Baring Injury, I Doubt Jackson Gets Benched

Over the last couple days, I’ve looked at the QB problems the Seahawks have been having from a couple different angles. First I showed that Jackson has been about as bad as any QB in the NFL so far, and then later I showed that Whitehurst isn’t a magical cure, but that he at least is equal to Jackson and could continue to improve and end up better than Jackson with a few starts under his belt.

The thing is, I don’t see the Seahawks making such a move. I don’t mean to suggest that Carroll and Co. don’t see the same things that you and I see. And no, I’m not implying some irrational stubbornness and inability to admit a mistake. We all know that’s not the case. (See Lendale White, Mark Legree, etc.)

What I am referring to, of course, is the contract situations of the two quarterbacks. Everyone knows that neither Jackson nor Whitehurst are the long term answer at QB for the Seahawks. Seattle’s next franchise QB will be drafted in April, and the reason that Jackson won’t be benched has everything to do what happens after that new QB joins the Seahawks.

Football history suggests that it is best for a rookie QB not to start right away. The Seahawks are going to need a veteran player to manage the team while the newbie passer gets up to speed.  This veteran QB is going to be Jackson and not Whitehurst for one simple reason: Whitehurst’s contract expires after this season, and Jackson’s doesn’t.

Fans tend to forget that players are people. Rich people who play a game for a living, but still people. There just isn’t any way that the team can bench Jackson now, and then expect him take back up the reigns and lead this team for a few weeks next season with the plan being for him to be benched again after a few weeks.

People just don’t work that way. I know we’d like them to, but they don’t. Benching Jackson now likely means cutting him in February and then having to find another veteran to fill the role mentioned above. While there may be many veteran quarterbacks available that can fill that role, none of them will have the knowledge and understanding of the offense that Jackson has.

I know what you’re thinking. Why not let Whitehurst play and then just re-sign him after the year is out? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. That’s the thing with contracts, both sides have to want to sign it for it to get done. If Whitehurst becomes the starter now, he’s not likely to want to re-sign here knowing that he’s going to get benched after a few weeks.

If you make the change to Whitehurst now, there’s two possibilities and neither lead to him re-signing here. He either succeeds, and then he’ll want to sign somewhere where he might land a long-term starting job. Or he fails, and then why would you want re-sign him? Let’s face it, this isn’t going to work.

So the Seahawks will stick with Jackson. It’ll drive quite a few of us crazy, but in the end it will work out. Carroll and Schneider have a plan. And we know that, even if they won’t tell us what that plan is, they have every intention to stick to the plan.

Topics: Charlie Whitehurst, John Schneider, Pete Carroll, Tarvaris Jackson

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  • Thoder

    Hey that was a very intelligent article. I hadn’t thought of that but, your absolutely correct in your logic. Please keep doing posts like these!

    As far as Jackson goes I think he too is going to improve. I can see Rice emerging as a weapon that other teams have to adjust too. When that happens it could open things up and maybe Jackson starts to gain confidence. That said the supporting cast around Jackson must improve as well for my words to ring true.

    I heard we have the 2nd youngest team right now? Anyone know if that is true? Also heard we have the youngest starting units in the NFL? I suppose I could vet that but, just too lazy. lol

  • Keith_12thMR

    @Thoder First, thanks for the compliment. Its good to know that at least someone is enjoying the work we do to try and make this site great.

    We have the 5th youngest team overall. The youngest teams, in order, are the packers, bucs, panthers, bangles and then our Seahawks.

    As for the youngest starters, I’m not sure and there’s not an easy way for me to check that. I kinda doubt it, since the only older vets we do have (Trufant, Gallery, etc.) are all starters. Even Browner, who we tend to think of as a rookie, is 27.

  • ZakVenturo

    It is a good article.

    I would also say at this point the Hawks are all about incremental growth, in particular with the line. Another reason for no change is because Pete is not going to send a message to the whole offense, particularly the line, that something is wrong when the goal is all about seeing this growth.

    Yeah, so even if Jackson’s future as QB is short lived as Hawks draft a new QB, switching the QB now would also be a unneeded distraction that takes away from getting the system down.

  • rideaducati

    First off, Jackson’s contract is not guaranteed for next season and will not count against the salary cap for next year if he were to be released. Second, if Whitehurst plays and looks great while doing so, there is always the one year franchise tag. Nobody knows how well Whitehurst can play because he has not been given a chance to be a regular starter in this league. Jackson has started games since he was a rookie and does not seem to have progressed. Jackson still throws jump passes, holds the ball too long, doesn’t throw to his left….. I could go on, but to what end? Tarvaris is the starter because John and Pete opened their mouths and told everyone that Tarvaris was shit on the entire time he was in Minnesota and that he was never given a chance. Now he has his chance and will blow it because he is horrible. What makes the situation even worse is that they never gave Whitehurst a chance to show everyone what he could do. Could Whitehurst be worse than Jackson? If he is worse, it can’t be by a whole lot, but I know Whitehurst could be a whole lot better than what we have seen from Jackson.

  • arias

    That was a totally ridiculous article for your absurd conclusion:

    “If you make the change to Whitehurst now, there’s two possibilities and neither lead to him re-signing here. He either succeeds, and then he’ll want to sign somewhere where he might land a long-term starting job.”

    It sounds like you have a decidedly low bar when it comes to your definition of “success”, so much so that I’m not sure that your idea of “success” is even on the same page as most people.

    If Whitehurst succeeds, and succeeds by most people’s definition of success and leads the team to victories, there will be no point in drafting a QB of the future when we already have him. If he succeeds, the Seahawks will have a middling to low first round draft pick anyway and won’t be in POSITION to draft their sure thing QB of the future in the upcoming draft. And if he succeeds, there will be EVERY reason to want to re-sign and start him long term.

    I’m not sure what you were smoking when you wrote that paragraph since the logic of your argument is so absurd.

    Maybe you were too young to remember 12 years ago when the Rams won the Super Bowl and why. Second week of the season their starting veteran QB Trent Green goes down, and in steps an unknown Arena League QB named Kurt Warner. He plays absolutely lights out, and despite Green being a decent and talented starting QB, Warner makes it so Green returning after recovering from his injury is never even considered.

    Now that’s an extreme case, but it falls under what I call “success”. Even if Whitehurst comes in and posts stats more like Ryan Fitzpatrick did last year in his chance to start a full season with the Bills, that is enough promise, and Whitehurst is young enough, to build upon and expect him to improve (unlike Jackson). And look at what Fitzpatrick, a QB everyone had written off except the Bills, is doing to light up the league this year.

    It’s hard to understand why fans, including this blog author, are writing off Whitehurst when he’s barely gotten a chance to play and claiming he’s not “the long term answer”. And how do you know? It’s not like he doesn’t have the pedigree, his father was an NFL QB so he’s got it in his blood. It’s what makes picks like Manning and Luck even more valued by scouts, because they’ve been receiving tutelage on how to be an NFL QB since a very young age.

    Whitehurst showed plenty of reason to think that he’s far improved over even last year from his preseason playing time. Pete is making a fundamental mistake in not playing the players that give the team the best chance to win.

  • arias

    @rideaducati

    Exactly. The worst thing that could happen, and I could really see this happening too:

    Charlie is never given his shot here, goes to another team next year and proves to be a decent starting QB in this league. PC and JS end up with egg all over their faces since TJoke wins barely enough games to keep them away from Luck, and whatever QB they do end up drafting ends up sucking a lot more than Whitehurst who becomes the new undervalued fantasy football goldmine who is lighting it up for a new team.

    Pete and JS get fired four years from now, or whenever Paul Allen gets around to it. But Carroll will never end up living down the fact he had Whitehurst on the bench for him the entire year and refused out of stubbornness to ever give him even a chance to play. As a result, he never gets another NFL coaching opportunity again, which makes sense since he wouldn’t deserve one.

  • Keith_12thMR

    @arias Lots to respond to here, let me apologize up front in case I miss something.

    First, I appreciate that you think I might be “young.” I am anything but young. I have former students who most people wouldn’t consider young. Sadly, I haven’t been close to anything that might resemble young in many years.

    2nd, I don’t think the Rams comparison is apt. The Seahawks are flawed in a lot of ways and even with a very good QB, likely wouldn’t be a superbowl contender. Comparing Whitehurst to Warner pre-Trent Green’s injury, I see hwere you’re coming from, but I don’t buy it.

    3rd, as for Whitehurst, you must have missed my earlier article about him. He’s had enough playing time to know what he’ll be if/when he steps in for Jackson. What we don’t know is what he might become, since he has only 2 career stats there’s a chance for improvement. Will he step in and perform at a pro-bowl level? no, he wont. We have enough tape from last season to know that he’s not at that level at this point in his career. Disagree if you’d like. That’s my opinion.

    Also, ignore pre-season stats. they are misleading. In Whitehursts case, very misleading. Most of his stats were put up against 3rd stringers and guys who aren’t in the league now. I wish he’d been given a pre-season start so we could have seen him against NFL players, but he wasn’t given one.

    As for “success,” I was referring to simply being a league average passer. That would be being a success under the circumstances. It would also be a major improvement to what we have. If Whitehurst could do that, then that means he’d have played better than the QB of 16 teams. There would be a market for his services.

    Finally, I should note that this article isn’t meant to be what I think SHOULD happen. Just my take on what I think WILL happen. If Carroll and Schneider thought Charlie could be a long term answer, then he’d be playing. Apparently they don’t think so. I’m just trying to point to to the readers another reason why Carroll will stick with Jackson longer than I think we’d all like him to.

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