By Brady Henderson
Pete Carroll thought Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson each had strong performances in Saturday's preseason opener save some obvious mistakes, but the Seahawks' coach didn't see enough to make any decisions about the three-way quarterback competition – at least not yet.
"Like I said right after the game, they did everything they could have done to help themselves," Carroll told "Brock and Salk" on Monday. "I think they both played really well."
Flynn started and played through the first half, while Wilson got the entire second half. Tarvaris Jackson didn't play. That rotation could change when the Seahawks travel to Denver for their second preseason game on Saturday, but Carroll would not reveal the plan or whether a decision has even been made.
Pete Carroll said Matt Flynn's only miscues were the two sacks he took while holding onto the ball too long. (AP)
Each quarterback left a mostly-strong impression on Saturday.
Flynn was as accurate as advertised while completing his first eight attempts. Carroll noted the nice tempo with which he ran Seattle's offense and said Flynn's communication "was really sharp" while working with both starting and backup offensive linemen. Flynn was intercepted by Tennessee's Colin McCarthy while attempting a slant pass, but Carroll chalked that up to a running back failing to sell a play fake that would have influenced the linebacker.
Flynn finished 11 of 13 for 71 yards. His other incompletion appeared to hit tight end Anthony McCoy in the stomach. Flynn was sacked twice after holding onto the ball too long.
"The protection was fine and we should have got the ball out," Carroll said. "But other than that he did a very nice job."
The other criticism of Flynn's performance was the absence of any downfield throws, as his longest completion went for 14 yards. Some third-and-short situations made longer throws unnecessary. And, as Flynn explained afterward, the cover-2 defense Tennessee was employing prevented them.
While Flynn was mostly conservative with his throws, Wilson was a bit more aggressive, most notably on a 39-yard touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards. He completed 12 of 16 attempts for 124 yards, often avoiding pressure before finding an open receiver. His biggest mistake was an underthrown pass in the end zone that was intercepted, leaving Seattle with no points after a trip to the red zone.
Thirty-two of his 59 rushing yards came on a bootleg touchdown run late in the game. He had another long run that was reduced by 10 yards due to an illegal block.
"Russell did what he's been doing," Carroll said. "He ran around well, created well, threw the ball accurately throughout and was impressive. We've got a very unique player in Russell, that's obvious."
Note: Carroll said he isn't sure whether receiver Terrell Owens will play Saturday. "He's a little worn from the first week. Hamstring a little sore and stuff. We'll get him back in there full-flow on Wednesday and if we get a good week out of him and he feels like he's physically OK then we're going to have a chance to see him [this] weekend," Carroll said.