Last year proved pretty definitively that backup QB is one of the least important positions in Seattle.
They went with a rookie behind Russell Wilson, who then refused to miss a start despite major knee and ankle sprains that had him functioning at around 50 percent or less for much of the season.
If Wilson didn’t miss a game last year, it seems unlikely he will ever miss one (barring an ACL injury or something similarly major).
So this summer’s battle between incumbent No. 2 Trevone Boykin and Austin Davis is not really a big thing. Still, the Hawks need a second passer and need to make a choice.
The question Seattle coaches must ask themselves: Do they want a guy who makes big plays both ways or a guy who makes smart plays? Because that is the difference between Boykin and Davis.
Boykin opened the preseason with a splash, hitting big passes against the Chargers and Vikings — thanks to a lot of good catches by Kasen Williams. But Boykin stumbled in his final two games, making poor choices, failing to read the field and throwing wildly errant passes (two picked off by the Raiders).
Davis, meanwhile, was steady throughout the preseason, capping it with the winning TD pass in the final minute against Oakland.
Davis had better numbers in the preseason, completing 68.6 percent with two TDs and no interceptions and a passer rating of 115.9. Boykin hit just 60 percent, with two TDs, four picks and a 66.2 rating. Davis had a better yards per attempt as well: 9.0 to 8.2.
“He’s right in the middle of the competition of it,’’ Pete Carroll said of Davis. “He’s done very well. He’s had good outings. This was really a great showing for him.’’
But Carroll seems to favor Boykin, who is a poor, poor man’s Wilson. After Boykin went 0 for 6 vs. Kansas City last week, Carroll said he was ignoring that game. And then, after listing his three major errors vs. Oakland (two picks and a clock mismanagement at the end of the half), Carroll said, “But he’s had a terrific preseason for us, I think, all in all. He obviously was stronger in his first two games than the last two, but he shows us he can do a lot of stuff for us. We can move the football and he can make plays for us.”
The simple fact is that neither guy is good enough to win long term, and Carroll knows it. But, with Wilson an iron man, they don’t have to worry about that. They just need to decide whether they want Boykin’s big-play ability or Davis’ veteran savvy.