A little over two months into his new job as the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, Pete Carroll is already being questioned for a decision most believe was quite a gamble. Carroll and Seahawks GM, John Schneider, decided to trade some draft picks for an unproven player that has yet to throw a pass in a regular-season game, Charlie Whitehurst. Whitehurst, who is entering his fifth year in the NFL, has spent the first four years of his career as a backup learning from Philip Rivers in San Diego. So the naysayers are out there wondering why they would swap second round picks in this year’s Draft and give up its 2011 third-round draft pick as well. It is easy, Carroll wants competition in Seattle. The last few years Matt Hasselbeck has just been given the starting job because Seneca Wallace wasn’t able to give him any competition.
Who knows maybe this will light a fire under Hasselbeck and he could have another Pro Bowl season? It was just a matter of the Seahawks believing that Whitehurst has more upside than most of the quarterbacks available in this year’s Draft as well as other more-experienced veterans on the free agent market. It will only be a matter of time before we will find out whether this was a good trade for the Seahawks. This trade was a risk that Carroll was willing to take but a small one compared to the one he took by leaving the dynasty that he built in southern California.
Pete Carroll joined KJR in Seattle to talk about him being so busy since he started the job and whether he has time to sleep, on the assessment of Charlie Whitehurst and how they came to the conclusion they should try and acquire him via trade, and whether there is a true QB competition between Whitehurst and Matt Hasselbeck.
On him being so busy since he started the job and whether he has time to sleep:
“Sleeping is not an option right now. It is definitely overrated. It doesn’t matter at this time. There is a lot of stuff to do and a lot of stuff that is fun to do and keep track of. So that is kind of the minimum. We are working hard. John and I are pretty much burning it at both ends here but we are having fun doing it.”
On the assessment of Charlie Whitehurst and how they came to the conclusion they should try and acquire him via trade:
“It is really simple. There is a lot of throws that Charlie had a chance to do over the last few years in the preseason. You can say what you want about preseason or the real deal. When you drop back and you throw comebacks, and you drop back and you throw in-routes and there is guys rushing you, you drop back and you got to move in the pocket and find a second and third receiver. That is definitely on the film clearly. It is not the same as week in and week out having to handle the stress and the pressure of the schedule and all of that. That is different stuff that we have to find out, but to see him carry out the demands of the position from a physical side you could see that easily. That is not a problem. Anybody that doesn’t want to go with that is not watching film. It is easy to see that and that part of it, and plus, our guys had watched him coming out. We had all of those early evaluations just like you have as a draft choice and a college career behind all of that. So there is a lot of information. If it is just one preseason and he only played in a couple of games that is one thing, but he has played in games for years. So he has been through them. He has been critiqued. He has been back out there the next week, in an out of the preseason opportunities… That was enough for us to see the kind of raw talent that we were looking for and the movement we were looking for. The rest of it is really, you can imagine for years now he has been in those meetings with all of the strategy, all of the background, all of the timing of handling two-minute situations and all of those discussions and all of that kind of stuff that is to his benefit. Again, we don’t look at him as a first-time arrival for us. We are looking at him coming into this program like he is a very high draft pick and how we would evaluate his background at that point. So we feel good and confident about that. Now we have to develop him in our program and make him a Seahawk and make him a guy that can execute our offense and carry that and we will see how long that takes.”
Whether there is a true QB competition between Whitehurst and Matt Hasselbeck:
“Well first off, you look at him like he is a high draft pick. How much are you going to pay for that in terms of your picks? There are the top few quarterbacks in the draft here could go in the fist round as first round picks so we are in position with a couple of picks in the first round to have a chance to take a quarterback and we still may do that. That is to build this position and make it right for the long haul. It is the key position in the NFL on every team and we are going to do what we have to do to position ourselves to come from strength and to come from experience and from background and athleticism and all of those things. We are not done fitting this thing together even at this spot. We are going to continue to look and figure out what our options are. It is a big price, but it is the key position and once you find your guy whatever it took to get him was worth it if he is the real deal. That part of it doesn’t bother us at all. You can weigh it and try to figure all of that out and when will we know? We won’t know until he gets a chance to really get out there and play. I want everybody in our program to come in here with the idea and the belief that you are going to play. You prepare differently when you do that. If you prepare like I am not going to play, I am a backup and you are going to sit for a long time, then you don’t get yourself right in the same manner that when the urgency and the pressure is on you to get right as soon as possible. That has really been a theme in our program for years. So everybody here is here to compete to play right now and that is part of it. If that makes you feel uncomfortable about the quarterback position well Matt Hasselbeck knows that same thing. I have talked clearly to Matt. He has got to battle everyday to make himself the best player he can possibly be day in and day out and feeling the pressure of a guy behind him is going to make you work hard and it is going to keep him on his best and on his toes. That is all part of our mentality around here. Then how long are you going to have to wait? I don’t know it just depends. I would like Charlie to be pressing and to get him in the games as soon as possible. That is the way that he should approach it. He said and acted exactly in accordance as he should and we will see when that happens and we will all find out. If it was the number one draft pick quarterback or number two draft pick quarterback you don’t know how long it is going to take him to play. For instance, Carson Palmer years ago was the first pick in the Draft, he played not one snap his first year in real games and started his next year. There is no way of knowing how that is going to work out yet, but we are going to try to bring it along and coordinate in a matter that is going to help everybody be their very best and that is how we go about it.”
Tags: Charlie Whitehurst, former USC Head Coach, John Schneider Seahawks GM, leaving USC for Seattle, NFC West, NFL, NFL team of the Great Northwest, Paul Allen, Pete Caroll, Pete Carroll takes another gamble., Seahawks trade for Charlie Whitehurst, Seattle Seahawks, The Chargers are excited to give up Charlie Whitehurst for future picks, third-string Chargers QB