Matt Hasselbeck won’t be the starting quarterback for the Titans this season, something he admits he was disappointed to learn.
But Hasselbeck also says that the disappointment won’t get in the way of being as supportive as possible with Jake Locker. Hasselbeck wasn’t shy about praising Locker’s improvement and said that he can’t disagree with the team’s decision that Locker is ready to start. As a result, he’s happy to help the new starter out this season.
“I’ve been in his shoes. It’s an exciting thing for him to have the chance to help lead a franchise or help build a program and have a chance to be the guy under center,” Hasselbeck said, via David Boclair of the Nashville City Paper. “I’ll help and support him any way I can, and I’ll be happy to do it.”
It helps that Hasselbeck always knew that this day was coming and that Locker clearly won the job instead of just having it handed to him. He signed with the Titans after they had already taken Locker in the first round of the 2011 draft with designs on making him their starting quarterback when they felt he was ready. To act upset about the plan unfolding exactly as expected wouldn’t say much about Hasselbeck, even if he’s likely still of the opinion that he can be a starter in the NFL.
He might get that chance again in the future, but, for now, he’s a veteran sounding board for the new starter in Tennessee.