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Geno Smith shifts from knowing his role as a backup to competing for starting job

Chris Simms reveals No. 33 and 34 on his quarterback list, discussing what Tyler Huntley brings as a backup and explaining why he ranks Geno Smith above Drew Lock in Seattle.

Despite Pete Carroll’s commitment to competition, the Seahawks didn’t want a backup quarterback who aspired to challenge Russell Wilson.

They had such a backup in Geno Smith. Now that Wilson is gone, Smith is trying to become the new No. 1.

On Thursday, offensive coordinator Shane Waldron was asked to describe the difference in Geno the backup and Geno the potential starter.

“Just the natural way that the room works when you’re the backup,” Waldron said. “One of the good qualities in a good backup is being able to be fully supportive of the starter. And I thought Geno did such an excellent job of really adapting to that role. But now that it’s the competition that we’ve got going, he’s able to step more in that leadership role. So you just hear from him more, you hear from him a little bit more in the meetings, hear from him more out on the field in that leadership role. . . . I think the voice of leadership for Geno is something that you see more and more now, with just the way the roles are with our offense.”

Waldron also said that Smith’s experience is emerging in his approach.

“He’s got full command of the offense, knows everything that’s going on, and understands all the concepts, all the run game concepts as well,” Waldron said. “So, he’s done a great job. He did a great job when he was in that No. 2 role, of not just being in the role, but preparing every day like he was going to be the starter that week.”

Smith played well last year when he was unexpectedly pressed into service. If he wins the starting job over Drew Lock, Smith will be even more prepared when the time comes to play.