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Saturday, April 30, 2011
Pete Carroll: 'We have up-and-coming QB'

By Mike Sando

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks have yet to draft a college quarterback under Pete Carroll despite saying they'd like to select at least one every year as a matter of philosophy.

Whitehurst
Whitehurst
Charlie Whitehurst, who has started two games in the NFL, is the only quarterback under contract heading toward an as-yet-unscheduled free-agent signing period.

Cause for concern?

"No," general manager John Schneider said following the draft Saturday.

"We don't feel like that," Carroll added.

"We had a plan going in and we still have our plan," Schneider said. "We just can't execute that plan right now."

That plan could include acquiring a quarterback by trade, pursuing one in free agency or re-signing Matt Hasselbeck. With none of those options a certainty and with Hasselbeck no longer the definite starter, Carroll is expressing more confidence in Whitehurst.

"The fact that Charlie is here, Charlie is part of this draft class in a sense," Carroll said. "We used a third-round pick to get him (via trade in 2010). We have a young, up-and-coming quarterback. I know you are looking, 'Hey, let's go get another one,' but we are happy with Charlie and hoping he is going to continue to flourish and blossom. I'm not feeling like we missed out on a quarterback opportunity because Charlie is growing with us."

The Seahawks were in a tough spot selecting 25th overall in this draft. They would have been picking eighth had they lost to St. Louis in Week 17 last season. Under those circumstances, I suspect they would have drafted Missouri's Blaine Gabbert. That was never a realistic option the way things worked out.

As for Whitehurst, the team had several opportunities to name him the starter last season. Hasselbeck struggled for stretches and was playing through injuries that affected him. I found it telling at the time when Carroll stuck resisted multiple opportunities to get playing time for the quarterback Seattle acquired and needed to see in action.

"That is how you perceived it," Carroll said, "but we had a starting quarterback and we supported our guy throughout his opportunities. When it was time, we got Charlie in there. Charlie had never even played before. He has now started two football games in his career in the NFL. He is just getting started, to me. He is just a young guy proving himself and is going to show us in time where he fits. We thought we had a young guy coming up and we still do."

Schneider said the Seahawks never valued a quarterback in the draft enough to select one over the players they chose.

The chart shows the players Seattle drafted and the quarterbacks other teams selected subsequently.