Seahawks source thinks Sam Howell can push Geno Smith for starting job: ‘He’ll battle his a-s off’

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Brent Skeen-USA TODAY Sports

An unnamed Seattle Seahawks source is of the belief that Sam Howell has the ability to challenge Geno Smith for the team’s starting quarterback job.

“General manager John Schneider told Seattle Sports 710 AM that quarterback Geno Smith is ‘the guy’ and that Howell is coming in to back him up,” Brady Henderson wrote. “But one Seahawks source said he thinks Howell has the talent and drive to push Smith for the starting job. ‘He’ll battle his a– off,’ the source said.”

Howell served as the Washington Commanders’ starting quarterback in the 2023 regular season. He didn’t miss a single one of the Commanders’ 17 regular-season contests and finished with 3,946 passing yards, 21 passing touchdowns and 180 first downs passing.

But Howell was careless at times with the football in his second NFL season, as he led the entire league in interceptions with 21. He also was sacked a league-high 65 times.

The Commanders ended the 2023 regular season with the worst record in the NFC East division and one of the worst in the entire NFC with a 4-13 record.

The Seahawks acquired Howell in a trade earlier this month.

Smith, meanwhile, had a much more productive 2023 regular season than Howell. In his fourth season with the Seahawks franchise, he racked up 3,624 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns and 169 first downs passing compared to just nine interceptions.

Additionally, he averaged 241.6 passing yards per game played as well as 11.2 yards gained per pass completion.

Those numbers allowed Smith to earn the second Pro Bowl nod of his NFL career. He received the first Pro Bowl selection of his NFL career in the 2022 regular season, when he started all 17 games for the Seahawks.

Smith’s Seahawks also enjoyed more collective success than Howell’s Commanders. The Seahawks ended the regular season with a respectable 9-8 record overall and 5-3 home record, though the team still missed out on the playoffs.

The San Francisco 49ers had the top record of any team in Seattle’s division, the NFC West division, at 12-5. The 49ers later went on to lose to quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl by a final score of 25-22.

It will be interesting to find out which of Smith and Howell start the 2024 regular season as the Seahawks’ starting signal-caller. But Smith seems like he has the upper hand at the moment, considering what he accomplished with Seattle during the 2023 regular season.

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Jesse is an aspiring sports journalist that has previously worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.