It has come to this: Even those games quarterback Matt Hasselbeck doesn’t play are a referendum on his future and that of the position.
There were plenty of reasons Seattle lost Sunday’s game against the Giants from the left tackle it was missing to the fact that three-quarters of the starting defensive line was out to fact that Mike Williams wasn’t 100 percent and Golden Tate wasn’t available.
But the game is serving as a referendum on the quarterback play, everyone from Hasselbeck, who did not play, to Charlie Whitehurst, who did. And it seems like there are three distinct camps that have been staked out:
a) Be careful what you wish for
So you wanted Matt Hasselbeck out of there, huh? Well, did that look like the answer to you out there Sunday? Sure, Charlie Whitehurst has a big arm and an awesome beard, but was he really a better bet to win than Hasselbeck? Didn’t think so. So let’s wait until after this year to decide what happens after this year. For now, Hasselbeck is the best bet at quarterback and he plays if healthy.
b) First time is never the charm
Was Charlie Whitehurst good on Sunday? No. He wasn’t. But let’s not overdramatize how abjectly terrible he was. Matt Hasselbeck wasn’t very good his first start, either. In fact, one game is a pretty poor referendum on a quarterback’s ability, and Whitehurst’s potential is like his arm: strong. The Seahawks aren’t going anywhere with Hasselbeck so let’s see where things go with Whitehurst.
c) No chance Chuck
Debate Hasselbeck’s future with the franchise all you want, but this team is going nowhere if you turn it over to Whitehurst. There is a reason he spent three years as a third-string quarterback in San Diego. There is a reason he hadn’t attempted a single regular-season pass until Sunday. His accuracy is problematic and in four exhibition games and one regular-season game he’s already shown a propensity for back-breaking turnovers. Talk about other rough starts all you want, but the truth is that Whitehurst threw like that Sunday with no pressure. None. He wasn’t sacked. He was hit once. And still he was scattershot. I’ve seen enough to believe he is not and won’t ever be a satisfactory starting quarterback for Seattle.
The truth is that a single start is such a limited sample size that it’s impossible to rule out any of the three preceding scenarios. It’s a question of conviction at this point. Which camp most accurately describes you?