clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Seahawks Quarterback Situation

Put down your pitchforks!!

Here's my take on the Seahawks current quarterback situation. 

When the Seahawks signed Tarvaris Jackson, I went back and looked at some of his games in prior years and thought to myself that it could work. There is a pretty good chance it won't work, but still, it's possible this could work. After the first couple of games, I thought maybe it wasn't going to work. But let's back up for a second. Let's go back to this front office's decision to even go out and get Tarvaris Jackson.

The alternatives, mostly, for the Seahawks were to A) draft a QB B) re-sign Matt Hasselbeck, or C) sign a free agent or trade for a QB to run this team.

The Hawks chose not to select a QB in the Draft, and I was mostly fine with that. I wasn't enamored with Andy Dalton, Jake Locker, or Christian Ponder, and it turns out that Ponder and Locker were gone early anyway. I did like Ryan Mallett prior to the Draft but apparently not many teams agreed with me, as he slipped into the late 3rd round. Regardless, the Hawks didn't select Andy Dalton or Ryan Mallett when they could and instead chose to build the offensive line. Fine.

The next option was to re-sign an aging Matt Hasselbeck to a new, at least two-year contract. I'm not going to get into this again but suffice to say I was glad when they didn't. He went on to sign with Tennessee for three years and $20 million dollars, including a $6 million signing bonus. Not surprising he was let go when you look at how stingy this front office has been with aging veterans that don't figure into the system down the line (Lofa Tatupu waived, Marcus Trufant restructured, Lawyer Milloy not re-signed, Jordan Babineaux not re-signed, the list is long). So they made the decision not to pay the man, fine.

The next option(s) involved a trade or free agent signing. The main targets were Carson Palmer, Kyle Orton, and Kevin Kolb. It's looking like the decision to steer clear of those three might have been a good choice. It's too early to tell with Kolb of course, but his start hasn't given anyone a lot of confidence that he's a franchise caliber QB that can lead this team to several years of success, as his price tag would indicate - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a 2nd round pick, and $68 million.

Carson Palmer was had by the Oakland Raiders for a 1st round pick and a 2nd round pick. Holy hell, no thanks, not for a rebuilding team. That's "win now" money and the idea that he'll help them win now isn't guaranteed. Time will tell of course, but that king's ransom was never an option, or so I hope.

As for Kyle Orton, he's been benched after five games in favor of Tim Tebow. That's all I'll say there. 

So the Hawks decided to go with Tarvaris Jackson, a veteran from Minnesota that could run the offense and act as a placeholder until the Seahawks could find 'their future' at the position.

A two-year contract for Jackson paints a very clear picture: He is NOT believed to be the long-term answer. If that were the case, he'd have gotten a "Kevin Kolb" style contract or at least more than two years, $8 million. Kolb got six years, $68 million. That says, "we've found our guy, and we're gettin' hitched."

2 years, $8 million says "you'll do for now." The same could be said for Charlie Whitehurst, who's on the last year of a two-year test run. The point is: neither Tarvaris Jackson, nor Charlie Whitehurst, are the future of this club at Quarterback, and no one in the front office thinks they are.

Now, there is (was) a bit of a controversy as to whom should start for the Seahawks. When Tarvaris Jackson was signed during the offseason he was promptly declared the starting QB. This was ostensibly because he knew the offense and that would help in a lockout shortened training camp. When Jackson started out slow in the first two games of the season, I think it was fair of fans to question whether Whitehurst could play better - and I'm not condoning the "Charlie" chants but I don't think that Jackson is so obviously a better option that people shouldn't wonder if he should be given a shot.

Jackson was given a few more games to get his act together and rose to the occasion, playing some magnificent football in the 2nd half of Week Four against Atlanta and up until he was hurt at New York in Week Five.

Ironically, his injury forced in Charlie Whitehurst just when Seahawks fandom had finally gotten behind Jackson, after mostly calling for his head early in the season like an angry mob of simpleton villagers on Monty Python.

Either way, Charlie now had the opportunity to show if he deserved to be in the conversation.

Well, he pretty much put those arguments to rest with his lackluster performance. Tarvaris Jackson is now the clear-cut and unquestioned 'starting quarterback' for the Seahawks. But I do think it's fairly ludicrous to say that Whitehurst should be cut or that he should be relegated to 3rd on the depth chart because of this poor performance. That kind of talk, to me, is akin to calling for his head like an angry mob of simpleton villagers on Monty Python

Whitehurst is a serviceable backup quarterback - he got the start in Week 17 last season against the Rams and did enough to get them a win and a playoff berth. He relieved Jackson in Week Five against the Giants and led the Seahawks on a go-ahead, ultimately game-winning drive. Isn't that what you'd love to have in a backup quarterback?

I think most of the so-called "Charlie Chanters" just wanted to see what the Seahawks had in Whitehurst, because they wanted to see if he gives them a better chance to see a win. I don't think that's irrational. I don't agree with the method of chanting against your own team like an angry mob of simpleton villagers on Monty Python, but the poeple that wanted to see what Charlie could do had a valid enough point, it's not like Jackson was lighting the world on fire. 

Well, fate would have it that Charlie would get his chance, and now we have our answer. He played so poorly that he put the quarterback controversy to rest, but we now know, for a week at least, that Tarvaris Jackson is the best option at quarterback. If he's not ready to play though, then Charlie will get the start, and hopefully he'll bounce back. That's what you'd hope for in a backup QB.

The point is, let's just take him for what he is - a serviceable backup that we'd hoped would become starter material. It doesn't appear that will happen. He is, however, capable, and has proven that he can come in and get his team a win. No QB can do that every time, and Charlie won't do that every time. But he can do it, and he has done it, and I know there's probably a lot of teams that wish they had that in their backup QB. That's all I got.