Charlie Whitehurst is dropping the ball

Matt Hasselbeck and Lawyer Milloy, two Seahawks whose contracts expired after last season, have been credited with taking the lead in setting up workouts during the NFL’s lockout. Hasselbeck also organized a meeting between a few teammates and former Seahawks earlier this month.

ESPN’s John Clayton is among those wondering why Charlie Whitehurst isn’t using the lockout as an opportunity to assume a leadership role, something he’ll need to do if he’s the Seahawks’ starter next season, which is a definite possibility considering he’s the only quarterback currently under contract.

“Part of the knock on him is that you know he’s got talent, but does he have that desire to take over things? Does he have that leadership ability?” Clayton said Tuesday on the Kevin Calabro show. “To be a leader you have to lead. And the (time to lead is now) when you’ve got everybody scattered around trying to do it.”

Clayton referenced Redskins quarterback John Beck, whose situation in Washington has some similarities to that of Whitehurst. Beck, 29, has all of four NFL starts under his belt, but with the Redskins expected to part ways with veteran Donovan McNabb, Beck is vying to be Washington’s starter next season.

Not only is Beck setting up workouts with teammates, he’s exuding confidence.

“If you don’t think like a starter and act like a starter, your teammates probably aren’t gonna believe you’re the starter,” Beck said in a recent interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio. “So I’m thinking I’m the starter.”

Clayton believes that by not doing the same, Whitehurst is dropping the ball.

“He’s under contract. He could be the starting quarterback next year,” Clayton said of Whitehurst, who completed 57.6 percent of his passes last season and was 1-1 as a starter. “But to our knowledge, he hasn’t started (taking on a leadership role) yet. This would be a time that he should do that.”

Seahawks wide receiver Mike Williams told Brock & Salk last week that the team was planning on getting together for a two-day minicamp this week. Clayton believes Hasselbeck is organizing that workout as well.