John Schneider has backpedaled from his comments last week criticizing the Vikings‘ handling of Tarvaris Jackson. In an interview with Yahoo!, the Seahawks‘ GM infamously claimed the Vikings “[pooped] on” T-Jack for four years, a reference both to Brad Childress‘ benching of Jackson in 2008 and to the way Jackson was left hanging two straight off-seasons while the team waited on Brett Favre.
Schneider has now retracted his remarks, saying, “Yeah, that was kind of a cavalier moment there. What I was trying to say was that I understand what Tarvaris had been through and being in Green Bay and seeing what Aaron (Rodgers) went through, to a lesser degree with Brett. … And early on playing, you know, he was pulled right away … So yeah, it’s definitely a comment I’d like to have back — that’s one to put in your back pocket.”
Schneider may have softened his stance but he did not entirely pull back from his criticism of the Vikings. He said, “Young quarterbacks are going to struggle, and you have to have a certain amount of confidence in them.” Clearly implying that T-Jack’s struggles in Minnesota may have been in part attributable to poor handling by Childress.
As Mike Florio pointed out in his interview with Schneider, the Seahawks by their handling of Charlie Whitehurst, the QB relegated to #2 this preseason in favor of T-Jack, may have opened themselves up to the same criticism they leveled at the Vikings. Schneider has an answer for this observation as well:
"Great point. Coach Carroll’s whole message here is it’s all about competition. Quite frankly Charlie has really stepped up in this camp. He’s had a very nice camp; he’s stepped forward with his leadership. … But he’s a competitor, he has a lot of pride, and I think he’s doing a great job and coach Carroll and his staff are doing a great job managing him."
Interesting that Schneider would say Carroll’s whole message is about competition when in fact T-Jack was given the starting nod without competition, and furthermore, is according to Carroll in no danger of losing his starting spot despite being outplayed by Whitehurst in the preseason opener.
It looks to me like Carroll has made the same mistake Childress made in prematurely anointing T-Jack the starter. Such a move creates unrealistic expectations and actually places a kind of pressure on the player that the player might not be able to handle. The intention may be to show “confidence” in T-Jack, thereby helping him perform better, but the move will end up having the opposite effect when T-Jack inevitably performs terribly as the #1, forcing the Seahawks to bench him the same way Chilly did.
Jackson quite simply can’t handle the starting quarterback job. He isn’t psychologically strong enough to be put in that position. He’s much better as a back-up, coming into games without having to prepare as the starter during the week, a process that clearly psychs him out. In a relief role Jackson can sometimes perform well, but when you put starter pressure on him, he folds like a tent.
Pete Carroll, John Schneider and Darrell Bevell clearly learned nothing from what happened to Jackson in Minnesota. All they see is a guy who can run, who has a strong arm and looks good in practice. I regret to inform them that all their alleged confidence in T-Jack won’t amount to squat. The man simply can’t get it done. Charlie Whitehurst or someone else will be the starter in Seattle before the year is out. And to be honest I don’t think T-Jack will be very sad about that.