Some might call him an insurance policy, but Seahawks backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has something that even starting QB Russell Wilson lacks. He has eight years in the NFL and the experience, both on and off the field, to match.
At 30 years old, Jackson's role on the team extends well beyond the sidelines. The sometimes soft-spoken father of two often serves as a source of advice for younger players, including Wilson.
"I'm one of the oldest guys on the team," he said. "I just try to be a leader for some of the younger guys. If they need some help with anything, not just all football stuff, they come ask me all types of questions because they know I've probably experienced it. I'm like the uncle on the team, I guess."
But there are still life lessons that Jackson has yet to learn for himself. For instance, how can someone who has made millions of dollars playing football let his car run out of gas?
"A lot of people, they didn't believe me. They were like, 'Did you really run out of gas?' I really ran out of gas," Jackson said with a laugh when asked about a photo he tweeted of his brand new red sports car on the side of the road.
"I was actually rushing trying to get home and meet someone really quick," he said. "It wasn't the first time either. It's kind of embarrassing, but I just hate stopping by the gas station. I don't know what it is. I just don't like stopping."
Besides his odd aversion for fueling up, you might also be surprised to learn that Jackson is a great cook - when he has the time.
"I like experimenting, just doing little stuff here and there," he said. "More so in the off season, I really cook a lot. It's one of my favorite pastimes." His best dish?
"I'd say my sauteed shrimp."
But for right now, Jackson is focused on his play - not the kitchen.
"Everybody is looking for Russell to take us to the Super Bowl and win the Super Bowl," he said. "So, if my chance comes or my opportunity knocks, you know, I want to make sure I'm ready. You have to stay ready, because at any point in time - one play - you could be in there and you could be the starter."
Jackson, who has been both starting quarterback and backup quarterback for the Seahawks and the Minnesota Vikings (he was also traded to the Buffalo Bills, but never saw playing time,) said he is ready to play and ready to win should the team need him. While he has no hard feelings about being in Russell Wilson's shadow, he does wish it were the other way around.
"You don't want to be on the sideline watching like a fan or anything," Jackson said. "You want to be the guy. It's always been my dream to be the guy and to be the starting quarterback. If it was my dream, the way I wanted it to be, of course I'd be leading my team to the Super Bowl."