Cautiously Optimistic About Whitehurst

I know the Seattle Seahawks gave up a lot for Charlie Whitehurst. I know that he is an unknown commodity and the Seahawks probably overpaid to obtain his services.

And I think that is why I’m so optimistic that this deal will work out.

Back in 2001, I attended the home opener against the Philadelphia Eagles at Husky Stadium. It was the first NFL action following the tragedies on September 11, and fans in Seattle were anxious to get their first look at Matt Hasselbeck, Mike Holmgren’s hand-picked quarterback.

I was a big proponent of acquiring Hasselbeck. I didn’t know much about the deal, but I trusted in Holmgren’s expertise and liked what I had seen from Hasselbeck prior to the 2001 regular season. He was an unproven starter and somewhat unknown, which could have made him more appealing.

The Seahawks (Mike Holmgren) gave up a lot to acquire Matt Hasselbeck from the Green Bay Packers. There were cheaper alternatives, but Hasselbeck was Holmgren’s guy.

To acquire Hasselbeck, the Seahawks swapped first-round picks with the Packers (Seattle dropped from 10th to 17th overall) and also sent them a third-round choice. In addition to sending Hasselbeck to Seattle, the Packers also sent a seventh-round pick – barely noticeable in such a huge deal.

The 2001 season with Hasselbeck started off strong; the Seahawks won a nail-biter in Cleveland, and the new starting quarterback looked capable. Despite the season opener being a Ricky Watters talent show and not much else, Hasselbeck quietly finished 20/34 with 178 yards. Optimism was high in Seattle.

Then the Philadelphia Eagles came to town.

Matt Hasselbeck struggled in the home opener and once-optimistic fans left Husky Stadium depressed and downtrodden. Hasselbeck finished the game 9/24 with 62 yards and Seattle’s offense only put a field goal on the board. Fans who had questioned Hasselbeck’s acquisition were already preparing a new chant: “DIL-FER! DIL-FER!”

Ironically, those same fans eagerly purchased Hasselbeck jerseys only a few years later after he led Seattle to its first ever Super Bowl appearance.

I’m not sure how effectively this compares with the Whitehurst acquisition, but I think everyone needs to take a deep breath and give this deal a chance. Fans in Seattle were quick to criticize the Hasselbeck acquisition, wasted no time demanding Trent Dilfer, and now appreciate Hasselbeck as one of the franchise’s greatest quarterbacks.

Yeah, the Seahawks overpaid for a quarterback who carried a third-round tender. But who knows what kind of market there was for him? Seattle’s front office obviously saw something in this guy and felt confident enough to go out and make a deal.

Whitehurst is an unknown to even the most avid NFL fan. Give this deal a chance before running to message boards to declare Seattle’s front office incompetent.

I’m not an NFL executive and I doubt anyone reading this is either. I’m not a professional scout, talent evaluator, or coach. So with homer optimism and blind ignorance, I’m going to trust Seattle’s front office on this one.

For those of you who are still disgruntled: remember Matt Hasselbeck.

Shaun Dolence: [email protected]
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Tags: Charlie Whitehurst John Schneider Matt Hasselbeck NFL Draft Pete Carroll Quarterback San Diego Chargers Seattle Seahawks Trade Trent Dilfer

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