RENTON, Wash. – Just two plays away.
During the last four seasons as the third-string quarterback in San Diego, Charlie Whitehurst needed to have the mentality that in two plays, he could be called upon to take the snaps for the Chargers. On Sunday, the Chargers come into Seattle to face his new team with White- hurst being potentially one snap away from getting his chance.
“We feel fortunate to have Charlie waiting in the wings, but it’s not his time yet,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
Seattle acquired Whitehurst from San Diego in March, swapping second-rounders and sending a third-round draft pick in 2011 to the Chargers in return. The Seahawks gave him the opportunity he was looking for to prove he was more than a third-string quarterback.
Whitehurst was impressive in the preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans. He threw for 214 yards and two touchdowns, including a 51-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams where he read a blitz and audibled at the line.
But Whitehurst struggled to find that consistency the rest of the preseason and he eased into the familiar role of backup QB.
Sitting behind Philip Rivers and Billy Volek for four seasons gave Whitehurst a different perspective on the game.
Whitehurst got to sit back and learn from Rivers for four seasons. He got to see how Rivers worked in pressure situations and how he prepared for games during the week.
“His preparation is something you could really take a lot from,” Whitehurst said. “Very dedicated in that aspect. Worked hard at it and it was good to see that.”
In addition, Whitehurst got to hear how coach Norv Turner was calling the plays and was able to get an understanding for the game’s flow and the strategy involved in Turner’s play calls.
He continued to develop under Turner but just couldn’t unseat Volek for the backup job.
That’s when San Diego decided to part ways with Whitehurst, giving him a chance to compete for a starting job with Seattle.
Despite a three-interception performance by Matt Hasselbeck last week in Denver, Carroll said Hasselbeck is firmly entrenched as the Seahawks’ starter.
“Matt is our guy and we know that Matt gives us the best chance to win and he’s doing everything he can to prepare and he’s busting his tail and all that. He’s doing a good job,” Carroll said.
Whitehurst still has to prepare as though his time could come sooner rather than later.
Hasselbeck has missed 11 games over the past two seasons because of to injury and if he were to go down again, it’s Whitehurst the Seahawks will call upon.
So for the time being Whitehurst is still awaiting his opportunity to play when it counts. Only in Seattle, he knows he’s a step closer.
“I think the way I looked at it there was I was two plays away and really what’s the difference?” Whitehurst said. “I’m definitely in a different position now but the way I dealt with that was I need to be ready. I need to be ready here, too.”
RT Sean Locklear will start after being limited with a knee injury on Thursday. … RB Quinton Ganther (knee) practiced for the first time this week and will be able to play. … DE E.J. Wilson is questionable with a knee injury.