Seahawks Insider

Morning links: QB intrigue in Seattle

Post by Eric Williams on May 14, 2010 at 8:31 am with 39 Comments »
May 14, 2010 8:34 am

Clark Judge of CBS Sports weighs in on Seattle’s quarterback competition between Matt Hasselbeck and Charlie Whitehurst, stating that it is one of the five most intriguing quarterback competition in the league heading into this year’s training camp.


So Pete Carroll says that nothing has changed and that Matt Hasselbeck is Seattle’s starter. I don’t care. It’s what Pete Carroll does that matters, and what he did was trade for Charlie Whitehurst — overpaying for a third-string quarterback who hasn’t thrown a pass in four years. I say “overpaying,” because that’s what it looks like now. But if Whitehurst is the franchise quarterback Carroll thinks he can be I don’t care what the Seahawks paid. They made the right move. Finding good, young quarterbacks is difficult, and maybe the Seahawks just solved the puzzle. If nothing else, they found a safety net for Hasselbeck, who missed parts of the past two seasons with injuries and may be nearing the end of his career.

Carroll said he likes competition at every position, and that tells me that he’ll want Whitehurst to push the incumbent so that when the time comes he’s ready to take over. That could happen now. It could happen later. Given Hasselbeck’s age (he turns 35 in September) and medical history it could happen this season. I don’t know what the Seahawks have in Charlie Whitehurst, but I do know I can’t wait to find out why Carroll was so hot and bothered over the guy.

Jim Wyatt of the The Tennessean has more on the possibility of Ruston Webster joining the Tennessee Titans’ front office.

Clare Farnsworth of writes about tight end John Carlson and how offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates would like to move him around the field more to take advantage of his pass-catching talents.

Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley talks with KJR’s Dave “Softy” Mahler about the new additions on defense in this audio link.

Seahawks linebacker Will Herring talks with KJR’s Ian Furness in this audio link.

Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network believes the San Francisco 49ers are primed to win the NFC West.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 39
  1. We all know Matt is the starter. We also know Whitehurst is here to take over for him. If Matt gets hurt in week 3 and has to miss a month and Whitehurst performs well, then it may be the end of the Hasselbeck era in Seattle. Maybe Matt has a great year, leads the team to a 10-6 record, we win a play-off game at home, and lose a competitive play-off game on the road. That will make the situation even more interesting (as Matt’s contract expires after the season).

    All I know is that Mr. Happy can’t come out and claim Matt the starter (who will compete) and then the week before the regular season throw Whitehurst out there (nor do I think this is his plan or will do this). We hit the panic button last year when we signed Edge (released Duckett) and Milloy (released Russell).

    I thought Russell sucked as much as the next guy, but to release a (relatively popular player among teammates) starting player and to replace his spot on the roster with a 35 year old who had missed all of training camp (didn’t sign him to start, we know that went to Babs) had me scratching my head.

    Same with the Edge signing. We signed an older, slower RB who wasn’t in football shape and who needed more time to get in shape. I don’t care if he had a last burst the previous season in AZ. He was in shape then and at his age a player needs all the “edge” they can get.

    To me, at the time, it signaled poor planning and moves of desparation. It shouldn’t be surprising the season turned out the way it did if you look at that last week leading up to the regular season.

  2. Dukeshire says:

    I think this – “Carroll said he likes competition at every position, and that tells me that he’ll want Whitehurst to push the incumbent so that when the time comes he’s ready to take over.” – hits the nail on the head. Unless Hass thoroughly collapses this season (Injuries, declining physical skills, etc…) CW is here for the ’11 season and beyond. And that would seem to fit into Carroll / Schneifer’s “plan” as I see it; the future. Not that they aren’t trying to win games this season but it’s more about building a solid foundation upon which to grow. And if Hass does again go down this season, preparing like he was the starter will only make that transition smoother.

  3. Hate to say it but its unlikely Matt will be healthy for 16 games ever again, so Whitehurst will almost certainly get his chance. I doubt that Charlie will be worst in his first season playing than Matt was in his first year in Seattle (QB rating of 71). Charlie has physical tools that Matt never had. He’ll have to get on the field for a string of games playing on a decent offense before we’ll know what we have in him.

  4. If we go 10-6, win the division, win a home play-off game, compete on the road in loss in the play-offs (where the offense scores, say, 17 points), Matt misses only 1 game with injury and Charlie was only so-so in his absence, and Matt has a TD/INT ratio of something like 24/12 this season (and a Pro Bowl alternate)… what’s going to happen in ’11? It’s May, so it’s not like there’s anything overly important to talk about.

  5. Personally, I really hope Matt stays healthy, as I don’t so far have much faith in CW’s abilities.

  6. What we need to happen to win the Super Bowl (and I know the easy answer is to say we need to qualify for the game and then score more points for our opponent)…

    *In no particular order:

    1. The offensive line must be above average in run blocking and J-Force, LenWhale, and Washington must combine to form an above average to good running game. This group must also perform well in short yardage situations. (This means Okung will have a good rookie season too… I expect him to need some help from the Baker in pass protection, but do well in run blocking)

    2. Matt Hasselbeck must play well. He needs to be a guy who isn’t going to turn the ball over very often and we can count on at the end of each half to put us in position to score points (if needed). I think early/mid year this past season, he did well in the 2-minute drill. But there were too many times that he seemed to make poor decisions, especially towards the end of the year. I believe much of this had to do with the constant pounding which caused a lack of confidence, but if the OL is improved, there are no excuses in 2010. I have backed him like no other, but if there is a running game and ample time to throw and we see poor choices from a vet, then I will be the first to admit it’s time for the new regime (Charlie). However, I don’t think it will come to this and think Matt will have a good 2010 with improved talent around him.

    3. I think Golden Tate can/will/must show signs of explosiveness to loosen things up on the offense. I also believe Deon Butler must take that second year leap and provide a downfield threat. If these two guys can make defenses worry about an intermediate and deep ball, this will do just as much for opening up the running game than improvement on the OL itself. This will also ease the burden on TJ (who we know is no deep threat) and will give him those 1-on-1 match-ups that will keep us moving the chains. I’d talk about the need for John Carlson to step-up, but I expect 1,000 yards and 7-9 TDs this season. Him being freed up from blocking to get in the routes more is going to be huge for our offense (especially with Matt not having the cannon that Charlie has).

    4. The coaching staff must be creative in getting consistent pressure on opposing QBs. We simply do not have the talent on our front four to generate enough. But we do have guys behind them who can create ample pressure. I think Aaron Curry is the key. If he can net at least 8 sacks this upcoming season, I think we’ll have a chance. I think Mr. Happy is going to put him in position to get after the QB on a regular basis. If the offense is as improved as I think it will be, the defense will also be in better positon to succeed/attack. I’m not so worried about sack numbers as I am consistent pressure on 3rd downs. I love our secondary, especially if Thurmond is healthy as the #4 CB, and think they will be fine if they get pressure from our front seven (and with the occasional Wilson/Babs blitz).

    5. Stay relatively healthy.

  7. wabubba67 says:

    If Favre really decides to retire this summer, how long do you think it’ll be before the Hasselbeck to Minnesota rumors start up? Like Favre, he knows the offense well and the Vikings really have no in-house options. I like Hasselbeck, but at this point in his career (more importantly, where the Seahawks are at this point in his career), I like draft choices A LOT more.

  8. snydro81 says:

    Personally, I really hope Matt stays healthy, as I don’t so far have much faith in CW’s abilities. — MOO

    Based on what?

    What have you seen of Charlie Whitehurst?

    A guy could make a pretty strong case against Hasselbeck after watching him throw balls into double and triple coverage all last year, sometimes without a hint of pressure.

    Explain this train of thought to me, because I keep hearing it and it baffles me.

    I’m not saying it’s necessarily wrong. But I know it’s premature, and perhaps misguided.

  9. I agree. Nobody is going to beat out Rivers in San Diego and if I were their coach I’d want the proven back-up (Voleck) over an unproven guy (Whitehurst) so it’s easy to see why he was their 3rd stringer. I know nothing about Whitehurst and I don’t think it’s fair to say he’s good or bad because I don’t know how we judge a guy who has really only gotten garbage playing time in the pre-season with and against 3rd, 4th, and 5th stringers. At least with some college players, we have seen them for ourselves and can say, from our point of view, that we like or don’t like this or that pick, but with a guy like Whitehurst, none of us really know what we’re talking about if we think we’re throwing a definitive opinion out there.

  10. Dukeshire says:

    Hass being in the last year of his contract gives them an “easy” out if they like what they see in CW. And I agree that he’ll most likely see time this year. Matt has only startd all 16 games three times in his career. When I said earlier that CW will see time only if Hass “thoroughly collapses” it is with injury in mind, primarily. I don’t wish this by any stretch, but his past and age would indicate starting all 16 isn’t likely.

  11. This is really a stupid thing to say (I’m good at this) but I liked the Whitehurst trade a lot more when we drafted Golden Tate. If we would have kept the #40 pick and we would have selected Tate, I would have been happy. But getting him at pick #60, in my weird world, was just like not switching 2nd rounders with the Chargers. It was basically just us trading our 3rd rounder next year straight up for Whitehurst. And with losing more high money free agents than we brought in (Burleson being the big one), we are definitely going to get a comp pick or two next year. My uneducated guess is that we will receive a 4th rounder. Plus, we have added Cleveland’s 6th or 7th pick next year based on Seneca’s playing time. So even though we’re without a #3, we will have a few picks later to help make up for it.

  12. I like the idea of moving Carlson around to create matchup problems for opponents. With TJ, Tate, Butler and Carlson Seattle will have good targets for Hasselbeck.

    I also am confident at RB with Forsett and White. If Washing makes a full recovery, all the better.

    The whole season hinges on the O line staying healthy and the D line getting QB pressure.

  13. BobbyAyala says:

    It’s awesome to have a media darling as head coach again.

    As far as Hasselbeck goes? The fork is piercing his skin as we speak.

  14. bird_spit says:

    oceanic – I couldnt agree more but would add, that the rookies need to live up to the hype. As a group of fans, we tend to have great expectations for these rookies making an impact in their first year. History has shone that we need to wait for the season to see if they are as special as all of the hype would lead us to believe. I for one have great expectations for 2011.

  15. bird_spit says:

    BTW – this blog seems to be very sloowww.. I assume the serverfarm needs maintenance?

  16. pabuwal says:

    What does it say when a QB looks awful in preseason games against the 3rd stringers and the same QB looks great in practice but falls apart in real games?

    I think Hasselbeck is a bottom 5 NFL QB. With that. there is no way Whitehurst even comes close to displacing him – for a long time.

  17. I’m excited to see Whitehurst in the pre-season and possibly the regular season. It’s about time the Hawks brought in a legitimate successor to Hasselbeck. Wallace didn’t do much with his opportunities even though we all knew that he wasn’t a starting caliber QB in the NFL. He’s a good back-up QB playing the wrong position.

  18. monmornQB says:

    I personally think Matt and his HassleBACK can’t survive another season. But who knows if the O-line can actually protect Matt this season he could end up being like Warner and play at a high level for 5 more yrs. I doubt it, so it’s nice that Carrol is trying to create some competition. Just don’t know what to think about a QB that hasn’t thrown a pass in a real game before.

  19. zombiehooliganfc says:

    “If we go 10-6, win the division, win a home play-off game, compete on the road in loss in the play-offs (where the offense scores, say, 17 points), Matt misses only 1 game with injury and Charlie was only so-so in his absence, and Matt has a TD/INT ratio of something like 24/12 this season (and a Pro Bowl alternate)… ”

    That is a whole lotta ifs, a lot of unlikely ifs. If Hass could do all that, and if anyone ever thought that he could, they’d never have picked the new guy up. Hass is toast, Whitehurst will be the QB by the end of this season.

  20. Dukeshire says:

    You believe Matt will be in the league in 5 years, when he’s 40? (Forget playing at a high level.) I don’t care what kind of line he has in front of him, that’s not happening. He’ll be 35 in September, in the final year of his contract on a team that is in the first season of a near complete roster make-over. My gut tells me this is his final year with the Seahawks. I hate to say that, but the reality is that he is not the future at that position. If he was / is willing to take a reduced role and the contract that goes with it in ’11 and beyond, I’d love for him to come back in a support role. But that seems as unlikely as does his chances to play at “a high level” for the next 4+ years.

  21. Dukeshire says:

    Related to nothing we’ve been discussing here, I stumbled on this video. Gibbs’ language is colorful and fun but the real interest to me is his breakdown. This is an awesome piece, so take 4:39 and enjoy…

  22. IBGoofy says:

    Good gracious! The Hass bashing here is really unbelievable!!!

    C’mon! Don’t shoot the messenger! He had Mora directing him!!! He had no protection! He had a lot of team around him that was not motivated because of the coaching, …… more Mora & company!

    Like all of you, I want Charlie W. to succeed as much as you do, but he’s not ‘a Hass”, at least he hasn’t shown that he is! He’s getting treated like God here (Is that due to the looks?) !!!! We need to get real here!!! He hasn’t thrown an NFL pass! Good gracious! Deal with the facts!!! I understand he was not nearly as effective passing as Matt was in the mini camps! BTW, Teel hardly saw the ball as far as I know…. I’m hoping, and expecting, he’s a better backup than we’ve had….. we would have seen all sorts of accolade’s
    on the net and in the press if CW had shown exceptional skills at the mini camps… He didn’t! We need to deal with facts… Hass has improved people around him thanks to PC & staff… He’s no dummy, he’ll take advantage…

  23. raymaines says:

    BobbyK says (and I mostly agree) that he “liked the Whitehurst trade a lot more when we drafted Golden Tate. If we would have kept the #40 pick and we would have selected Tate, I would have been happy. But getting him at pick #60,…, was just like not switching 2nd rounders with the Chargers.”

    Except that the SeaHawks don’t have any shortage of sub 6′ – 200lb. receivers, and Lamar Houston & Linval Joseph (DT’s), Carlos Dunlap (DE), Jimmy Clausen, Taylor Mays, and Toby Gerhart were all available between 40 & 60.

  24. And I’m sure you’d hate to have Steve Smith, Hines Ward, Wes Welker, Percy Harvin, Greg Jennings, or DeSean Jackson, too, right? I would have taken Tate over any of those players you mentioned.

  25. With the exception of possibly Houston, I would take Golden Tate over any of those players. And even then, it would be close. Tate is a legitimate playmaker.

  26. IBGoofy says:

    Getting Tate was a coup….. I’m with BobbyK & Cortez… I’d take him over the others and he’s already proven he can ‘step up’ as an athlete in the mini camp as a legit playmaker… It’s clear he’s capable… as we all know, there are some athlete’s that ‘step up’ when they have to… (Aka …Largent)… they just have that uncanny knack of making things happen… If something in his personal life doesn’t get in his way, I’m thinking we have gem….

  27. IBGoofy says:

    “a gem” ;-)

  28. Dukeshire says:

    I agree with Bobby 100%.

    IBGoofy – I don’t know if you are including me in the “bashing” comment, I hope not. I wasn’t intending to bash Hass. My comments were a reference to his injury history and how I think the team will move proceed. He can still be a very effective / good player.

  29. IBGoofy says:

    BTW…. two points ..

    1st…. BobbyK, I very strongly agree that the contract with Hass for 2011 will be a lot more interesting than this yr’s QB competition……

    2nd….. Has anyone even thought about the fact that Jimmy Clausen got mjr attention …. “BECAUSE” …. he had Tate as a reciever?

    Anyone think Tate was ever dble teamed??? LOL!!!!


  30. IBGoofy says:

    Hey Duke! Nope!!! Know you’re not a Hass basher…

    You may have said this, reality is, Hass won’t last forever….

    I just don’t believe he’s already done!!!

    We had a left tackle that couldn’t last forever either….

    But as far as heart is concerned, they’ve both been together…

    He has to prove to me he isn’t capable! He hasn’t yet!

    In more ways than just making a perfect throw, Hass, IMOHO

    “NEEDS” to be the starting QB, and that needs to be established

    early on…. We have so many roster changes.. He’s a proven team leader,

    something that usually has to be there in the NFL… give the 3 or 4

    NEW key player’s someone to look to….

    OOOOps! WE HAVE LOTS MORE than 3-4!!!! ….

    Perhaps the support is even more important THIS year!

    We have an x pro bowler and we won’t give him a chance with an

    expected, bonafide, coaching group and supporting players?

    I could be totally wrong…. but give me the ‘facts’!!!!

  31. In a perfect world Matt Hasselbeck will have a pro bowl year and we’ll go to a super bowl and win it, but let’s get real. Matt Hasselbeck is to the Seahawks, what Ken Griffey Jr. is to the Mariners at this point.

    One thing no one ever wants to talk about is turnovers on potential winning/tying drives, where the line gave sufficient protection. That is often the death knell of a successful player, the inability to perform in the clutch.

    He never has been able to throw the deep ball.

    He’s injury prone.

    I pointed it out last offseason, before the year that he also get’s scared and does the premature tuck the ball away and get ready for the sack move. This was contested at the time…..-he still does it.

    Let’s hope for the best. I’d like to see the deep ball return to Seattle; hasn’t been here at all since Warren Moon.

  32. Even numbered years have been Matt’s bane. Can’t stay on the field. This year probably won’t be any different, but maybe – if he can make it thru weeks 1-3, he can get to the bye healthy. Maybe he can get thru CHI, AZ & OAK and still be standing upright. Then Justin Tuck, et al come to Sea-town. Then SEA goes down to AZ, then to the Saints. How many sacks and hits will Matt have taken by then, and how many can he take before his ribs, back, shoulder, knee, or ? have had enough? In the pocket there’s rules about hitting the QB. I’m not so sure those rules still apply to a QB rolling out/bootlegging after a fake handoff. Is CW better than Frye? We’ll probably find out by about the KC game week 12.

  33. BobbyAyala says:

    Let me tell you all a little something about Mr. Pete Carroll. When Carson Palmer showed on the scene at USC, I believe in Mr. Happy’s second year, it took him all but a quarter for him to toss aside his veteran and hand the ball to the kid with the giant arm.

    Matt Hasselbeck is done in Seattle, no matter what all the hootin and a hollerin say, he’s done.

  34. raymaines says:

    I participate on a photography forum and brand loyalty is a frequent subject. I really like my camera and would gladly buy another just like it, but I have ZERO brand loyalty.

    Same thing here. I love #8 like a brother, but he’s recent history if somebody else can do the job better, or do the same job cheaper.

  35. I watch plenty of football and you’ve either got it or not. Carr, drafted #1 overall in ’02 could play for any team in the NFL and he still wouldn’t have it. Kurt Warner got his shot and won a SB before a couple losses. His predecessor, Bulger is now being replaced. It takes a supporting cast. They call it a team game. Warner behind a line lacking Pace was battered as has been Hass without Jones/Hutch, others. Only an idiot would put their ege in a basket of an unproven.

    38 seems to be the age of retirement for QB’s; Elway, Montana, Morino, Warner and then there is Favre = redudant. FOUR MORE YEARS!

  36. Devinc253 says:

    Hasselbeck is pathetic.. We dont have a chance with him as starter.
    We we have no pass rush.. So I dont think we have a chance anyway

  37. Dukeshire says:

    Devinc253 – Thanks for stopping by, those are some well reasoned and thoughtful points.

    BobbyAyala – “Matt Hasselbeck is done in Seattle, no matter what all the hootin and a hollerin say, he’s done.” – No sure that I understand this. Are you suggesting that his running the 1st team offense in all OTAs and mini camps as a last ditch effort to get anything out of him? Or are they simply biding their time to give CW the job before the season opener? Or something else? Why is he still on the team, then?

  38. Hasselbeck is the only proven QB the Hawks have, nobody knows what CW’s got. What Hawks need is an OL that can keep the QBs punishment to the minimum. It seems counterintuitive, but the smaller ZBing OL guys – if they learn how to cut-block (and they better), and if Hawks can get a decent run game (and they should), then Matt may have a chance to play out the season. Denver’s ZBing OL was among the best at pass-pro, even though they were among the smallest OLs in the NFL. With better pass-pro & better receivers, it’s possible Hawks have an ’07 performance with Tate filling Engram’s role. We’ll see what we see if CW takes the field. Carson Palmer? Behind CW is going to be very interesting to watch, too. Reilly or Teel?

  39. Dukeshire says:

    That scenario for keeping the QB upright is pretty universal throughout all of football. That said, let’s keep in mind that last year Hass suffered cracked ribs attempting to dive into the endzone and the season before, it didn’t appear that contact was the primary cause of his disk injuries. Now, we can argue that because of those it’s even more important to keep his jersey clean and I would agree. But Matt plays without fear, diving head first, running down field to throw blacks, etc… and as a result he’s susceptible to injuries that will sideline him. No line or running game in the world will prevent this. That is his style, for good or ill. He has only 3 seasons where he’s started all 16 games.

    If anything Housh will fill the “Engram role”. While Tate may see his fair share of crossing patterns, his YAC and ability to take to the house will have them using him more as Welker is used in NE (only more dynamic, if you can believe that) than as a simple possession receiver. Tate’s versatility will have Carroll using him everywhere.

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