Jeff from Las Vegas thinks it's premature to dismiss Charlie Whitehurst as a viable candidate to start for the Seattle Seahawks next season. He hasn't seen enough evidence to judge Whitehurst one way or the other, and he thinks bringing back Matt Hasselbeck only delays the evaluation process.
Mike Sando: The Seahawks will need more than one candidate to start at the position. Overall, though, I agree with your point that Whitehurst hasn't played enough for anyone to make a full judgment. Former Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren used to say it takes three seasons to get a full read on a quarterback. Whitehurst hasn't even started three games. Hasselbeck himself appeared finished more than once during his first couple seasons with Seattle, but he later became a three-time Pro Bowl choice.
Sticking with Hasselbeck during a rebuilding year last season made sense only because Seattle remained in contention for a playoff berth, and Hasselbeck had outperformed Whitehurst in camp. Still, it had to be tough for the organization to go a full season without evaluating Whitehurst over multiple starts. No one could have known Seattle would reach the playoffs and Hasselbeck would suddenly excel.
The dynamics have changed this season. The team has more publicly embraced the rebuilding concept. Coach Pete Carroll said the Seahawks could not afford to draft a quarterback without first laying a stronger foundation, particularly along the offensive line. Remember, too, that offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates and quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch were strong Hasselbeck supporters. Carroll fired Bates this offseason, replacing him with the kinder, gentler Darrell Bevell. Fisch left for another job.
Seattle wants to develop its identity around the running game, taking pressure off the quarterback.
Bevell has subsequently reached out to Hasselbeck, relaying interest in bringing back the veteran quarterback. The two were together in Green Bay years ago. Hasselbeck knows Bevell's passing system. Those are reasons to bring back Hasselbeck. But with Bates and Fisch gone, and with Carroll offering praise for Whitehurst during the draft, Seattle appears more willing to consider Whitehurst, even if Hasselbeck does return as the starter initially.
Of course, much hinges on what happens once the free-agent signing period opens. Just as it's too early to judge Whitehurst definitively, it's too early to analyze a quarterback situation that remains in flux.