Pete Carroll is nothing if not unconventional. Everything about the Seattle Seahawks quarterback competition has been different, including his decision to start rookie Russell Wilson in the team's third preseason.
Brian McIntyre did a great job untangling Carroll's methods over the last month. Whether you agree with Carroll's move or not, it's hard to argue with the new reality in Seattle: Russell Wilson is the favorite for the starting job.
Maybe he's not the heavy favorite. There's certainly no guarantee he'll be the Week 1 starter, but Carroll would not make this move if he wasn't ready to turn the keys over to Wilson. Perhaps the strongest clues are tied into a report from ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
Let's dissect this line by line:
"A strong performance could elevate (Wilson) into a starting role for the 2012 regular-season opener, team sources said Tuesday," Mortensen wrote.
Translation: If Wilson continues his level of play, he's the guy.
"While Flynn has been steady, Wilson has provided the Seahawks with more dynamic plays between the two quarterbacks, albeit against opposing team's second-string defenders. But a team source also noted that Wilson has played with second-teamers, for the most part, and has produced several big plays despite shoddy pass protection. He also has converted 54 percent of third down possessions, a source noted."
Translation: That source really wants Russell Wilson to start.
"While Carroll understands that conventional wisdom normally would call for Flynn to start, he also has noted to his staff that conventional wisdom didn't call for the Seahawks to trade up in the draft's third round to select the 5-foot-10 Wilson out of Wisconsin."
Translation: We're making this up as we go. It's Wilson's job to lose despite some solid performances by Flynn.
You can question the approach, but we have to admit the NFL is a lot more interesting with Carroll in it. The same is true for Wilson. They've managed to make the preseason fun.
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.