The Whitehurst era is upon us

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider introduced newly acquired quarterback Charlie Whitehurst today, and indicated that the former Chargers third-stringer will have a chance to compete with Matt Hasselbeck for the starting job.

“Right now Matt’s the guy, and Chris is coming after him,” Carroll said.

Carroll said Hasselbeck has been good with the fact that the team has been pursing a quarterback, and that it’s something they talked about before free agency began.

Whitehurst, meanwhile, expressed gratitude for finally getting a shot to compete for playing time after spending four years behind Philip Rivers (and at times Billy Volek).

Carroll and Schneider didn’t go so far as to name Whitehurst the quarterback of the future, but Carroll did say, “We’re hoping he’ll be here a long time.” Both praised his size, arm strength and athleticism when asked what made Whitehurst worth what they gave up. Carroll called this the first big move for him and Schneider, and acknowledged that “There is risk involved when you make a decision like this.”

Schneider and Carroll both said that this signing doesn’t mean the Seahawks won’t draft a quarterback, even in the early rounds.

“We’re closing no options,” Carroll said.

Then again, even if the Seahawks did have their minds made up on that topic, they wouldn’t make that public before the draft.

Schneider, it turns out, has had his eyes on Whitehurst for quite a while, noting that he saw the then-Clemson quarterback throw in a 2005 workout. Schneider also joked that he wanted to acquire Whitehurst because the two were born at the same Green Bay, Wisc. hospital, St. Vincent’s.

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