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Charlie running away with the job? No, he's running from the Rams defense.
There appears to be no definitive timetable for Whitehurst. If Jackson is indeed the starter Week 1, he will have two road games before he even hears the roars of CenturyLink as a Seahawk.
Unless Jackson has a horrific first two weeks, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Carroll makes a change that early in the season—unless Whitehurst is close enough to ready where a switch is warranted and the tone needs to be changed heading into the home opener.
Seattle has a two-game homestand Weeks 3 and 4, before hitting the road at New York before the bye. Jackson will start the year in two hostile environments; depending on his performance in those games and his play at home, it could be his last chance to garner some momentum as the starter.
Seattle plays Week 7 on the road in Cleveland, and I believe this could be a point in the season where the 'Hawks ask themselves: Is it worth playing Jackson if he’s struggling when there are only 11 games left to learn about Whitehurst? Unless Whitehurst just isn’t ready, then there is no reason to maintain a staunch commitment to a struggling Jackson.
Will Whitehurst actually get a chance to start? I think he will, for a couple reasons. First, he came into camp speaking the language of a starting quarterback, ready to take responsibility for the position and the team.
Also, the organization gave up a valuable pick for him; as many have stated over the course of the offseason, not playing him would be a waste of a pick and bring the organizations first major personnel decision even more under the microscope.
I believe there is another factor in this decision: chemistry with the receiving corps.
Mike Williams has been outspoken this offseason, stating he believes Whitehurst needs the confidence of being labeled the starter and the chance to have first team reps and game experience.
It’s worth watching the dynamic in the locker room between Jackson, Sidney Rice and the 2010 Seahawks; Whitehurst won a big game for the team—they know he can answer the call with the season on the line. Having the confidence of your team is a must, as is taking part in the Seahawks’ culture.
With the addition of Rice, will Williams continue to emerge as the leader of the receiver corps? If he indeed wants Whitehurst to get his shot, is there the potential for friction with the former Vikings faction?
I'm not saying it will happen, but leadership positions are up for grabs on this very young team; there is no guarantee the transition is smooth.
I think Whitehurst eventually gets the chance to prove he can be the franchise quarterback—unless Jackson starts the year hot and doesn’t relinquish command of the offense—even if for only a couple of starts.
Otherwise, the Seahawks risk not fully preparing themselves to decide who will be the starting quarterback beyond 2011.