Glen Peer: Hasselbeck vs Whitehurst

Matt Hasselbeck had a difficult afternoon in Denver

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.


  1. Mike Young

    No way is such a talentless roster, going to win 9 NFL games in my opinion. Even in the NFC Worst. I saw a stat not too long ago showing that the Seahawks not only hold one of the worst Away records in NFL history, but that the Away on Grass record was just abysmal. And this stat incorporates years when they had good clubs. I see no indication the current Seahawks can win in Chicago, or Tampa Bay. Winning on the road in the NFL is tough for any team, even the good ones. I don’t think Hasselbeck is the main issue right now either Glen, too many other bigger problems exsist. I am afraid we all need to take our ‘rose-colored’ specs off and look at it coldly, as painfull as it is. And it does hurt, I want a great team here badly. It’s going to take a couple years with top knotch scouting / drafting / coaching / play calling.

  2. Mike Young

    I thought I should add that the stats I ‘referenced’ above came from some kind of a book for gamblers I read at someone else’s house. I do not recall if the Away record and the Away on Grass records were straight-up, or against the spread, or both. I tried to find confirmation of these stats, but no luck finding these kinds of data on google so far. But, I’d like to know ! Just from watching for many years I do not recall too many glorious away victories. I know we beat the darn Raiders down there at least once ! Away on grass baby !

  3. Glen Peer

    I agree that 9-7 is at the far end of the optimistic side of the spectrum for this team. With the near 50% turnover rate in the playoffs each year, and the weakness of the NFC West anything is possible. Just for fun I looked at the 2008-2009 Miami Dolphins who made the playoffs after going 1-15 the previous year, and brought in a new coaching and front office staff. If you have a few minutes check out their roster on Outside of Ricky Williams, and Ronnie Brown I dont see much in what would have been considered talent back then. I’m not trying to compare apples and oranges just food for thought. By the way I enjoyed those road statistics thanks!

  4. FWBrodie

    …and if Hasselbeck continues to hand games to the other team every time the Seahawks play on the road?

    What if he throws two or three more picks this weekend? The excuse for the past two years has been that Hasselbeck hasn’t had time to execute (despite the fact that Aaron Rodgers has consistently been pressured MORE than Hasselbeck and still produced at a pro-bowl rate). Well he had all day long against Denver and sucked it up anyway. I’m done making excuses for Hasselbeck’s poor play. It’s just been too bad for too long, and we know he’s not getting any younger. Since 2008, Hasselbeck has a QB rating of 70 and he doesn’t have a rating above 73 for any month of the season, which shows that he has been consistently terrible.

    This argument about how Hasselbeck doesn’t give the Seahawks the best chance to win RIGHT NOW is BS. The goal should be a Super Bowl and nothing less. To a person of sane mind that isn’t even a possibility for this season so lets not waste our time clinging to the past. Now is the time to see what we have in Whitehurst. 4-5 games at the end of the season is not enough to evaluate a QB that hasn’t ever started an NFL game. Whitehurst needs an opportunity to make mistakes and grow this season so that we know whether we can afford to pass on a QB in round one for a DE or a RB that is going to help the team sooner. Even if the NFC West IS so awful that the Seahawks have a chance to win despite their obvious rebuilding status, the men in charge need to be disciplined enough to keep their eyes on the real prize of the NFL, a Lombardi trophy. At this point, Hasselbeck is not a logical fit in the persuit of that goal.

  5. FWBrodie

    PS. In response to your Manning and Warner age comparisons, those guys were born with incredible throwing arms speaking relative to NFL quarterbacks. Hasselbeck was not. Guys like Manning, Favre, Warner can lose throwing strength as they age (I don’t think Manning has yet) and they are moving from elite to above average or average arm strength. Hasselbeck on the other hand is a guy that’s succeeded with a below-average arm. When he loses something on his ball, it’s really hurting him. NFL DB’s can cover so much ground so quickly (Brian Dawkins) that you just can’t possibly expect Hasselbeck to continue to make all the throws he is expected to make if he’s lost zip.

  6. Scott

    FWBrodie, I couldn’t have said it better. No offense to the author, but when you become a fan of a team because of one guy, Hasselbeck, your objectivity is in serious doubt. Love the laundry, not the name on the jersey. The names all change eventually, and Matt has just plain sucked for a long time now.

    Whitehurst can do one thing Matt cannot. He can take the top off the defense. And we have the players to do it. Tate and Butler can stretch defenses, but no self respecting cornerback or safety in this league is going to think Matt is throwing a ball more than 35 yards.

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