Seahawks Insider

Carroll annoints Tarvaris Jackson the starter

Post by Eric Williams on July 30, 2011 at 12:07 pm with 22 Comments »
July 30, 2011 12:42 pm

We talked to Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll this morning for the first time and he dropped this bomb on us – free agent pick-up Tarvaris Jackson will be the team’s starting quarterback for the team’s regular season opener at San Francisco.

So much for competition.

Carroll said because of the compressed time schedule and the fact that Jackson already know the passing game from is time with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell in Minnesota, Jackson gives the team the best chance to hit the ground running.

Also, Jackson is most familiar with Seattle’s lucrative, free agent addition Sidney Rice from their time together in Minnesota.

New Seattle Seahawks Tarvaris Jackson, left, and Sidney Rice, right talk with Deon Butler.

“If you can imagine, we’ll only have six days until we play our first game,” said Carroll, referring to the fact that free agents can’t practice until the league year begins on Thursday, something Carroll railed against at several point or our conversation today. “So I think from our mindset it’s a great sense of security that we have made this move like we have. Tarvaris has got a great future. He gets a brand new chance to play quarterback. A brand new situation, and one that we think we’re going to bring out the very best he has to offer.

“This entire program has always been about competition. It’s the central theme in this program. In this situation I think to make it the most competitive for our team, Tarvaris needs to be our starter right now. He comes in as a starter. He’s going to own that position until Charlie and the next couple fellas that are playing that spot get a chance to catch up.”

So without Jackson taking a practice snap, he comes in a Seattle’s quarterback. This appears to be the end of Whitehurst’s opportunity to become this team’s quarterback of the future.

The Seahawks swapped second round picks in 2010 and gave up a third rounder in this year’s draft to secure Whitehurst in a trade with San Diego. Whitehurst is due to make $4 million in non-guaranteed salary this year, if he’s on the team’s final, 53-man roster.

So has Carroll given up on Whitehurst? And in hindsight, did the Seahawks make a bad decision?

“In my mind nothing’s changed,” Carroll said. “This is just a competitive decision because of the time frame that we’re dealing with. It’s strictly that. This is not the purely competitive situation that I would like it to be. But the other side of that is, I think to compete for our team, this is the right thing to do, so that overrides the individual. Charlie, as soon as he can get caught up, then I could say, ‘Charlie, the competition is dead on. Let’s go and see where you sit with us.’ And he has a great advantage in this first week, and he’s recognized that. He’s getting all of the snaps. He’s getting all of the reps to try and catch up so he can compete, and command the offense the way we know Tarvaris can.

“But it will be somewhere down the road here. It might be a month from now. It might be two months from now, when Charlie really has ownership of it.”

And how did Whitehurst reaction to his demotion?

“He was awesome,” Carroll said. “I’ve been so straight with Charlie from the moment we’ve ever started talking. He knows what we’re talking about. He gets it. And he understands the competitive approach now is to take advantage of this opportunity while he gets all of the reps, while he gets all of the focus time to accelerate his process in learning all of this stuff.

“We’re not all that much different. There’s a lot of terminology that’s the same. But the bulk of the throwing game is where it’s so different. And conceptually things are called different; the protections aren’t quite the same. So all of that gets in the way of just the flow of a quarterback that is really commanding everything needs. So it’s just going to take some time.”

We talked to Jackson before Carroll made his announcement, so we don’t have reaction from him or Whitehurst on the announcement. I’ll have more later

Notes from practice
Leave a comment Comments → 22
  1. The right move. I would think if they could bring the right veteran backup in that Whitehurst gets cut before the season.

    This move puts a lot of faith in Jackson’s mental abilities to play the QB position which is either a good sign for Jackson’s future or a bad sign for Carroll’s abilities in evaluating NFL QBs.

  2. I think this announcement says more about Charlie than it does about Tavaris. It sounds like the coaches are starting to give up on Charlie. If that’s true, I expect the team to sign another veteran QB.

  3. Soggybuc says:

    Well one thing can say for sure is that is going to be one portion of the squad that will once again rank top 3 in the league.

    As once again the Seagals are looking fabulous!

  4. Be careful whose picture you put up, Eric. It might have the Madden curse.
    Jason Canafora just said that Tatupu might be holding out for a new contract, for what it’s worth.

  5. Dukeshire says:

    I have to say I’m a bit surprised but it does make sense. And in spite of the compete mantra, having a clear #1 at QB more than any position, regardless who that is, is important for a organization.

    Bobby will be thrilled.

  6. DisplacedSeahawkFan says:

    I’d have to agree with Tompage’s assessment of Charlie Whithurst. I read that Charlie had an abysmal first couple of practices: he either missed receivers entirely or threw the ball out of bounds. I really believe that Carrol is going into this season knowing that we don’t have a winning quarterback on our roster.

    I think he knows this season is going to be mediocre, at best, because of the quarterback situation. I believe he won’t address the quarterback in earnest until next season when he’ll go hard after Carson Palmer and a young quarterback in the draft. This season however, in no small part due to our tough schedule, I see us having another sub .500 season.

  7. Lofa is holding out because he knows he has drastically underperformed his contract and wants to give money back, right?

  8. DisplacedSeahawkFan says:

    Tatupu is done. Mentally he’s as sharp as ever; physically, however, I think he’s done. He barely practiced last season because he was always nursing injuries. Tatupu needs to have his contract restructured or simply be let go. Hawthorne is good enough to play MLB until we find someone better.

  9. Dukeshire says:

    Here’s a nice database on the LB salaries.

  10. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I got this from a blogger on the ESPN NFC west insider. Does it look close to where we might be in cap space?
    Does anyone have any reliable info on our cap space?

    In regards to the cap space, maybe this will help. After releasing Andrews we had 44.3 million in cap. The signing of Jackson put us down to about 40. Then Sidney Rice signing put us down to 31.5. Then the Gallery signing put us down to around 28 reportedly. Then the Mebane signing put us down to 23. Considering that we’ve signed some smaller players (McCoy, Hill, Robinson, Siavii,) I would guess our cap space is now about 20.

  11. Unfortunately, I agree. Aside from that pick 6 last season, it’s painful watching him get consistently run over.

    I agree that PC will be going hard after a QB or two next year, but he’s not ready to give up this season. I think he believes that with T-Jack’s upside and familiarity with the system and #1 receiver, that we can win some games. Hopefully, he’ll do better than his record suggests, but although I was very against bringing him in at first, it’s starting to make more sense. I also like what I see in highlight reels of T-Jack’s mobility compared to Hass and even Whitehurst.

  12. I’m not going to write Jackson off before I see him play on Sundays, I said the same thing about Whitehurst, and from what I’ve seen he’s just average, maybe even below average. But sometimes change can be good for a person, new employee, new boss, new coworkers, new environment, it can help re-energize you as a person, who knows maybe that’ll happen with Tarvaris, physically he is pretty much all you want, mentally he needs to get better, I hope that is going to happen.

  13. Soggybuc says:

    More than enough to sign Cullen Jenkins then.

  14. footballscaa says:

    Why wouldn’t he start next weekend? Let’s see what he’s got.

  15. DisplacedSeahawkFan says:

    Cullen Jenkins is about 30 years old. The Carrol regime may consider 30 too old. I don’t know, just my two cents.

  16. DisplacedSeahawkFan says:

    Cullen Jenkins agreed to a 5 year dear with the Eagles. Damn, it seems that the Eagles are poising themselves to win the NFC this year.

  17. Boy, Charlie must have really sucked in the first couple of practices. Or at least he wasn’t sharp enough for PC to think, “Hmmm … I think he’s finally getting it.”

    Well, maybe Tarvaris will surprise us — like Mike Vick did in Philly. Maybe the light will go on in his head, like it did for Hass in 2002.

  18. Belatrix says:

    The kid got the hook and was not allowed to learn by a horrible coach with a good team. Maybe Mr. Carroll and his crew saw something. That aside. Mr. Whitehurst has a great opportunity also. Camp should be good. They got TJ at a good price. Kolb to AZ, wow…he darn well better git it done. Either gamble is a gamble. That is why they call it fishing, you just never know. Guess which team loses if their choice fizzles?

  19. From what I could pick up, CW was decent the first day, but not so dependable on day two…. This may be more than just connecting in practice throws… The leadership Hass used to display needs to be up front…. no doubts….
    “We’ll make this happen” / “I’ve got everything under control” type of attitude…

  20. Clipboard Charile grew up with an NFL QB as a dad, then went to Clemson where he had good coaching. He knew what it took to succeed in the NFL before he was drafted. Results? He sat on the bench with a clipboard for five years. Yawn.

    Tavaris Jackson came out of college during the same draft, but from Alabama State, where he didn’t have the coaching to teach him much of anything. He was raw, raw, raw. But he was picked in the 2nd round, ahead of Whitehurst. At Minnesota, he was raw and still learning, but he competed for the starting job every year until Favre was anointed.

    Tavaris competed. Charlie sat and groomed his mustache. I think Carroll has watched enough film to know the competition between these two is already over.

  21. I feel pain for Charlie on this, but I like the fact that Pete’s already locked on to the San Francisco game. He’s not effin around. He wants to win that game, and the possibility of TJ to Rice will be something SF has to think about along with stopping our smash mouth (hopefully) running game.

  22. jchawks08 says:

    @ Stevos – Tarvaris..

    Yea, there’s not doubt this is the right choice from what I’m hearing and reading. Tarvaris knows the system, and Rice! I mean, this is the obvious choice. Meanwhile, Whitehurst is carving himself out a nice career as clipboard Jesus. Not the worst job in the world.

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