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Whitehurst will have a chance to topple Hasselbeck

40518--nfl_large_590_Unlimited.jpgThe Seattle Seahawks didn’t trade for quarterback Charlie Whitehurst with a presumption that Whitehurst will serve as the understudy to starter Matt Hasselbeck.  Instead, Whitehurst will have a chance to win the starting job.

“[Whitehurst] is going to compete to see how far he can take it and
how good is he,” Pete Carroll tells Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times.  “I’m very excited about him.  I’m not
going to pigeonhole him.  We know that Matt’s our starter and we’re
thrilled to have him.  But I don’t know what’s going to happen.  Matt,
Charlie, none of us does.”

Carroll explained his philosophy by comparing it to the approach he employed at USC. 

“Freshmen were brought in to start,” Carroll said.  “Guys we draft will be brought in to
start.  The thought is, ‘The opportunity is yours.  Can you do it?’  And if
the veteran guys can hold them off?  Awesome.  Every guy who comes into
the program from now on is going to be in that same situation.”

But here’s the problem with applying a “no one is safe” approach at the NFL level.  College players are more likely to accept the coach’s decisions quietly.  In the NFL, if Carroll resolves the inherently subjective question of whether Hasselbeck or Whitehurst is the better man by picking the newcomers, some in the locker room may disagree — and some may be willing to let other players know their feelings.

So the real challenge, in our view, will be to secure unequivocal buy in from the players, both as to the approach and as to the decisions that the coaches may be making.

Carroll seems to realize — and welcome — the challenge.  “The key for us is to get our message out there to the players,” Carroll
said.  “To philosophically get them drawn in to the way we do things.  As
much as this is a personnel league, I think, without our approach and
the mentality that it brings, I don’t think we’re going anywhere.”

If it works, good.  If it doesn’t, Carroll once again will be assessing whether freshmen can start right away sooner rather than later.

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31 Responses to “Whitehurst will have a chance to topple Hasselbeck”
  1. showtime says: Apr 11, 2010 1:37 PM

    i could topple hasselbeck

  2. Byrd Is The Word says: Apr 11, 2010 1:39 PM

    Am I the only one that finds the way that Pete Carroll speaks about as confusing as Emmitt Smith?

  3. Tr3pidation says: Apr 11, 2010 1:44 PM

    This isn’t even news. It’s been said since they found him that he’d have a shot. Why bring in someone to compete with a starter if there’s no legitimate chance for them to start?

  4. FumbleNuts says: Apr 11, 2010 1:45 PM

    The BEST player will earn the right to play………NOTHING wrong with that.
    No more FREE rides for guys who still think what they accomplished in the past, has ANY bearing on the future.
    I like it!

  5. gooselife says: Apr 11, 2010 1:50 PM

    we need to rebuild the O line, no qb can be successful behind that line.

  6. ninerfan says: Apr 11, 2010 1:55 PM

    Yes. Carroll is a good college coach.

  7. Norseman says: Apr 11, 2010 1:56 PM

    Carroll translation: “I don’t know WTF I’m doing, so I’ll just wing it.”

  8. rileyg1 says: Apr 11, 2010 1:57 PM

    pete and singletary both promote competition as your way onto the field.

  9. jeremyb91 says: Apr 11, 2010 2:05 PM

    I’m definitely doubting Pete will be able to apply the same magic to the Seahawks job that he was able to do with USC, but at least if he fails again in the NFL he’s going to fail his way.
    Hassellbeck is no spring chicken. He’s been struggling the past two years. Carroll has to bring in some to push him. If Hassellbeck loses, the veterans aren’t going to go crazy and pick sides. Matt’s been a great QB for the team, but he’s been on a downward slide and his teammates know this.
    Using the best player will win in this approach is best for the team because you are dealing with an old veteran on his last legs and a young guy who could or may not end up being a stud. If Hassellbeck were still healthy and in his prime then the argument would be different and you’d be looking at a locker room divide.

  10. Real Football Fan says: Apr 11, 2010 2:13 PM

    Another reason Carroll will be a disaster, again, in the NFL. Pete, this isn’t college. I thought you’d realize that when you were in college that the two are very different. You can start that, competition rules the day with a downtrodden franchise (and often it still doesn’t work), but with one who has players who recently played in a Super Bowl….not going to happen.
    They’ll quit on him halfway through this season. And you thought they laid down for Jim Mora, Jr. Wait til you see this job they do on Pete. All I want to know is who’s the moron brain trust that signed off on this deal cause I’d love to send them my resume so that I can get some of that money. They have visual, tangible evidence of this guy failing, twice, and they still hired him. Therefore, I think if I fudged my resume a bit, they wouldn’t notice, and I could get some fancy title with a contract and all for a couple of years at least.

  11. Munze Konza says: Apr 11, 2010 2:27 PM

    Best player plays means that the staff has no loyalty and players like to feel that the coaches are with them,. Players will not like the uncertainity every week, every year and it will reflect in performance.

  12. Ed in NJ says: Apr 11, 2010 2:45 PM

    Should give Teel a shot, too. He’s just as accomplished a college QB and has about the same NFL experience as Whitehurst.

  13. s.martin17 says: Apr 11, 2010 2:47 PM

    Hasselbeck will be traded to Cleveland for a 3RD or 4TH round pick!!
    Seattle will then select Jimmy Clausen with the 6TH, and he will compete with Whitehurst for the starting QB job.
    Seattle will trade out of the 14Th pick and pick up a 1ST somewhere in the 20′s, and a high 2ND. That first one will be then dealt to the Broncos for Brandon Marshall. The 2ND will be the best avail. Left Tackle still on the board.
    Call me crazy, but even Florio could not come up with that info!!

  14. FumbleNuts says: Apr 11, 2010 3:06 PM

    # Munze Konza says: April 11, 2010 2:27 PM
    Best player plays means that the staff has no loyalty and players like to feel that the coaches are with them,. Players will not like the uncertainity every week, every year and it will reflect in performance.
    I see your point. However, best player in this case means that you’ve earned that right for the starter position and with that the loyalty will be awarded. Does it mean the player can get complacent?
    Not at all, the Seahawk players’ in the past have fallen into this trap and this is the mentality that Carroll will be trying to change.
    The only uncertainty is “Can I get the job done?”
    Bottom Line: If you can’t, someone else will.

  15. Lance19 says: Apr 11, 2010 3:10 PM

    I think Florio’s point about college guys
    vs. pros is on target. NFL pros know that
    Pete has–at best–a mediocre resume as an
    NFL head coach. They probably won’t swallow
    his decisions as gracefully as USC kids did.
    Yes, Hasselbeck may well feel disrespected that
    he’s in a competition with a guy who’s thrown
    zero NFL passes…a guy who couldn’t beat out
    Billy Volek for second string Charger QB…

  16. lesnessman says: Apr 11, 2010 3:40 PM

    This approach works in college because there aren’t any guaranteed contracts in college. The best player plays. In the NFL this approach will work on a case by case basis. Players have leverage in the NFL, hell they can even force trades and say they don’t want to play for certain teams. In a perfect world Pete.

  17. edgy1957 says: Apr 11, 2010 3:43 PM

    Unless he let’s this fester into the season, I don’t buy this dividing the locker room. Let’s face facts: most teams get rid of 20 to 30 players each season, anyway (Belichick only kept 26 of Pete Carroll’s players in his first season). For example, from 1999 to 2008, the Colts did not retain 235 players, the Patriots did not retain 236 and the Lions did not retain 293. I see competition as a good thing.

  18. Drat says: Apr 11, 2010 4:03 PM

    I think NFL players respect a coach who can prove he knows what he’s doing. They see what happens in games and in practices. They understand.
    The problem is when coaches do things way out of line with what the players comprehend. See: Scott Linehan, Jim Haslett, Rams.

  19. East Bay Ray says: Apr 11, 2010 4:18 PM

    Being a college coach is MUCH easier than a pro coach. First of all, at a place like USC, you can recruit overwhelming talent at every position with no limitations due to a salary cap. Then, you have complete control over your players. If they don’t like your decisions or are just general pains in your ass, you can yank their scholarship. However, if they want to make the decision to leave, they lose a year of eligibility. The coach holds all the power. Carroll realizes this, and only left USC because he recognized that the posse was almost at his door for his recruiting shenanigans.

  20. CanadianVikingFan says: Apr 11, 2010 4:27 PM

    showtime says:
    April 11, 2010 1:37 PM
    i could topple hasselbeck
    ————————–
    I would topple Mrs. Hasselbeck, as long as she kept her mouth shut, or with something in it.

  21. Larry David says: Apr 11, 2010 4:33 PM

    Living in San Diego I’ve seen Whitehurst play during the preseason, and let me tell you, he’s absolute garbage. I mean, if the guy can’t play against scrubs, how’s he gonna be able to be a starter? And they gave up a 2nd round pick for him!?

  22. SeeUInTheSuperbowl says: Apr 11, 2010 5:30 PM

    Wow, really great to see San Diego fans are concerned for us. You can talk about a guy looking like garbage against scrubs, but his line is scrubs, the WR’s are scrubs, everybody on the field is a scrub at that point. As far as you Carroll haters….so sorry he beat your sorry ass SEC or Big 12 team every year. Why don’t you wait ’til the Hawks stomp your pro team before you start crying.

  23. Bious says: Apr 11, 2010 6:10 PM

    Where in god’s name did this Whitehurst love come from?
    He hasn’t done a thing in the NFL. He was an average College QB with zero big game wins. He was a cry-baby as well and it cost him INT’s

  24. crabman82 says: Apr 11, 2010 6:28 PM

    seattle can have it both ways, start hasselbeck and have pat willis break his ribs again, then watch whitehurst some in and throw some int’s

  25. Brozef says: Apr 11, 2010 7:13 PM

    Big gamble ($10M) to light a fire under Hasselbeck. He did have pretty good preseason play with the Bolts but that won’t be enough if the line isn’t shored up.

  26. TheWizard says: Apr 11, 2010 7:34 PM

    And you thought they laid down for Jim Mora, Jr. Wait til you see this job they do on Pete.
    If that’s what happens, then it’s time to throw a kerosene torch into the snake nest.
    Not blame Pete.

  27. David LeFebvre says: Apr 11, 2010 8:11 PM

    Hasselbeck going to the Browns for a 3rd or 4th rounder is one of the most retarded things I’ve heard. Even the [previously?] ridiculously mismanaged Browns wouldn’t trade for Seneca Wallace, then sign Delhomme for $7M guaranteed, then give up valuable mid-round draft picks they desperately need to fill the many holes on the team for another injury prone, aging QB on the downturn of his career.

  28. heisty says: Apr 11, 2010 9:20 PM

    As much as I hate the Whitehurst deal and as much as I think Hass has a few more good years left in him, I think they need to trade Hass and pick up a draft pick and then get a qb in the draft.I would not draft one at 6 because we need a left tackle to protect whoever is starting at qb.

  29. irish4life says: Apr 11, 2010 9:52 PM

    If Whitehurst could not beat out Voleck in San Diego FOR THE BACK UP ROLL then why do they think he can beat out Hasselbeck for the starting roll here in Seattle? Do they think that the water is different up here so that will make whitehurst play better? I hope they prove me wrong, but C’mon man.

  30. Brohamma says: Apr 12, 2010 2:17 AM

    s.martin17 says:
    April 11, 2010 2:47 PM
    Hasselbeck will be traded to Cleveland for a 3RD or 4TH round pick!!
    Seattle will then select Jimmy Clausen with the 6TH, and he will compete with Whitehurst for the starting QB job.
    Seattle will trade out of the 14Th pick and pick up a 1ST somewhere in the 20′s, and a high 2ND. That first one will be then dealt to the Broncos for Brandon Marshall. The 2ND will be the best avail. Left Tackle still on the board.
    Call me crazy, but even Florio could not come up with that info!!
    ———————————————-
    I partially agree with this. I’ve been mocking Clausen to Seattle since the Rams pretty much locked-in on Bradford about a month ago.
    The part I disagree with is the trade out of the 14th position. I understand the depth of the draft this year and value, but at 14th there will still be ligitimate “blue chip” players. Anytime you have the chance to add TWO in one draft you do it without hesitation.

  31. TheDPR says: Apr 12, 2010 11:15 AM

    That pick of Whitehurst looks a lot like Bryce Larkin from Chuck. I hope Pete knows he’s got a secret agent at QB.

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