Thursday on the Pete Carroll calendar is “Turnover Thursday.” But last Thursday turned out to be “Redemption Thursday” for Charlie Whitehurst.
The quarterback who was acquired in a trade with the Chargers last year returned to San Diego and turned in an impressive performance to jumpstart the Seahawks’ 24-17 victory in their preseason opener at Qualcomm Stadium.
|A statistical look at the performances of the quarterbacks in Thursday night’s preseason opener:
“It’s great to see some of those guys that I was with for a long time,” said Whitehurst, who completed 14 of 20 passes for 115 yards and directed two scoring drives in his five-series stint that was wedged between Tarvaris Jackson starting the game and rookie free agent Josh Portis finishing it.
“I’ve got a ton of respect for Norv (Turner, the coach) and Philip (Rivers, the QB) and Billy Volek (the backup QB) and John Ramsdell (the QB coach), the guys that I did a lot of work with. It’s amazing. You’re there for so long and then you’re not anymore. But life goes on. That’s the NFL.”
After going 5 of 9 for 29 yards to finish the first half, Whitehurst was 9 of 11 for 86 yards in third-quarter drives to a touchdown and a field goal to tie the score.
“We came out in the third quarter and kind of upped the tempo a little bit,” Whitehurst said. “We put some plays together, got in the end zone a few times and got a win.”
The other half of the redemptive aspect was Whitehurst bouncing back after Carroll already had announced that the just-acquired Jackson would be the starter because of his familiarity with the system being installed by new coordinator Darrell Bevell – who also was Jackson’s O.C. in Minnesota the past five seasons.
The somewhat surprising decision – at least until Carroll explained the reasoning – left Whitehurst disappointed that he would be not be competing for the job just-departed Matt Hasselbeck held the past 10 seasons. At least not immediately.
But Whitehurst did not let the situation affect his play once he stepped upon the field where his NFL dream began in 2006 as a third-round draft choice.
Together, Jackson, Whitehurst and Portis combined to help the Seahawks pull out the victory – and please their coach.
“I thought nothing but good things about the quarterbacking all the way through,” Carroll said. “Charlie played very well … very poise and in command. I was really happy to see that. It was great.”