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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.



July 28, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Q&A: Charlie Whitehurst

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst entered training camp with every intention of establishing himself as Seattle's starting quarterback. That's not any different a mindset than he had last season, but he admitted Thursday, that this time it's a more realistic goal:

Here's a transcript of his interview after Thursday's practice:

Q: How did it feel just being out there, back to work?

Whitehurst: "It feels great being back here with the team, your teammates, your coaches. It's kind of like we never left even though we've been gone for a while. This is what we're all kind of born to do, and it feels great to be back."

Q: You've always had a veteran quarterback out there with you, and now you're the veteran.

Whitehurst: "It's an opportunity, obviously. It's one that I'm going to attack, give it everything I've got. I want to be the starting quarterback here. I know there's going to be competition. I'm confident that I can make it happen and lead this team to a heck of a season."

Q: Charlie, how different is the mindset from last summer to today?

Whitehurst: "Really, the mindset is pretty similar. Every day you're out here, every player should be competing for a spot, a starting spot. Obviously, I think I've got a better shot this year than I did last year, but the mindset is the same every time you take the field."

Q: From what you've seen how does Darrell Bevell's offense fit your skills?

Whitehurst: "Well, it's definitely new. We're just diving in the playbook now, but I like some of the things we do. We're going to try and run the football here, there's no doubt about it. We will be able to do that, play-action some drop-back, all that stuff. I think we're going to throw it short, throw it long, do a bunch of stuff. I'm confident that I can fit anything he asks me to do."

Q: What has the communication been like with Carl Smith, taking over as quarterbacks coach?

Whitehurst: "It has been good, it has been good. Obviously, it's different when you change coaches. It's a little bit different style up there, but we've gotten off to a good start, and I think it's going to be a good relationship."

Q: You've got a big weapon in Mike Williams already, and there are reports you're going to get Sidney Rice.

Whitehurst: "I've heard those reports. I played against him in college. He's a heck of a football player so we'd be lucky to have him."

Q: On Monday, the lockout is still going on, Matt Hasselbeck's future isn't decided, how has this week felt to you?

Whitehurst: "Whitehurst: It's amazing how fast it has happened for sure. I was expecting anything to happen at this position. Obviously, Matt's not here anymore, but now we're out here on the practice field throwing the ball around. You didn't really know what to expect. I was open to anything, but to answer your question, yeah, it has been pretty fast."

Q: Have you been in contact with Matt since this all went down?

Whitehurst: "I left him a voice mail. We've been in communication. He texted me back. I just thanked him for being a good leader, and a good guy to be under for a year. He's a heck of a guy. People are going to miss him around here for sure."

Q: What did you learn most from Matt?

Whitehurst: "His professionalism. He was a true pro. He was prepared, he competed, he was a good leader. He was obviously a heck of a player for a long time. He was a good football player. You learn little things out there in practice every day from a good quarterback like that for sure."

Q: As a quarterback with a new offense, what do you lose not having as many camps or OTAs?

Whitehurst: "It's full speed right now, and we've got a lot of catching up to do. You've got to work harder than everybody else. That's kind of our motto around here. We're going to outwork everybody. I absolutely try to do that every day. We take it serious … We're full speed. We've got business to take care of."

Q: What was your offseason like in kind of preparing for what you're going face to once you came back here?

Whitehurst: "Didn't know when the lockout was going to break so you had to be prepared to come back whether it was April, May, June. I started training pretty hard there in probably March. I was back in Atlanta throwing the ball two, three, four times a week, training, running. Whenever it broke, I was going to be read."

Q: You were throwing to Kris Durham. What's your scouting report on him?

Whitehurst: "I think he's going to be a pretty good player. We'll have to see. He's definitely talented, and we put a lot of time in. Hopefully, it will play off."

Q: Did you have the playbook at that point. Were you able to go over some stuff?

Whitehurst: "No, we got the playbook yesterday or the day before. Like I said before, we've got some catching up to do, but that's the situation. It's not an excuse, we're going to have to learn it awful fast."

Q: How much of a transition will there be from last year's playbook to this year's playbook.

Whitehurst: "It's similar terminology. It's a West Coast scheme, but there's different plays to learn, different procedure, all that. It's a new offense, and we've got our hands full, but we're going to learn."

Q: Does it feel like there's added pressure in this situation, stepping in?

Whitehurst: "I'd love to be the starter, and I told him if I am, I've got huge shoes to fill, for sure. The only way I know to approach it is to come out here and work. I know Matt, I know his legacy here. Nobody is going to forget it, but you try to make your own."

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