Yesterday, I made the argument that the Seahawks should bench Matt Hasselbeck, but for just the 1 game. More of a punishment for poor play kinda thing than a, “Let’s See What The Ol’ Backup Can Do” kinda thing. While I stand behind my stance, I will say that I definitely failed to look at all aspects of this deal.
On the one hand, what are you really getting out of starting Charlie Whitehurst one time, late in the season (or, for that matter, two times, as many fans want to have happen)? You’re not going to learn much about a quarterback in such a small sample size. People seem to acknowledge that fact, while at the same time rushing to snap judgment on Football Jesus based on one bad start against one good team.
For the record, I refuse to take into account his college career as further proof of his ineptitude. Yes he played for 2 seasons at Clemson and no, he didn’t set the world on fire. But, what did Tom Brady do in college? What did Matt Cassel do in college? Is he in their league? Probably not, but how would we know?
Let’s face it, you need at least 6 consecutive games to make a determination on just knowing if a guy has POTENTIAL or not. You can’t throw him into the fire in impossible situations (at home vs. a dominating Giants team; on the road, across country, against a winning Tampa team) and then go ahead and handcuff him even further (max protection, reducing the number of receivers he has to throw to) and expect him to come out of the gate ready to mow motherfuckers down. Let him ease in a little bit. Put him in there against some dogs. If you really wanted to give Whitehurst a shot, you’d see how he does against Arizona or Carolina. THEN work him up to the likes of the 49ers and Buccaneers.
But, the real argument has nothing to do with Charlie at all. This is Matt Hasselbeck’s team. It has been for over half a decade. He’s done more for this organization than any other Seahawk who’s put on the uniform. Is he going to go out on top like John Elway? Doesn’t look like it, does it? Nevertheless, he’s going to go down as the winningest quarterback in team history if he wins one more game, and I think we should give him the shot. Hell, he’s earned the shot.
Likewise, these could be his last two games with us. Fans in this city don’t seem to appreciate that and would rather run the bum out of town. It’s funny, they’ll sit at Safeco Field and watch a guy clearly past his prime and cheer whenever he rolls a slow grounder to second base; but a quarterback who has been the heart and soul of this team – who’s actually brought his team to a championship game unlike any counterpart in a Mariners uniform – gets nothing but boos and chants for the backup in spite of the fact that we’re in a divisional race and hold our destiny in our hands.
Matt Hasselbeck has been a problem the last four weeks, but he’s far from the ONLY problem.