Tarvaris Jackson gets new deal, will battle for backup

Staff writerJune 14, 2013 

RENTON — Tarvaris Jackson arrived to familiar surroundings at Seattle Seahawks headquarters on Thursday, took a physical and agreed to terms on a one-year deal to re-join a team that had traded him to Buffalo 10 months ago.

Jackson did not practice with the Seahawks during the team’s final day of minicamp.

However, Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Jackson will compete with Brady Quinn for the backup quarterback job behind Russell Wilson.

“I think it’s a great boost for us in a competitive sense,” Carroll said. “We thought of Tarvaris as a tremendously tough football player and a competitive kid that battled for us. And we’re a little better than we were in those days.

“So we bring him back with the thought that he’ll make this a real competitive situation. … Russell’s our quarterback. There’s no question about that. But if Tarvaris comes back in, he understands the system. We’re very familiar with him. He’s comfortable in these settings and surroundings, and we’ll expect him to battle.”

Jackson would appear to have an advantage over Quinn because of his familiarity with Seattle’s players, along with six years playing under offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s West Coast-based offensive system.

And his stats are better. Jackson, 30, has a 17-17 record as a starter, throwing for 7,075 yards, 38 touchdowns and 35 interceptions. He has a career 59.4 completion percentage and a 77.7 career passer rating.

Jackson finished 7-7 in his one season as Seattle’s starter in 2011, playing much of it with a torn pectoral muscle.

However, Jackson finished 0-4 in late-game situations where he had a chance to get the Seahawks into overtime or a victory at the end of a contest – one of the reasons Seattle traded him to Buffalo last August for a seventh-round draft pick and started Wilson.

Buffalo released Jackson on Monday.

Quinn, 28, has a 4-16 record as a starter, throwing for 3,043 yards, 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Quinn has a 53.8 career completion percentage, and a career 64.4 passer rating.

Carroll said on Thursday that bringing back Jackson was not a reflection on the way Quinn had performed during the team’s offseason program.

“Not at all,” Carroll said. “We’re seizing the opportunity that one of our guys is out there, and we can bring him back in, and he’ll be able to help us. T-Jack has a strong arm, he understands the system and he’s tough as nails. That’s a lot of good stuff.”

Not exactly a ringing endorsement for Quinn.

So what have you seen from the Notre Dame product, Pete?

“In the situation he’s in, he’s been next to perfect,” Carroll said. “He has worked like crazy. He knows exactly what we’re asking of him. He’s a tremendous guy in the meeting rooms, on the practice field, and supporting Russell’s efforts to figure it out. And he’s competed really well. He’s had plenty of looks, and he’s done a good job for us.”

PAUL ALLEN WATCHES

Seahawks owner Paul Allen was out on the field watching minicamp on Thursday. He spent time talking with former Seahawks quarterback and assistant coach Jim Zorn, along with Carroll and general manager John Schneider.

“It was good to see the owner out there today,” Carroll said. “Mr. Allen came out and saw us work on the last day and it looked like he was having a good time, too. So we ended on a good note, and we’ll come back five weeks from now or so and get cranking.”

EXTRA POINTS

Carroll said offensive lineman James Carpenter, who’s rehabbing from offseason arthroscopic knee surgery, should be ready to return for training camp in late July. If healthy, Carpenter is expected to compete for the starting left guard job. … Defensive end Cliff Avril took about a dozen reps during team drills for the first time during offseason workouts. Avril had been nursing a nagging foot injury, but is expected to be fully healthy for training camp. … Seattle veteran players are off for the next five weeks. However, rookies will continue training for the next 10 days. … Running back Marshawn Lynch checked in at No. 24 on The NFL Network’s Top 100 players of 2013, a distinction voted on by NFL players. Lynch joins teammates Richard Sherman (50), Russell Wilson (51), Earl Thomas (66), Percy Harvin (90) and Max Unger (95).

Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@ thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @eric_d_williams

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