I don't think anyone here puts him on a pedestal. He's got his defects, and I can think of several current QBs who are better, but with his current contract, Smith probably has the best cost-benefit of any QB not on a rookie contract. And even if he doesn't play well in 2022, the Seahawks can get out of his contract with relative ease.
Putting a player on a pedestal is what you do with Russell Wilson, one of the three worst starting QBs in the league last season. You give Wilson all the credit for the success the Seahawks had under Pete Carroll prior to 2022, even though Carroll and the Seahawks improved by three wins and made the playoffs in their first season without Wilson, despite a huge dead-money weight on the cap from the after-effects of Wilson's last contract with the Seahawks, while Wilson in his first season "freed from the shackles" of Carroll was one of the worst starting QBs in the league and became a national laughingstock.
First, there are decent reasons to believe Smith will be better than a league-average starting QB in 2023. But let's just say he plays right at the league average in 2023. The reason "over-replacement-level" stats, as opposed to "over-average" stats, are important is because a league-average player over a full season produces a lot of value. And with a cap number of $10.1M for 2023, Smith will be a tremendous bargain for the Seahawks if he produces a league-average performance.
We all saw Wilson throw a goal-line interception to lose a Super Bowl, but you don't take the same opinion about him from that. Quite the contrary, in fact. You make excuses for Wilson and blame everyone but him for the interception he threw to botch a Super Bowl.
Hamburger Hill, bud. you're just throwing words into the grinder. No logic will work.
If you praise Geno, you put him on a pedestal.
If you repsect Pete and the winning tradition he's brought to the franchise, you're blind for not seeing that hes at best only the 3rd best coach we've had.
Its funny how to some, Pete is the reason for marginal playoff success, while Russ (one of the worst, recent 'elite' qbs at 3rd down conversions, reliably beating something basic like cover 2, sustaining drives, and playing within a traditional offense) receives little blame for our post season failures under Pete. EVEN though now, its been proven that emperor Russ was barely clad in skivies, rather than ackowledging that the bottleneck in our winning against playoff defenses who were only ever required to contain hoodini to beat us, was in large part because of the failures of our qb at the time, the strategy is to double down, admit no wrong, and continue to put the only proven reason we've had success, on full blast.
And, of course... to diminish the accomplishments of a qb who in his first year at the helm of the same offense Russ had access to, did things with it that Russ never could. A qb, btw, who, according to that same tribe, before last season, was viewed as a joke of a player.
I bet N Hackett wishes he had Geno running his offense last year in Denver. He'd likely still have a HC gig. But its cool, because even though he was seen by some as an abomination of a HC and OC, somehow he still managed to land a job as OC for one of the hottest shows in the league, and for one of the most critical QBs in the league - he got one coach fired and was highly critical of his last one.
And I'd wager if you called Sean Payton and asked him if he could start from scratch and could choose between Geno or Russ, ME3 would be twirling Subway signs on the corner come September.
Only in the world of the disgruntled, can Pete be seen as the best coach we've had. Its funny, because if you are in the camp of those critical of Russ and happy he's moved on, its likely you are also still ok acknowledging that with all of his flaws, he was the best player at the position that we've ever had. Was he the best pure QB? debatable. But the best at doing what he did from that spot? Absolutley. That's certainly how i feel. He was the best we had... and also ultimately a huge part of the reason we never accomplished much once the keys to the playoff porsche was in his hands. His tools were vast, but limited in key areas.
You could say the same about Hass when he hung them up. best we ever had? Yup. Ultimately alos responsible for key losses? Sure - look at his career TD to INt %.
Pete - the same. Best we ever had. How many more championships we can win under him is open, considering he's now truly rebuilding the team in his own image... again. Like in NE, there was a question about who was most responsible for the team's winning over the years. BB is now viewed as maybe slightly less the absolute cause of the team's success ( a bit unfair honestly given the number of truly ouststanding HOF players that came from that team over the years from the opposite side of the LOS). But there was a precipitous fall once he lost his 'elite' qb.
Meanwhile, in Seattle, PC did no worse than he had with HIS 'elite' qb, as a matter of fact, one can argue that the offense flourished without him and... he was a candidate for COTY. That SHOULD signal that either Pete's one helluva coach. Or... that the new QB is carrying him like - in the eyes of some - the last one did. Yet, somehow, its neither to them. And somehow, rather, that both qb and coach are just overrated and only capable of delivering mediocrity.
Forget the remarkable accomplishments by a team, qb and coach left for dead last year. Forget the obvious catastrophic failure, pitfalls and shortcomings of the outgoing qb who was considered THE reason we were ever relevant. Forget the team and FO now being hailed once again as one of the best in the league...
For some, giving all that up, even at the risk of blowing up everything we've had and are building (again) now without what was an obvious ceiling at the QB position, in favor of handing over control to an unknown 'someone' who could potentially deliver us several losing seasons is 'favorable'. Better that, than to admit that Pete, for all his flaws, and his accomplishments, might be better still than the version he was when he built the team around a player who's flaws are now plainly and unbiasedly obvious. Its just fact. Hard to swallow as it may be for some.
But i'm sure it will all be forgotten when we hoist another Lombardi before Pete hangs them up.