By Glen Peer (Guest Blogger):
I’ll get this out of the way: I’m a Hasselbeck supporter, he’s the reason I became a fan when I was 18 living in Central New York. When I step back and compare our starter to our backup from a subjective manor I cannot find a way to convince myself that Whitehurst is the way to go right now or in a couple of weeks for one simple reason: He does not give us the best chance to win. Maybe I have been sipping on too much Carroll Kool-aid but I believe we have a legitimate shot at winning the division this year. I believe Qwest is going to make it difficult for any team to come into and play, and if we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot we can steal a few games on the road (Rams, Bears, Raiders, Bucs). After 2 weeks I still see eight more winnable games that would put us at 9-7. I’m not sure that’s too outlandish of expectations to win the West.
My biggest concern with Whitehurst is that even in his preseason performances, both this year and previous, he hasn’t proven himself. He has one game with a passer rating over 100 (1st game this year), and looked inaccurate in the other 3 games. I also know from reading about training camp he was not overly impressive on the practice field. Compare that to Hasselbeck 10 years ago who was a pre-season stud (I tried to find pre-season numbers but could not, but recall hearing this on local Seattle Sports talk radio…feel free to blow this up if you can). I’m in agreement that pre-season doesn’t mean a lot, but too me that the fact that Whitehurst can’t get it done then means something.
Our offensive line has looked decent enough to keep Hasselbeck up-right (two sacks allowed over two games), and hopefully healthy, which is clearly a huge concern with Matthew over the past few years. I do not think it is out of the realm of possibility that Matthew has 2-3 years left in the tank. As I stated last week (and no I am not comparing skills) he is only slightly older than Peyton. Again I’m probably drunk on Carroll’s Koo l-aid with statements like that, but Kurt Warner had a pretty serious lull in the middle of a career that saw him play into his late 30’s.
The counter argument is “How do we know what we have in Whitehurst if he doesn’t play?” T o be honest, I agree, we do not know. As I said before though I believe the goal is to win now, not down the road. I understand that this is a rebuilding process, but with the lack of talent in the NFC West I believe we can return to the top this year. I am officially on the “we need to get Matthews replacement in the building now” and we may have him with Whitehurst, or he may come via the draft this year (I have a personal affinity for Christian Ponder & Ryan Mallet) but for now the goal remains the same: Win now.
If after week 9 we are 2 -6 and Matthew plays as poorly as he did Sunday, I have a feeling I will be beating a different drum.
Until all hope is lost for this season, Hasselbeck is the guy.