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:
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Tags: Charlie Whitehurst Exhibition Matt Hasselbeck Mike Teel Mike Williams NFL Draft Preseason Quarterback Controversy Seattle Seahawks

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