Despite receiving the bulk of second-team snaps during the Seattle Seahawks first seven practices, coach Pete Carroll indicated the start of training camp has been a challenge for rookie signal caller Alex McGough.
After making a positive impression throughout offseason workouts, the ex-Florida International standout hasn't been able to re-capture momentum since the team reported for camp on July 26.
"I think it's been really hard on Alex to get going." Carroll told reporters on Friday. "He's been struggling. It's been hard for him."
Citing Seattle's complicated offense as one of the primary reasons for McGough's early issues, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the rookie quarterback has had difficulty picking up all of the nuances of new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's complex scheme. As would be expected with any rookie at the position, making the jump from Conference USA competition to the NFL hasn't been kind to him thus far as a result.
"There is a lot of offense in -- we are a very high-tech offense, there is a lot going on, and he hasn't been able to get back even where he was in the offseason." Carroll said. "So we have given him a lot of work and it's going to come."
Though largely off the radar entering the draft, McGough flashed enough physical traits on film to indicate he could develop into a quality backup behind Russell Wilson and the Seahawks snagged him in the seventh round. He possesses above-average arm strength, ran a fair amount of read-option for the Panthers, and coach Butch Davis called him the "best quarterback I've ever had at the collegiate level," impressive praise coming from an ex-NFL head coach.
It's still early and all signs point to Seattle giving McGough every opportunity to beat out veteran Austin Davis for the backup job. As Carroll eluded to, the Seahawks have "seen a lot of good stuff" from him since he joined the team in May and the coaching staff won't let a tough start to his career damper enthusiasm about his future.
Still, it's evident McGough has to start maximizing his extended snaps on the practice field. Heading into Seattle's exhibition schedule, his performance in game situations will be the difference maker between a roster spot and a ticket to the practice squad.