The feeling emanating from the Seahawks’ Thursday afternoon news conference to introduce QB Charlie Whitehurst was that he’s fully expected to push veteran Matt Hasselbeck for the starting job.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll alluded to Hasselbeck as “the guy” but never fully anointed him as his starter. Maybe that’s reading too far in between the lines. Maybe not.
“It’s clear to us that Matt has paid his dues,” Carroll said. “He’s done a great job in the program. We’re excited about him coming and leading this program. But in all phases of our program, in every aspect of it, we’re trying to make it as competitive as possible. So Charlie is coming in here to battle. He’s going to show where he fits into the whole thing. He doesn’t have a lot of playing time in the regular season, but he has a lot of playing time in the preseason.
“We would not have done this if we didn’t think we were bringing in a highly competitive player. So we’re counting on Matt to lead this thing, and Charlie is going to take a shot at it at every turn. That’s the way we’ll approach it, with all of our positions. We don’t care about the numbers and who is situated where. Right now, Matt is the guy, and Charlie is coming after him and we’re hoping he can make it a difficult situation for [Hasselbeck] because he’s playing so well. Matt knows that, and Charlie knows that.”
Whitehurst, a restricted free agent acquired from the Chargers in a trade, suggested he had a choice between offers from the Seahawks and Cardinals, but he said that decision was “easy.” The Cardinals agreed to a two-year deal with Derek Anderson, also on Wednesday.