Is Charlie The Answer?

No, no he’s not.

I don’t think I can make it any clearer. I know yesterday I said that I believe that the Seahawks should make a QB change, and I stand by that. It just so happens that I also don’t think that Charlie Whitehurst will do much better. So for everyone who chanting for Charlie to be inserted into the lineup, I need to ask:


I spent the morning looking over the stats of the two players, and they’re really quite similar. Take a look:

  Comp Att Yds Ave TD Int Rat
Week 9 vs NYG 12 23 113 4.9 1 2 44.3
Week 17 vs StL 22 36 192 5.3 1 0 84.5
2010 Season 57 99 507 5.1 2 3 65.5
Jackson in 2011 59 97 527 5.3 2 2 73.7

Every time someone starts telling me about the exploits of Whitehurst, it always one of two things. Either it’s the week 17 victory against the Rams, or its the 2011 pre-season. Let me just stop right there. You’ll notice I didn’t even include the pre-season stats in my table. You want to know why? Because, Pre-Season stats don’t mean ANYTHING! 

Teams don’t game-plan against you, they also don’t do much beyond straight vanilla defenses, since they don’t want to provide tape for their week 1 opponents. Charlie also never faced a first string defense. He put up the vast majority of his numbers against 3rd stringers and guys who aren’t even on active rosters right now. I don’t care how well he did, those stats are meaningless.

As for his week 17 win over the Rams last season, I can’t and wont dismiss that performance. It was a solid, though unspectacular performance. It also provides hope that he might be an upgrade over Jackson. Unfortunately, I have a difficult time separating the week 17 win from the week 9 loss where he looked really poor. I’ll give him a pass on the games when I had to come in and take over when Matt got hurt.

It’s hard when you weren’t even a part of the walkthroughs with the first team to execute the game-plan. But that wasn’t the case in week 9. That was just ugly.

So where are we now? Well, It looks like we’re right back where we started. I’m done waiting for Jackson to get his act together. If he couldn’t get the job done against a really bad Cardinal defense, then he’s simply not going to. Whitehurst is the only other option right now, and he’s not much better (if he’s better at all).

All we have is that straw to grasp onto that Whitehurst, whose has all of 2 starts in the NFL, might improve while Jackson seem very unlikely to.  Doesn’t give much hope, does it?

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Tags: Charlie Whitehurst Seattle Seahawks Tarvaris Jackson

  • glor

    Totally agree with your assesments. I feel Charlies performance in the week 17 win was the same as TJ’s performance last Sunday. He neigther won or lost the game for us.

    The only I will give to Charlie however is that those are his only two NFL starts (right?). How many NFL starts has TJ had, and quite frankly he looks no better than a guy who has only had two.

  • Keith_12thMR

    @glor That’s sort of my point. Whitehurst isn’t going to be some sort of magical cure, but he at least offers the promise of improvement as the season goes along.

  • arias

    It’s ridiculous to base you assessment of Whitehurst’s expected performance on TWO total starts. Talk about small sample size, but that’s pathetic. And emphasizing his poor performance from his first ever start, and then the solid but unspectacular performance from week 17 you choose to disregard the obvious. And that’s the reality that Charlie showed IMPROVEMENT from one game to the next and has far greater likelihood of improving from game to game than TJack, who has had 24 starts now and shows the same flaws today as he’s always had.

    It shows a built in bias that you have, for whatever reason, against Charlie and for TJack that you only came to the conclusion that TJack should not be starting after his weak performance against Arizona. By contrast, TJack has had a large body of work for which you should have concluded he was not up to snuff to be the starter much earlier.

    Your bias is furthermore evident in your choice to discount Charlie’s preseason performance, simply because it was preseason. So what? The question should have been more fairly asked, is it possible to extrapolate predicted future performance based on preseason? If you had fairly analyzed this question, you would have recognized that preseason performance does correlate to some degree to the regular season. For instance, TJack’s poor performances in the preseason were very much similar to his regular season play. To just write off preseason performance as just preseason is just lazy analysis. It also discounts the improvement Charlie showed in his preseason performance over his starts from last year. He was superior to Tjack in every way, showing an ability to check down his receivers and complete receptions to all parts of the field.

    TJack’s performance today against Atlanta was another example of too little too late. Despite his stats, there were too many blown opportunities by TJack that could have made a difference in the game. He’s also done this his entire career, putting together a seemingly decent game one week while reverting to his mean the next. And I’m absolutely certain the Atlanta game will be an outlier when it’s all said and done, and he’ll revert to being lousy next week. All this game does is allow Pete to sing praises and TJack and prolongs his benching (which admittedly, might never happen) that any competent coach would have likely made by now.

    I implore you to ask yourself why you seem to have this evident built in bias against Charlie and in favor of TJack. Is it because you really really want to believe that Carroll is a competent coach and made the right decision anointing this guy the starter before he took a training camp snap? Whatever the reason is for your built it bias, you need to recognize it for what it is and strive for objectivity. It would help improve your credibility.

  • Keith_12thMR

    @arias Did you miss that I said that Jackson should be benched in favor for Whitehurst? I wrote an entire article about that. This was a follow up. I never in this article said that Jackson should be playing and the Charlie shouldn’t be. In fact, I didn’t hardly mention Jackson at all. In my mind he should already be on the bench. I don’t have a bias against Charlie. If I did, why would I be calling for him to become the starting QB?

    All I said is that Charlie isn’t a magical cure. He’s not going to suddenly turn this team into a superbowl contender. He’s not. His pre-season performances against 3rd stringers and guys who aren’t in the league right now. Those performances aren’t enough to convince me that he’s going to be much better than Jackson has been.

    Re-read what I said. All I’m saying is that if/when Charlie comes in, don’t expect miracles. You’re only setting yourself up to be disappointed.

    I never said he shouldn’t be given a chance.