The Seahawks were openly questioned for the trade that brought backup Charlie Whitehurst to Seattle, along with a contract that pays him $8 million over the next two seasons.
The 28-year-old signal-caller took a small but important step in attempting to quiet the critics with his performance Saturday night against the Tennessee Titans.
Whitehurst finished 14-of-22 passing for 214 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in his Seattle debut, a 20-18 victory.
“I hope you can see that we’re excited about Charlie,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “We’re really excited about him. He’s a good dude who’s working hard and knows his stuff and can make the plays. And that’s going to help us somewhere down the road.”
Whitehurst showed good poise in the pocket in delivering the ball accurately under pressure.
Whitehurst’s first touchdown, a 51-yard, run-and-catch by Mike Williams, had more to do with the athleticism of the USC product than Whitehurst’s throwing ability.
Whitehurst said he saw the Titans defense showing blitz on the play, and signaled to Williams, who had man coverage on the outside
But his second touchdown, a 4-yard dart to rookie tight end Anthony McCoy, resulted from a solidly engineered eight-play, 66-yard drive that included a fourth-down conversion on a deep pass for 36 yards to Deon Butler.
Even with the success he had on Saturday, Whitehurst understands he’s just getting started.
“It’s nice to go out there and play well,” Whitehurst said. “But again, it’s the first preseason game. We’ve got three more preseason games, we got a long season.
“You’d like to go out and play well every time. It’s nice that it’s the first one, but it doesn’t mean all that much.”
WR MIKE WILLIAMS ‘EXCITED TO GET BACK’
Returning to NFL action for the first time in three seasons, wide receiver Mike Williams got into the end zone on his long hookup with Whitehurst, and overall felt comfortable in his Seahawks debut.
“I was really excited,” he said. “I was more excited to get back in the atmosphere and to play again. … I’m usually more nervous when I’m thinking too much. Tonight I just kind of came out and wanted to play well and know my assignment.
“We’ll see how the film turns out.”
Of his touchdown, Williams said: “They looked like they rolled up into a blitz and Charlie made a good check on the one-on-one. It was a good check by Charlie, I don’t think it was anything special that I did.”
Carroll said his team made it through the game without any major injuries….
Running back Louis Rankin, defensive tackle Jonathan Lewis, linebacker Matt McCoy and wide receiver Kole Heckendorf were questionable coming into Saturday’s game, but all four suited up and played. Linebacker Lofa Tatupu (hamstring), LB Joe Pawelek (hamstring), LB Leroy Hill (knee), OG Mike Gibson (headaches) and DE Lawrence Jackson (hamstring) did not play. Offensive lineman Chester Pitts (knee) and defensive back Josh Pinkard (knee) remain on the active PUP list. …
Tennessee running back Stafon Johnson suffered a dislocated right ankle at the end of the third quarter and needed to be carted off the field. Carroll, who coached Johnson at USC last year, went over to console him while he was on the field