There Is No Quarterback Controversy in Seattle… Yet

The Seahawks took a lot of criticism over the offseason after trading for Charlie Whitehurst. After giving up valuable real estate in the second round of this year’s draft and a third-round pick in 2011, the majority thought the Seahawks were fleeced.

Willing to give Seattle’s new front office an opportunity to prove their ability to evaluate talent, however, I tried to remain optimistic.

It is quite obvious that Whitehurst is capable of competing in the National Football League. He throws a beautiful ball – powerful and accurate – and stands confident in the pocket under pressure. His physical attributes are evident, but as an unproven, undeveloped quarterback, a lot of fans questioned his potential (and value).

On Saturday against the Tennessee Titans, Whitehurst completed 14 of 22 passes for 214 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His only miscue, an erroneously thrown interception, could be blamed on a miscommunication with wide receiver Mike Williams. Whitehurst finished the night with a quarterback rating of 107.0.

Whitehurst’s performance was probably the most notable story of the first preseason game. In fact, callers have flooded local radio stations praising Whitehurst and questioning the future of Matt Hasselbeck.

I’m going to assume the opinion that Whitehurst should start over Hasselbeck because of one preseason performance has only been adopted by a vocal minority.

Hasselbeck only completed 4 of 10 passes for 26 yards against Tennessee. With a quarterback rating of 47.9, he obviously wasn’t playing his best. Seattle was unable to establish much offensively while Hasselbeck was on the field.

But based on one performance, we shouldn’t get carried away. Matt Hasselbeck has clearly outperformed Charlie Whitehurst through minicamps and training camp, and will be the starting quarterback in the season opener.

Whitehurst had an impressive showing in an exhibition game versus a preseason defense and backup players. The same preseason defenses have made quarterbacks like Glenn Foley, Brock Huard, Mike Teel, and others look just as impressive.

Of course, several folks wanted to see Mike Teel get an opportunity to play in Seattle before he was cut. Now, Teel is playing for his third team in nearly as many months.

Whitehurst was impressive on Saturday, but that shouldn’t create any sort of quarterback controversy in Seattle. Matt Hasselbeck is the starting quarterback this season.

If anything, it should prove that Whitehurst does have the tools to compete in the National Football League. With any luck and good coaching, he may develop into a good starting quarterback for the Seahawks.

Starting positions typically aren’t won and lost based on a few exhibition games. Matt Hasselbeck has proven he is the team’s best quarterback right now, despite one poor showing in the preseason.

I’m impressed and pleased that Whitehurst performed so well against live opponents, but let’s reserve judgment for now.

Shaun Dolence: [email protected]
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Topics: Charlie Whitehurst, Exhibition, Matt Hasselbeck, Mike Teel, Mike Williams, NFL Draft, Preseason, Quarterback Controversy, Seattle Seahawks

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  • Mr. Hoxfan

    He’s got the arm, no doubt. His accuracy was very very very good, that’s what I was most impressed with. It’s his feet that worry me for now. Wide base, flat footed a lot of the time, yet still accurate and strong-armed (which is a good sign). I don’t recall any point where he had more than a half field or one man read. At no point did he have to reset his feet and go to his 3rd or 4th read, that’s when the footwork comes into play. The TD to williams was a great audible but that was a one man read, the TD to McCoy was a flat/curl defender read and the long one to butler was an easy wheel read. Bates did the right thing, set him up perfectly to succeed in a preseason game. Matt’s just as accurate, doesn’t have the big arm, BUT the footwork is perfect from his days with Holmgren and the west coast.

    Whitehurst is physically gifted (just like Ryan Leaf was…nooooooooo..I didn’t really say that, did I? I soooooo don’t mean that.), but he’s not an NFL quarterback yet.

  • Hawkosaurus Rex

    Whitehurst WILL be the starting QB by mid-season. Mark this page! Sorry to see Matt go, but the NFL is the NFL.

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