle suddenly becomes thin in secondary areas. Cornerback Sidney Jones is out with a concussion and fellow cornerback Artie Burns suffered a groin injury in practice Tuesday.

Versatile safety Ryan Neal is also out after spraining his ankle, which Carroll said will “keep him out a little bit.” It’s a pretty good ankle sprain.” Smith expected to start at QB when Seahawks open preseason

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