Will Seahawks consider a quarterback switch in playoff race?

When the Seattle Seahawks paid what looked to be a handsome sum for San Diego Chargers’ No. 3 quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, the thinking was maybe Pete Carroll was fixing to make him the starter.

That didn’t happen, and reports over the summer were not very favorable in regards to Whitehurst. But a chance came for him on Sunday with the Seahawks mercifully trailing the Atlanta Falcons at home, and now the question being asked in Seattle is does it signal the end of the Matt Hasselbeck era?

Carroll is smart enough to know he’s got to find a quarterback of the future, something the 34-year-old Hasselbeck clearly isn’t. There’s probably a good chance the quarterback the Seahawks needs to build around isn’t even on the roster right now. But, after swapping picks in the second round with the Chargers (the Seahawks moved from 40th to 60th) in this last draft, and after trading away their 2011 third-round pick for Whitehurst, Carroll needs to find out what he has in athletic, young passer. Plus, the Seahawks signed Whitehurst to an $8 million, two-year contract.

Hasselbeck has eight turnovers in the last two games and 13 in the last four, according to Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times.

"Looking back, I seem to do stupid things when we're losing,” Hasselbeck said. “I understand the frustration. I have that frustration, but it is what it is. It's not an easy job and it's not an easy job right now and that's OK. I understand the job description. I understand what's needed of me and they need me to be better."

The trick bag, of course, is the Seahawks are tied for first place in the down-and-out NFC West at 6-8. Do you stick with Hasselbeck and hope he can stop turning the ball over. Or do you gamble with Whitehurst? If the Seahawks don’t play Whitehurst more this season, when will they get a good evaluation of him?

As Kelley notes, following the touchdown drive Whitehurst led, fans were chanting, “Charlie!”

“There's no decision about the quarterback situation," Carroll said afterward. "I'm not doing anything right now.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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