Chance excites ex-Tiger

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RENTON, Wash. --- Hardly a week goes by without some NFL know-it-all reminding former Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst he's been in the league four years but has yet to throw a pass in the regular season.

Seahawks quarterback Charlie Whitehurst completed 14 of 22 passes for 214 yards last weekend. The former Clemson star was traded from San Diego in the offseason.   Associated Press
Associated Press
Seahawks quarterback Charlie Whitehurst completed 14 of 22 passes for 214 yards last weekend. The former Clemson star was traded from San Diego in the offseason.

So the San Diego Chargers' former third-string quarterback just laughed upon hearing it yet again on Wednesday.

"Yeah, you know, it's one of those things. I haven't done it," the Seattle Seahawks' presumed heir to starter Matt Hasselbeck said with a sigh after practice this week. "I don't know what that says either way, honestly."

For now, it says that despite a two-touchdown debut last weekend, Whitehurst remains unproven when it matters most.

Yet Saturday night provided evidence why new Seattle coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider gave up a second-round pick this year and a third-rounder in 2011, plus a new $8 million contract to get Whitehurst from San Diego in March.

They made the trade knowing the oft-injured Hasselbeck turns 35 next month and is entering the final year of his contract.

After replacing Hasselbeck in the second quarter, Whitehurst completed 14 of 22 passes for 214 yards and one interception against the Titans.

"He did what we thought he could do," Carroll said. "It was a big step to take. And I think as the first really big move that John pulled together, it showed that he was on track with this thing.

"I'm really pleased for Charlie, too. He sat for four years in a spot where he couldn't really get anywhere close to playing time. ... I know he's seizing the opportunity."

San Diego took Whitehurt in the third round. He spent four years there behind Pro Bowler Philip Rivers and Billy Volek.

Then, out of nowhere, a jolt of hope and excitement: The Seahawks traded for him three months into their new regime, banking on potential and reasoning they were better off acquiring a somewhat seasoned Whitehurst than by drafting a rookie passer.

"I got a feeling that I hadn't felt in a few years. It's exciting," Whitehurst said. "It just kind of gets you going -- 'All right, I'm kind of in the mix now.'

"It's just nice to be considered or wanted."

Even if Hasselbeck stays healthy and plays 16 games for the first time since 2007 behind a shaky offensive line, maybe Whitehurst will finally throw that elusive first regular-season pass this fall.


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