Hasselbeck loves Locker

AP

If Matt Hasselbeck is to be believed, the Tennessee Titans have the friendliest quarterback competition in NFL history.

Hasselbeck, the incumbent starter who will try to stave off last year’s first-round draft pick Jake Locker for at least another year, gushed about Locker in an interview with NFL Network’s Rich Eisen. Hasselbeck noted that he signed with the Titans last year knowing that he was the short-term starter but that Locker as franchise quarterback was Tennessee’s long-term plan, and he likes it that way.

“Jake’s great. He’s been awesome,” Hasselbeck said. “It was a weird thing with the lockout last year. He was drafted by the Titans and then free agency happened after that. I had a choice to sign and I knew — a lot of times you get signed before and then you don’t know what the team’s going to do in the draft. This was a situation where they drafted him, he becomes their guy of the future, the guy they’re committed to and invested in. I didn’t really know him well but I think that was a positive for me going into it. In my mind I was like, ‘Here’s a young guy who’s really talented, who seems like a great guy, everybody I know says he’s a great guy, he’ll be fun to work with and compete with.'”

Hasselbeck said that as much as he was optimistic about a good working relationship with Locker, the relationship has exceeded his expectations.

“It’s been ten times better,” Hasselbeck said. “He’s a better kid than I’ve heard, he’s a better thrower than I’ve heard, he’s much smarter in the classroom than I would have expected for someone his age. So it’s been really good, it’s been really fun, my kids love him and the whole quarterback room in general is really good.”

As a young quarterback in Green Bay and Seattle, Hasselbeck had good relationships with veterans Brett Favre and Trent Dilfer. Now Hasselbeck sounds like he’s eager to pay it forward by serving as a mentor to Locker. Even though he’s not willing to cede the starting job just yet.

33 responses to “Hasselbeck loves Locker

  1. glad to have both.

    hassleback should start this season because he gives us a chance to be one of the more explosive offenses in the NFL. britt, wright, washington, cook, cj and one of the best pass protections could be lethal.

    it’ll be good for locker to sit another year

  2. It only took about a month of them both being in town for me to get the impression this was like no other relationship among QB’s that I’d ever seen. Ironically, if the Titans hadn’t locked Steve McNair out of the facility and traded him to Baltimore, many of us thought he and Vince Young would have a relationship like this. (Mac was VY’s father figure.)

  3. This looks like a way for Hasselback to accept the fact that Locker will be taking over the starting QB duties once the season starts. Just a way to make sure their are no hard feelings.

  4. You always read about how great some of these guys are. Jake is the real deal, one of the nicest, most unassuming kids there is. I wish him the best of luck, wish he would have lasted to the Hawks pick.

  5. Miss hasselbeck in Seattle…. Hope he comes back to the franchise in some sort of FO role when he retires.

  6. Hasselbeck has always been a class act but I’d like to see Jake Locker win it. He has more mobility, a better arm and showed that he can be smart with the football (0 INTs his rookie year). Almost came back and beat the Saints with some good throws but time ran out. He’s not Steve McNair but he’s still exciting to watch.

    The future is now.

  7. The friendliest QB competition in history is just fine with me after living through years of Vince Young drama.

    These are both really good guys. I never got a full read on Hasselbeck’s personality when he was way out west in Seattle and not getting a lot of national media coverage, but he’s a rock solid pro, on and off the field. And judging from 2011, he can still play well as long as he’s not playing hurt (that’s when his game dropped off at times last year).

    Locker’s just a good character, hard-working, really likeable kid. With real upside, based on the glimpses he showed last year. And with a pro like Hasselbeck to teach him the ropes.

    It’s a good situation all the way around.

  8. Hard feelings or not, its a nice change to hear a veteran player speak highly of the young talent that will subplant him. Hass has had a nice career, and, through his words, he reveals that he accepts the life cycle of his NFL position. To me, it shows that Hass is one of the few that has no problem “teaching” a young guy; he has no problem helping a young cube grow in the league. He’s had a great run, yet, he’s comfortable with the realization that his better days are behind him. Kudos. Guys like this make the league better. Mentoring is just as important as being “the guy”.

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  10. When Hasselbeck hangs it up I look forward to seeing him in the broadcaster’s booth. Very classy, personable and funny guy. I love to hear him mic’d up because he’s always very witty and lighthearted, while at the same time being a fierce competitior who can ball. Very underrated player throughtout his career. This Raven fan will be sad to see him go when his time is up.

  11. Hasselbeck has always been a pro and I think has been realistic about the situation with the Titans. He knows its just the last few years of his career.

  12. These are both great character guys and I couldn’t have more respect for Hasselbeck’s handling of everything on and off the field since he got to TN (including Bud Adams and his Peyton Manning dalliance). Locker is a very grounded, mature kid — a welcome change after the Vince Young childish tantrums — and is a lot of fun to watch on the field.

    May the best QB win, and it will be a nice feeling knowing the other guy is waiting in the wings if/when they need him this year, too.

  13. There are many more good guys than bad in the NFL and Hass and Locker are the former.
    I’ve heard some of their comments about their relationship and they are 100% sincere sounding to me. I’m sure that when Locker’s career is close to the end he will be the same way as Hass is now.

  14. I am a Titans fan and an Oilers fan before that. The issue with Jake Locker is this, his rookie year 51.2% of his passes completed which is close to the same completion percentage he had in college, that is Tim Tebow-esque and until he increases that he cannot be a consistent winning Quarterback in the National Football League. Yes, Hasselbeck has a weaker arm in all probability but he completes close to 60 % of his passes. Accuracy is the name of the game as a QB in the NFL.

  15. I thought this was going to be about one of those high security combination locks. This sucks.

  16. Write it up now. Matt starts this year because the titans are the most conservative/boring team in the nfl. And i say that as a huge titans fan. We go 0-4, 1-5 and midway through the season jake takes over and ALMOST gets us into the playoffs.

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