Seahawks Insider

Carroll likes what he sees from QB Whitehurst

Post by Eric Williams on May 17, 2010 at 1:51 pm with 13 Comments »
May 17, 2010 4:19 pm

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has had several practices to take a look at new quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, and so far he likes what he sees.

“I feel very comfortable with him with the offense,” Carroll said. “He seems to have a sense for it. He’s not lagging behind any of the learning at all. Charlie has a terrific arm and a nice release and all that kind of stuff. The physical stuff is there. Up to this point Charlie has done everything we’ve asked of him, and I think he’s confident in what we’re doing right now.

“But it’s going to come down to playing time and to see how he does, and how he handles game situations.”

Carroll went on to say that Whitehurst is going to get a lot of playing time during the upcoming preseason. Carroll again reiterated one of the reasons the team made the trade for Whitehurst with San Diego is the Seahawks see him as a future starter.

“We think he can become a starter and be a heck of a football player,” Carroll said. “We love the fact that he can move. He’s got good feet and mobility. So there’s nothing but upside at this point, but there are going to be challenges once he gets out there. But so far he’s done very well.”

That said, Carroll emphasized Matt Hasselbeck is still the starter.

“I’m real pleased with Matt being the quarterback right now and being in the lead position in it,” Carroll said. “I have been from the start and I’ve never wavered on that. However, we’re trying to make it as competitive as possible, and trying to push Matt to make him better and elevate Charlie’s game as well. And that’s the way we’re doing it.

“So it will always be a competition in my mind.”

Although San Diego’s offense led by head coach Norv Turner has traditionally been more about pushing the ball downfield, and the West Coast Offense is based on the short passing game, Whitehurst said both offenses have elements of the short and vertical passing game, and the transition to Jeremy Bates’ West Coast offensive system has not been as severe as expected.

“There’s not that much of a difference,” Whitehurst said. “You’re still trying to put points on the board.”

Whitehurst’s physical tools are obvious. He’s got an excellent arm and easily generates velocity on the ball. He has a quick release, and moves well inside the pocket. But there have been times when he appears to be thinking through his reads and does not process the offense as quickly as Hasselbeck.

That’s to be expected. Hasselbeck already knows some of the terminology from his years playing in Mike Holmgren’s version of the West Coast offense, and is ahead of the game in terms of knowing the protection calls, the blitz reads and just the overall philosophy of the offense.

However, Whitehurst said he’s feeling more comfortable with the offense with each rep he gets in practice.

Linebacker Leroy Hill again was not in attendance at today’s OTA workout. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said the team is still waiting on the league office to respond to the issue to find out how they will handle Hill’s situation. Hill was arrested for a domestic disturbance incident in April at his Issaquah home, and the team has excused him from team activities until his legal situation has been resolved.

Asked point blank if Hill will be part of the 2010, Carroll had this to say:

“I am hoping,” Carroll said. “He is part of our team. I am hoping he will be. We need to see what that all means but we’ll figure it out when the time comes.”

Carroll said defensively the Seahawks are still trying to get the 5-tech defensive end figured out opposite the “Leo” or “Elephant” position. Red Bryant, Lawrence Jackson and E.J. Wilson have all seen time at that spot, and Carroll continues to be impressed with the development of Bryant after being moved from nose tackle to defensive end.

“If we are able to man that defensive end position with a guy who weighs 330 pounds, that’s a good thing,” Carroll said. “And that’s if we can get Red down to 330, so we’re working on it.”

Carroll said of all the tweaks and experimenting the team has done during the offseason, the change of Bryant to defensive end has looked the most promising.

Tight end John Carlson has continued to be a bright spot in Seattle’s offense. The team has moved in around to better take advantage of his talents and create disadvantages with his length and speed, both on the inside of the defense and on the perimeter.

“He’s a versatile football player,” Carroll said. “And he’s a very good receiver. And we need to put him in positions to be successful.”

Carroll said Brandon Mebane will remain the team’s 3-tech defensive tackle. The team expects his performance to improve this season with another year’s experience and improved strength in the weight room. Colin Cole also remains the team’s top choice at nose tackle, and according to Carroll will take on an even more important role with NFC West opponents like San Francisco, Arizona and St. Louis continuing to focus on the run

“He’s the right kind of body type you’re looking for in what we’re doing,” Carroll said. “You want a big, strong guy. You like that he’s over 300 pounds. He understands the game well and can anchor right there in the middle like you need.”

Deion Branch, who recently had minor knee surgery, did not practice today. Linebacker Will Herring also was not here and is attending to a family matter, according to Carroll. And LenDale White also was not in attendance, and is back in Tennessee handling a matter related to the flooding there, Carroll said, but should be back with the team this week.

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Notes from practice
Leave a comment Comments → 13
  1. Tight end John Carlson has continued to be a bright spot in Seattle’s offense. The team has moved in around to better take advantage of his talents and create disadvantages with his length and speed, both on the inside of the defense and on the perimeter.

    if it happens, that alone should elevate Carroll over Mora.

  2. Great stuff, Eric. Thanks for the reports from OTAs! Next OTA, smuggle me in so I can watch too.

    Love to hear that Cornbread is coming along after being a disappointment last year. Cornbread and AC coming at ‘em from the strongside would be great to watch.

    I wonder what that means for LoJack this year. Is a 270-lb LDE really the right player for this defense?

    Great to hear about the increased use of Carlson and the 2 TE offense. Can’t wait to hear more on the new alignments on offense.

    Not so sure I like hearing that Carroll wants to depend on Colin Cole at the 1. Didn’t he watch the tapes of last years games?

  3. Tarcat88 says:

    I’m looking forward to the preseason more than I ever have. I just want to see how these guys come together. With the incredible offseason we have had, I still the the coaching staff is the biggest improvement. Go Hawks!

  4. Dukeshire says:

    Great report Eric, thanks. Very pleased to read that CW is impressing the staff and they are happy with his development.

    Stevo – Why would a “270-lb LDE” not be the right player for the under? And with Cornbread the #2 NT at best, and them now developing him at LDE, they are pretty thin at NT, so I would expect Carroll (if he’s to say anything about Cole) to be very positive about him.

  5. Tompage says:

    It will be interesting to see what happens with Lawrence Jackson in the long run. LoJack is not a good scheme fit. He does not have the speed or pass rush moves to play the Leo. He does not have the size and strength to the play the 5-technique. I guess you could play him at tackle in obvious passing situations like they did last year, but he was not effective at that either. I can’t see LoJack as a long term solution at any defensive line position. I think he sticks for one more year as we don’t have much else but he is gone after the season.

  6. Cole wasn’t as bad as some think he was last year. No, he’s not a wall that you can’t penetrate, but he’s an average player. Certainly, he’s overpaid for his production, but that was just a Ruskell special. In the end, Cole is an okay player. It’s not like we should release him and put a worse player in his spot.

    If Carlson truly is going to be used to the best of his abilities, expect a big fantasy season from him!

  7. williambryan says:

    Stevos,
    I’m not sure about the game film (I dont have any of it…) But everyone locally and nationally recognizes that the team was good against the run especially when it is considered that they were playing from behind (more opportunities for the opposing team to run) and Frank gore had about 200 hundred yards on 2 carries in the first meeting. I dont think Cole is a problem for the team, depth behind Cole, however, maybe a problem.

  8. The Hawk DL’s run-D ranked 11th, but the interior of the DL ranked 4th: http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/dl
    and that’s where 43% of the opponents runs went – L & R ‘A’ & ‘B’ gaps. SF ran there 73% of the time.

    In the Wk 2 game @ SF, Mebane didn’t play the entire game – neither did L.Hill, and Lofa went out with injury in the 1st quarter. That might have been part of the problem stopping Gore’s 2 interior runs for TDs.

  9. Didn’t LoJac play LDE for (Com)pete Carroll at SC?

  10. Dukeshire says:

    klm008 – Yes.

  11. ruminator1 says:

    and now the entrance of j.p. Losman. competition? does he have a chance to stick?

  12. With all the great DT talent drafted this this i suspect that some pretty decent run stuffers will have to be let go by other teams before the season starts and the hawks will be upgrading some positions at that time.

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