Whitehurst, Hasselbeck to split practice reps
By Brady Henderson
Charlie Whitehurst’s performance in the Seahawks’ 16-6, NFC West-clinching win on Sunday night has coach Pete Carroll once again fielding questions about which quarterback will start next week.
Not that he’s giving any answers just yet.
Carroll told Brock and Salk on Monday morning that he hasn’t decided if Whitehurst or Matt Hasselbeck will start on Saturday in Seattle’s first-round matchup against the Saints and that the two will split reps in practice this week.
“We’ll figure it out as we go through the week,” Carroll said. “Right now … not knowing anything more than I do, we’d split reps and just see how they do and we’ll make a declaration somewhere down the road.”
Whitehurst’s numbers were far from spectacular on Sunday – he was 22 of 36 for 192 yards and a touchdown – but didn’t turn the ball over and made no costly mistakes.
“Charlie played a really solid football game,” Carroll said. “He played with a conscience. He really put the ball in harm’s way zero times. He really threw a great football game at them in that regard.”
Whitehurst also ran for 30 yards, showing mobility that Carroll said factored into his decision to not play Matt Hasselbeck. Carroll said Hasselbeck would have been limited due to the hip injury he suffered last week, but indicated that he could have played if needed.
“You can see why it wouldn’t have been a great night for Matt to try and go out there and play. That was a very, very good pass rush,” Carroll said, noting that the Rams failed to record a sack for just the second time this season. “Really, it was Charlie that got that done by taking off. It kind of fit that match up for us quite well.
Carroll said of Hasselbeck: “We had no idea if he could take off and run. We knew he could do his footwork stuff, he could move in the pocket – we were assured of that. (But) we wanted to move the quarterback in this (game) plan because their pass rush was so obvious.”
Carroll said Whitehurst “got pounded a couple times” – referring to some big hits he took after failing to slide.
Hasselbeck threw for a season-high 366 yards in Seattle’s Week 9 loss to New Orleans, something Carroll said he is taking into consideration.