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New Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald reveals if there will be a QB battle between Geno Smith and Sam Howell

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USATSI

Geno Smith and Sam Howell have been given their marching orders. When asked about a possible position battle, new Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald said he doesn’t envision one taking place between the two quarterbacks. 

“I’ve talked to Geno about it. Very confident in Geno,” Macdonald said, via NFL Media. “Geno’s going to be our starter. Sam knows he’s going to be our backup, but Sam is a great young player, and he’s got a really bright future that we believe in.”

The situation in Seattle is similar to the one that exists in Pittsburgh between Russell Wilson and Justin Fields. Wilson has reportedly already been given the keys to the offense, but Fields could be a longterm option for the Steelers if things go according to plan. 

There are a few notable differences between Seattle and Pittsburgh’s situations. Wilson has the cache of being a nine-time Pro Bowler and former Super Bowl champ. While Smith doesn’t have the same bonfires, he does have an advantage over Howell in that he is coming off two of his best seasons. Smith has been named to the Pro Bowl each of the last two seasons. He completed a league-high 69.8% of his passes in 2022 while helping Seattle reach the playoffs. 

Wilson’s backup, Fields, is a former first-round pick. Conversely, Howell is a former fifth-round pick who like Fields has a losing record as an NFL starting quarterback. During his final year in Washington, Howell led the NFL in attempts but also paced the league with 21 interceptions. 

Smith should be considered the starter, but no one’s job is fully safe in the NFL. Just ask Wilson, who is looking to revise his career in Pittsburgh after being benched during the end of his two-year run in Denver. 

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