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Not sure why Tarvaris Jackson is the Seahawks’ starter

The Seahawks have protection issues, but could QB Tarvaris Jackson be effective even with a good O-line? (AP)

By Jim Moore

We are constantly reminded that these are preseason games – outcomes don’t necessarily suggest what will happen in the regular season.

But the only time we get these reminders is when the team you’re following is absolutely awful. Such has been the case with the Seahawks. If it weren’t for those reminders, you’d think they were headed for an 0-16 season, which would at least result in the acquisition of Andrew Luck.

If that did happen, would the next edition of Pete Carroll’s book be called “Winless Forever?” Just wondering. I can’t help but occasionally mock the man for reasons I can’t fully explain, probably because his sunshiny outlook on everything wears on an old curmudgeon like me.

For instance, when Carroll talks about Charlie Whitehurst, he says stuff like: “Charlie’s functioning beautifully.” And he goes on to say so many wonderful things about Whitehurst that you’d think the guy’s going to be a future Hall of Famer, not just a backup to Tarvaris Jackson.

If you were to ask Carroll, he’d tell you that Jackson’s functioning beautifully too. Problem is, he’s not. Honestly, he never has. There are reasons why former Vikings coach Brad Childress so desperately wanted Brett Favre to come back for a second season. There are reasons why Gus Frerotte replaced him as a starter before Favre even entered the picture.

There are reasons why the Vikings did not tender him last spring, effectively telling Jackson they didn’t want him anymore because they didn’t think he’d ever make it as an NFL quarterback. This was before they acquired Donovan McNabb. At the time, they felt more comfortable moving forward with Christian Ponder and Joe Webb.

But that stuff has been glossed over and camouflaged thus far by the ineffectiveness of the Seahawks’ offensive line. If there were power rankings of offensive lines in the NFL through three preseason games, the Seahawks would certainly be No. 32.

For three weeks, we’ve heard that it’s not Jackson’s fault – he’s not getting time in the pocket to throw. That’s fair. More than fair. Here’s the thing about that – Jackson had a good line in Minnesota and still wasn’t up to snuff. What will he be like with a bad line? I guess we’re about to find out.

If The Go 2 Guy were in charge, Charlie Whitehurst would be the Seahawks’ starting quarterback. (AP)

The thing is, I agree with most everyone else – this line might be bad now, but it should be good down the road. With emphasis on “should.” I actually should’ve written “could.”

From a glass half empty Go 2 Guy perspective, right now the offensive line is functioning terribly. Looking toward the future, the people who know more about football than me, which includes the majority of the world, will tell you that once these guys get time together and build continuity, etc., etc., they’re going to be hell on wheels or something to that effect.

I sort of agree and hope that’s the case. But this could also be the case – Russell Okung continues to have ankle issues the rest of his career. Max Unger? I think he’ll be fine at center. Right guard John Moffitt? Presumably he’ll be fine too, but keep in mind, this guy’s a third-round draft choice. If I’m not mistaken, there were a lot of players chosen ahead of him in last year’s draft, and to think that a third-round draft choice is going to magically become a solid starter in the NFL, well, I have my doubts.

Right tackle James Carpenter? Hmmm. If you were to ask Denver’s Von Miller in a private moment what he thinks about the big rookie’s future, I don’t think he would say that Carpenter was functioning beautifully Saturday night.

I thought that at least Robert Gallery could be counted on as a veteran fixture at left guard, but John Clayton said the other night that the free-agent from Oakland hadn’t played that well in the first two preseason games.

Clayton also pointed to another head-scratcher that could come back to bite GM John Schneider and Carroll – it’s not always smart business to allow your assistant coaches to have so much input with player-personnel moves. In other words, just because your new offensive coordinator and new offensive line coach think that Jackson and Gallery are good players, it’s not necessarily the case.

The Seahawks have one more rehearsal against Oakland Friday night at CenturyLink Field before it starts for real Sept. 11 at San Francisco. Maybe Jackson will get it going against the Raiders.

As I’ve mentioned many times on “The Kevin Calabro Show,” I’m pulling for Whitehurst because I basically feel like he deserves the chance now that Matt Hasselbeck’s gone. It’s not that I have anything against Jackson – I just don’t see how Carroll can think that T Jack is so much better equipped to run this team than Whitehurst that he muffled his always-compete mantra and handed the job to the Minnesota washout.

Plus, let’s face it, quarterback controversies are fun to talk about. Whether Carroll wants one or not, we’re bound to get one sometime this season, if not now. One of the raps on Jackson in Minnesota is that he looked great in practice but failed to deliver in a consistent manner when it mattered most, during the games.

The Seahawks will counter by saying that a change of scenery will help Jackson. So will having a staff that completely believes in him.

We’ll find out soon enough, if not in San Francisco than in Pittsburgh the following week.

Choose your scenario …

A) If given time, Jackson will shine and make the Go 2 Guy look like an idiot. Again.

B) Jackson struggles with time to throw and without time to throw, and the 12th man calls for Whitehurst to replace him in the home opener against Arizona.

C) Forced to run so damn frequently, Jackson ends up getting hurt. Whitehurst replaces him and plays fairly well. When Jackson returns, a quarterback controversy ensues. Questions are asked whether a player should lose his job due to injury, and Carroll will say something about someone functioning beautifully.

Truth be known, I’m hoping for A but expecting B and C and a long season ahead.

Jim Moore also writes for his website, and you can reach him at