Pete Carroll Chatted With ESPN's "Mike & Mike" Today

As familiar as Carroll’s competition mantra has become, the way Carroll framed it during the segment with Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic more clearly defined why the Seattle Seahawks acquired quarterback Charlie Whitehurst and what impact the quarterback might have — even if he doesn’t line up under center anytime soon.

“The central theme in this program is competition and we started right with the quarterback spot, to challenge Matt (Hasselbeck) to do his best,” Carroll told Greenberg and Golic.

It’s easy to talk about competition, but not all teams have true competition at quarterback. Hasselbeck hasn’t had to worry about his job much, if at all, since Trent Dilfer was a candidate to start in 2002. That was by design. Former coach Mike Holmgren valued clarity at the position. Hasselbeck earned that clarity.

Times have changed. The Seahawks have fallen hard in recent years and Hasselbeck, who turns 35 in September, has finished three of the last four seasons with average or below-average numbers.

Whitehurst’s quick acquisition from the San Diego Chargers following Carroll’s hiring raised immediate questions about Hasselbeck’s viability entering the final year of his contract. Those questions remain valid because the Seahawks will eventually want to get Whitehurst on the field. But adding Whitehurst wasn’t only about what Whitehurst might offer as a starter. It was also about providing competition for Hasselbeck — competition the quarterback hasn’t faced in years.

“Matt has had a great offseason,” Carroll told Greenberg and Golic.