Eight games into his fifth season at the pro level, Seahawks QB Charlie Whitehurst finally got his first chance to strut his stuff in a starting role with Matt Hasselbeck sidelined with a concussion.
In a game against the Giants in which the Seahawks got the stuffing knocked out of them for the second consecutive week, the results were far from encouraging.
To say Whitehurst was overmatched is an understatement of major proportions, as evidenced by his 44.3 passer rating and only 113 yards passing on 12-of-23 completions — with a pair of interceptions and a fumble thrown in for good measure.
“Yeah, it wasn’t good, but it was his first game against a hot Giants team,” one team insider said. “But the next time he starts, we won’t be able to say it’s his first time.”
Suffice it to say the Seahawks are hoping there won't be a next time anytime soon, as Whitehurst's obvious shortcomings reinforced the team's dependence for the time being on the 35-year-old Hasselbeck, who is a little more than halfway through the final year of his contract.
Whitehurst did show off what is considered to be his greatest strength — his ability to throw the deep ball — with his first NFL TD pass in the fourth quarter, a 36-yard toss to Ben Obomanu.
"He really can throw the deep pass," the observer said. "The Seattle receivers just love to way the bottom just drops out of his long balls into their hands.
"But his inability to look off his receivers and throw the short and intermediate stuff is a problem. With his vertical ability, the big question will be whether they tweak the offense to better suit his strengths."
A bigger question — taking into account just how much of a work-in-progress Whitehurst remains, as well as the risk in re-upping with Hasslebeck, who now has missed 12 games because of injuries the past three seasons — is whether or not the Seahawks seriously consider spending a first-round pick on another signalcaller in the the 2011 draft.
"They definitely have to make a determination on both guys the rest of the way," the observer said, adding that Whitehurst is signed through next season.
"And they won't have two high first-rounders like this year."