The Seattle Seahawks are in the beginning throes of a full blown quarterback controversy. Last Sunday, despite guiding Seattle to a 13-10 victory over division rival Arizona, Tarvaris Jackson seemingly was booed with each incomplete pass and/or sack.
Throughout Century Link Field chants of “Charlie “ were also heard, as a growing number of Seattle faithful are calling for backup Charlie Whitehurst to get the call.
So far, head coach Pete Carroll isn’t buckling to pressure from the frustrated 12th man.
Quarterback controversies can rip a team apart but are great fun for fans and media. Usually they involve a journeyman given the starting job when everyone wants to see the young prospect who's waiting in the wings.
Sports radio and Internet blogs are made for these things.
While there certainly has been a great deal of speculation in Seattle, the two choices here leave one feeling a little deflated.
What kind of controversy is it when both guys are terrible? When neither one is the answer? When neither would start for the vast majority of teams in the NFL?
The kind of controversy Seattle has is lame.
In one corner you have Tarvaris Jackson, who got a shot early in his career with the Vikings. Despite an all-world running back and some beefy guys up front, he couldn’t get the job done.
His career rating of 76.2 is hardly exciting and he has never thrown for more than nine touchdowns in a season. This is the guy the Seahawks handed the job to. He was supposed to be a good fit because he played for new Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
With the Seahawks so far he has been underwhelming. Through three games, he’s only thrown for two touchdowns and has yet to hit 200 yards passing in a game once.
Either Bevell’s offensive is extremely difficult or Jackson isn’t cutting it.
Defenders of Jackson will point out that the Seahawks are running out a really green, and at times over-matched, offensive line. They have no running game and outside of Sidney Rice no real big receiving threats.
Some of that is true for sure, but Jackson still looks lost at times.
Then there is Whitehurst. The old saying of the backup quarterback being the most popular player on the team has never been more true than in Seattle. The fans who are clamoring for Whitehurst to get the nod point to the fact that he looked OK in the preseason and that "We don’t know what he can do unless he plays" attitude.
While it’s true that we fans don’t know what he can do, can the same be said for the coaching staff?
After all, they have seen four years of preseason tape of him with San Diego, two training camps with Seattle, two years of practices, a couple of games and mini-camps. Despite all that they were looking to bring someone in to start this off season.
It seems that Carroll has seen all he needs to with Whitehurst.
Does that mean he can’t do it?
Of course not, but this is a guy who has yet to throw 100 NFL passes in five-plus seasons and is now dealing with his third offense in three years. The number of guys who have gone on to success with those conditions is pretty short.
Will starting Whitehurst cure their offensive line problem? Will Marshawn Lynch suddenly have room to run? Will guys like Ben Obomanu and Golden Tate suddenly get open? It’s hard to imagine how that will work.
Chances are at some point the fans will get their wish, and when Whitehurst doesn’t work out either whom will they be chanting for?
The stark reality is that it doesn’t matter which of these stiffs the Seahawks roll out. The result will be the same.
Seattle’s offense will struggle.
After last year's bizarre season there was mixed expectations amongst the folks in Seahawks nation. Many felt that they could build on last year’s playoff appearance.
But in reality the team is rebuilding.
The Seahawks went with youth this year.
With that come the results we’ve seen so far. The offensive line, which may be good down the road, is starting two rookies, one guy at center who hasn’t played there in the NFL before and a second year guy at left tackle.
No matter which quarterback lines up they won’t be able to run the ball and the passing game will be inconsistent. It is crystal clear that neither Jackson nor Whitehurst are the long term solution at quarterback.
That’s not to say that Seattle is "sucking for Luck" either.
What they are is a work in progress and it goes without saying that quarterback will be a major focus of this up coming offseason. Whether that means drafting a prospect or bringing in a veteran remains to be seen.
The Seahawks are rolling the dice with the two guys in place now, hoping either one can keep them competitive in a rebuilding year. So far it looks like the dice are coming up snake eyes.