2010 was not the year of the quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks. Starting Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck tied his career high in interceptions (17) and for the first time during his time in Seattle averaged one touchdown or less per game. Charlie Whitehurst saw the first real action of his career playing in 6 games and starting 2.
Matt Hasselbeck has been the starter for the Seahawks during the most successful decade of the franchise. He holds the franchise record in Passing Yards, Passer Rating, Pass Completions, Completion Percentage and most 300 and 400 yards passing games. He is the only quarterback in franchise history to win a Championship game and should have been the first and only Quarterback to win the Super Bowl. He had a terrible year and for the most part looked like he was washed up and just didn’t have enough on his arm anymore, not that he ever had a strong arm. He was missing bad on easy throws and when he wasn’t doing that he seemed to be making stupid ones. We heard boo’s from the crowed at Qwest and chants for backup QB Charlie Whitehurst. As disappointed as the fans were he’s very proud and a competitor and the more he tried to fix the problem the more he pressed and his game got worse. After sitting on the bench watching Charlie manage the seasons finale game against the favored Stl. Rams and winning for the first time in his career propelling the 7-9 Seahawks into the playoffs. The media speculated all week until Head Coach Pete Carroll announced the Matt would start the home playoff game against the New Orleans Saints. Matt went out and played one of the best games of his career that night posting a 113 passer rating that would have been even better if not for a pass bouncing off WR Ben Obamanu’s hands that was intercepted on the Seahawks first possession and a few dropped passes at important times along the way. Even in the playoff loss to Chicago the next week Matt played well with a 94.3 passer rating with 3 TD’s and no Picks.
The one move I was unhappy with during the offseason last year was giving the Chargers everything they wanted and not even trying to negotiate during the trade for their thirds string QB a guy who had been in the league for five seasons and had yet to throw a pass. A third round draft pick for a guy who was a backup for the backup most of his career with no real game experience seemed steep at the time but if I had known then that it would take that player having the game he did against the Rams week 17 to set up the most memorable game I have been to at Qwest, or any other stadium for that matter, I would have been more then happy to give up that pick and swap the others. They also swapped picks last year moving down from 40th to 60th where they selected Golden Tate. The Chargers traded that pick to Miami who drafted Linebacker Koa Misi.
Charlie showed that he has a big arm, much stronger then that of the aging Hasselbeck ever had, and an extremely quick delivery. He has the ability to hit every throw on the fields and usually keeps the ball in the lines giving his receivers a chance to make a play. He seemed to progress throughout the season but at this point does not appear to be the long term answer Pete Carroll and John Schneider had hoped he would when they traded for him.
The only quarterback currently on the Seahawks roster is Charlie Whitehurst, despite the teams effort to re-sign Matt while they had exclusive negotiation rights. There is still a good chance Matt will end up the Seahawks starting QB at the beginning of the season and the Seahawks are likely to add another QB in the draft. If the two sides cannot come to some sort of an agreement (reports have him wanting up to twice as much time at twice the salary per season that the Seahawks are offering) there will be a few options in free agency that could provide the stop gap between now and when a young QB can be ready to take over (this will be covered in a later post as well as a look at the draft class). You could also see the Seahawks trade for Kevin Kolb (1,197 yards 7 TD’s and 7 INT’s last year behind a much better line with better receivers), which I would like to see if it is a straight swap for the 25th pick. That is roughly the same amount the Seahawks gave Green Bay when they acquired Matt. They could also trade the Redskins for Donovan McNabb (3,377 yards 14TD’s and 15 INT’s only a 58.3% completion percentage) but I see this as the least likely of the trade options. If the Bengals are willing to parts ways with Carson Palmer (3,970 yards 26TD’s 20 INT’s and he is 31 will turn 32 towards the end of the Season). He would provide the Seahawks with a 4 or 5 buffer to find a great young QB and groom him to be the long term starter and rejoin former college coach Pete Carroll and come play for Seattle.