By Jim Moore
Can we be honest with each other? Really honest? Tarvaris Jackson will not take the Seahawks to the Super Bowl or win the Super Bowl in your lifetime, my lifetime or his lifetime.
Now that we have that out of the way, we can praise him for his toughness and for being a better quarterback than most of us thought he would be when the Seahawks signed him as a free agent.
Tarvaris Jackson won't be leading the Seahawks to the Super Bowl anytime soon, says Jim Moore. (AP)
I still remember the day when John Clayton told us on "The Kevin Calabro Show" that the Seahawks were interested in acquiring Jackson. I'm not sure whose jaw hit the floor first, Calabro's or mine.
Jackson was an average quarterback at best in Minnesota. And frankly, if you look at the statistics, he is an average quarterback here. If you want to be hyper-critical, he's more below average than he is above average.
Jackson has thrown 12 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions, which is not the kind of perfect symmetry you want from your NFL quarterback. The only quarterbacks with worse ratios are Rex Grossman (13 TD's, 18 INT's), Carson Palmer (10 TD's, 13 INT's), and Curtis Painter (6 TD's, 9 INT's).
For all of the grief that Tim Tebow gets, he's thrown 11 touchdown passes and only two interceptions.
But forget that stuff and answer me this: Do you think Jackson is talented enough to lead the Seahawks to a come-from-behind win in the last two minutes?
I'd say he's talented enough to do it once in awhile, though I'm hard-pressed to recall a single time that he's done it in Seattle. I do recall a time when he didn't - against Washington, trailing 23-17, and the Seahawks couldn't even get a first down.
Jackson makes some spectacular throws. He also makes a lot of good throws. And like most quarterbacks, he makes some bad throws too. What troubles me are his occasional glitches. You could excuse his mistakes if he were a rookie, but he's not.
That fumble in the end zone against the Bears was something that just can't happen if you're going to be a Super Bowl team. A better quarterback would have thrown that ball away long before there's any chance of getting it stripped.
At the time, I flashed onto a comment that Jon Gruden made about Jackson during the Monday night broadcast last week, something about the clock in a quarterback's head, and that Jackson's wasn't ticking or he couldn't hear it. Point being, you've got to have an inner voice telling you when you need to get rid of it or get out of the pocket before you're demolished. Jackson, at times, is lacking in this department.
It can be argued that if the 49ers can be a Super Bowl contender with Alex Smith at quarterback, the Seahawks can also be contenders with Jackson. In most areas, their numbers are comparable - Smith has completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,752 yards (17th in passing). While Jackson has completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,706 yards (19th in passing). The biggest difference is that Smith has thrown 16 touchdowns with only five interceptions.
And we don't know yet if this Super Bowl formula will work with a game-manager like Smith. We're about to find out. If San Francisco somehow gets past Drew Brees and the Saints, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers and Tom Brady and the Patriots, then I'll buy into this belief that the Seahawks can do it with Jackson.
Until then, I can't see it happening. What I can see happening is this - a 10-6 record next year with Jackson at quarterback. The Seahawks might make a little noise in the playoffs but not enough to go all the way.
What I'd rather see happening is this - packaging two first-round choices and a second or whatever it takes to get the No. 2 or No. 3 pick in the draft so you can grab Matt Barkley or Robert Griffin III. And then I'd throw one of those kids into the fire right away, just like Cincinnati did with Andy Dalton, and if it means that you're 6-10 or 7-9 next year, oh well, call it a necessary season of growing pains building toward a Super Bowl in 2013.
With the development of this team, there aren't as many crucial needs as there were last year, so if it means sacrificing some good draft picks to get a better quarterback, hell's bells, let's hope they do it.
As it stands now, the Seahawks have Super Bowl potential at every other position, but not at quarterback.
The Go 2 Guy also writes for his website www.jimmoorethego2guy.com. He appears weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m. on "The Kevin Calabro Show." You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.