RENTON — Shane Waldron spent his first offseason as the offensive coordinator in Seattle trying to install a new system mostly through virtual meetings and with very little on-field work.
Being back in the classroom and on the field with his players is a far better situation going into Year 2 for Waldron, especially in the midst of a quarterback competition.
“It’s a lot of fun just being out here and having all these guys out here and getting the chance to work with them every day. So you get a positive start,” Waldron said Thursday. “From a relationship standpoint, we’re actually in person with guys and getting a chance to talk with them day in and day out. And not just the X’s and O’s, but like I said developing the human element of the game.”
Waldron will be among those who ultimately decide who will be the replacement under center after Russell Wilson’s trade to Denver. Right now, it appears to be a two-person competition between Geno Smith and Drew Lock. Jacob Eason is the third QB on the roster.
The Seahawks have invested the entire offseason to this point in seeing whether Smith or Lock can earn the job. Bringing in another player isn’t out of the question, but it doesn’t seem to be the path Seattle wants to take.
“I think really just the overall command of the position, who gives us the best chance to win games when it comes to the fall,” Waldron said. “And right now, it’s just a good learning (opportunity) — this time of year, we’re in T-shirt and shorts — for them to really build that foundation where they can go into training camp and put themselves in the best positions to compete.”
Most of the attention has been on Lock, who is the younger option and was the more recent full-time starter during the early phases of his career in Denver.
But throughout the offseason, the Seahawks have said Smith has a little bit of an edge after spending last year as the backup to Wilson and starting three games while Wilson was out with a finger injury.
“Now that it’s the competition that we’ve got going, he’s able to step more into that leadership role so you just hear from him more,” Waldron said. “You hear from him a little bit more in the meetings, hear from him more out on the field in that leadership role.”
Waldron also praised Lock for how well he has learned the offense and his performance in the opportunities he’s received so far.
“He’s got a great overall understanding of the game,” Waldron said. “He’s done a nice job of really starting from a little bit of a backseat right there, just from a pure knowledge standpoint being in the first time in the system, to really jumping in here and maximizing the time we’ve had out on the field.”
NOTES: Seattle announced first-round draft pick LT Charles Cross signed his four-year rookie contract with an option for a fifth season. Three of Seattle’s nine draft picks still remain unsigned. Cross, who represented himself in the negotiations, signed a deal worth a reported $21.3 million. He’s expected to be the starting left tackle.