Tennessee’s Matt Hasselbeck knows very well how quickly a starting job can be lost. He is the player the Titans attempted to replace with Peyton Manning in March. Basketball scores
Hasselbeck in addition likes to compete.
Good thing since the Titans kicked their QB battle into a new gear with their 1st on-field training activities this week. The Titans are letting Hasselbeck and Jake Locker, the 8th pick overall in 2011, compete to be the beginning QB this season. The veteran got the ball first in team drills this week, and Hasselbeck related he’s approaching this year as he does every year.
“The advice I give to men over the years is you’re not truly competing with the guys at your position,” Hasselbeck said. “It’s potentially a faulty view of things. At this point, you’re competing with everybody in the world they may find to replace you with whether they’re here yet or not, and you know I kind of learned that lesson the hard way this offseason. That is just reality.”
Coach Mike Munchak said that Hasselbeck and Locker will split snaps 50-50 while both will work with as many players as practicable and the Titans are even splitting up the days when each QB speaks to reporters.
And Munchak intends to know which man he wants as his starter by the Titans’ 3rd preseason game Aug. 23 against Arizona in Nashville.
“The quarterback is the one position everybody’s going to be polishing in on because it’s the most vital position on a team, but we might like that for all spots,” Munchak claimed. “You’re praying that decisions get made as quickly as they can be. You are doing what’s best for the team. So when you go into that 3rd game, you wish to have a good feeling for what your intention is.”
It would be simple enough for Hasselbeck to take the disposition this is his job after the season he had in 2011 for Tennessee. Signed just before the start of training camp because of the NFL lockout, Hasselbeck started all sixteen games for the 1st time since 2007 when he was in Seattle, and he threw for 3,571 yards with 18 touchdowns and 14 interceptions with a passer rating of 82.4. His yards passing ranked 4th-best in franchise history.
He did it after losing his top receiver in the 3rd game when Kenny Britt tore his right ACL and MCL and with Chris Johnson turning in his worst season of his career after missing virtually all the preseason in a holdout for a new agreement.
Locker had his moments too as a newbie, which is the main reason why the Titans opened up the contest. Locker came off the bench Dec. 11 against New Orleans and threw for 282 yards, the most yards passing by a rookie for this organization since Jacky Lee threw for 331 in 1960 against Boston for the then-Houston Oilers in the 1st season of the AFL.
The rookie from Washington threw for 542 yards coming off the bench in 5 games with 4 touchdowns, and the QB known for his capability to run around was sacked only 5 times while scrambling eight times for 56 yards and a TD.