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Tennessee Titans Football

Hasselbeck Willing to Renegotiate Contract

Posted by Gary Glenn on February 6, 2013 – 5:31 pm

IMG_0273Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was on hand at today’s Titans Community QB Award luncheon, congratulating winners during the team’s annual charity event at LP Field.

Afterwards, he spoke with reporters on a number of topics, including the possibility of renegotiating his contract. Hasselbeck is set to enter the final year of a three-year contract he signed with the Titans in 2011.

“Yeah, I would definitely be up for that for sure,” Hasselbeck said. “That topic came up at some point. Again, I’m not in those conversations but I’m aware of them. That topic came up maybe September, October, November, somewhere in there. I would be excited about the opportunity because it would be basically having the opportunity to stay, but again there’s so much that goes into those things.”

Hasselbeck was asked more specifically if he would take a salary cut.

“Well, they’re not going to ask you to go up. But, if they do, I’m fine with that also,” he said. “That works for me, too, however they want to do that.”

Here’s the complete video of Hasselbeck’s media session:

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Hasselbeck Content With Role at QB

Posted by Gary Glenn on January 8, 2013 – 4:08 pm

Titans, ColtsMatt Hasselbeck sounded like a player who wants to return to the Titans in 2013 in comments he made to reporters on the team’s final day at Baptist Sports Park.

Hasselbeck has one year left on a three-year deal he signed prior to the 2011 season. He said he would be okay continuing to back up Jake Locker and be ready to play as needed.

“Who knows what happens? But I like our quarterback room a lot, and if I’m here I understand where we are in Jake’s development and all that. So I guess, really, I’m OK with being a part of his maturing process if that’s the role I have to play. What also goes with that role is stepping in if he can’t go, so I knew all that coming in.”

With 14 NFL seasons under his belt, the situation in Tennessee seems ideal for Hasselbeck, who turns 38 early next season.

“Some guys might feel differently at the stage I am in my career or whatever. But the only thing that’s important to me that goes with that is I want to be on a team that is good and that is heading in the right direction.”

Titans brass had targeted Hasselbeck in 2011 to have a veteran presence at the position and to groom the team’s up-and-coming quarterback. He started all 16 games for the Titans in 2011, throwing for 3,571 yards, the fourth-highest total in team history. His 18 touchdowns passes were the most for this team since 2004.

Locker was named the starter following the 2012 training camp, leaving Hasselbeck to play in only a handful of games while Locker was recovering from an injured shoulder. The veteran QB went 2-3 as a starter, winning against Pittsburgh and at Buffalo, where he tossed the game-winning touchdown pass to Nate Washington. He completed 138 of 221 passes for 1,367 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions.

“I feel good about the people we have here,” Hasselbeck said. “I feel good about the people in charge. I feel good about the plan. This year obviously didn’t go like we’d hoped, so it makes it harder.

“On paper, we can (be a winning team). That’s my hope. We just have to stay healthy, maybe add a piece and get the most out of the pieces we have, get the chemistry right. But I feel good about everything here. I’ve really enjoyed Nashville, which is important for me. But we’ll see. Like I said, a lot can change.”

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Hasselbeck, Wright Thriving on Third Down

Posted by Gary Glenn on October 31, 2012 – 1:29 pm

The Titans offense has two of the NFL’s top performers on third down in 2012. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has a 102.8 passer rating on third down, ranking him sixth in the league and fourth in the AFC. He has completed 43 of 58 passes (74.1 percent) for 482 yards, two touchdowns and only one interception.

Highest NFL passer rating on third down in 2012:

117.1 – Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh)
111.3 – Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay)
110.2 – Tom Brady (New England)
106.8 – Peyton Manning (Denver)
106.4 – Michael Vick (Philadephia)
102.8 – Matt Hasselbeck (Tennessee)

Meanwhile, rookie wide receiver Kendall Wright leads the entire NFL with 19 total receptions on third down. Wright posted 15 of his third-down receptions in October, an NFL high for the month. His totals include a 23-yard touchdown reception from Hasselbeck on third-and-11 last week against the Colts.

Most receptions on third down in 2012:

19 – Kendall Wright (Tennessee)
17 – Wes Welker (New England)
16 – Michael Crabtree (San Francisco)
16 – Victor Cruz (N.Y. Giants)
16 – Brandon Marshall (Chicago)
16 – Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis).

Wright not only leads the league in receptions on third down but also has been consistently converting the plays to first downs. Out of his 19 third-down catches, 14 have resulted in first downs for the Titans. He is tied with Colts receiver Reggie Wayne for the most third-down conversions among receivers in 2012.

Most third-down receptions for a first down in 2012:

14 – Kendall Wright (Tennessee)
14 – Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis)
13 – Victor Cruz (N.Y. Giants)
13 – Percy Harvin (Minnesota)
13 – Brandon Marshall (Chicago)

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Hasselbeck Closing in on 200 Touchdown Passes

Posted by Gary Glenn on October 17, 2012 – 2:46 pm

Matt Hasselbeck needs just two more touchdown passes to reach 200 for his career, a mark he could potentially reach when the Titans play the Bills Sunday in Buffalo.

Since entering the NFL as a sixth-round pick of the Green Bay Packers in 1998, the 14-year pro has connected with 41 different players for touchdowns.

Most recently, he hooked up with Kenny Britt for the game-tying score late in the fourth quarter of Tennessee’s 26-23 victory vs. Pittsburgh.

With two more touchdown passes, Hasselbeck will become the 32nd player in NFL history to reach 200 career touchdown passes. He would also pass Phil Simms (199) for 32nd place on the league’s all-time list.

Hasselbeck has completed 22 touchdown passes since arriving in Tennessee in 2011.

Most Touchdown Passes in NFL History:

1. Brett Favre – 508
2. Dan Marino – 420
3. Peyton Manning – 413
4. Fran Tarkenton – 342
5. Tom Brady – 310
6. John Elway – 300
7. Drew Brees – 295
8. Warren Moon – 291
9. Johnny Unitas – 290
10. Vinny Testaverde – 275
11. Joe Montana – 273
12. Dave Krieg – 261
13. Sonny Jurgensen – 255
14. Dan Fouts – 254
15. Drew Bledsoe – 251
16. Boomer Esiason – 247
17. John Hadl – 244
18. Len Dawson – 239
19. Jim Kelly – 237
20. George Blanda – 236
21. Donovan McNabb – 234
22. Steve Young – 232
23. John Brodie – 230
24. Terry Bradshaw – 212
25. Y.A. Tittle – 212
26. Jim Hart – 209
27. Kerry Collins – 208
28. Kurt Warner – 208
29. Randall Cunningham – 207
30. Jim Everett – 203
31. Roman Gabriel – 201
32. Phil Simms – 199
33. Matt Hasselbeck – 198

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Hasselbeck Steps in for Injured Locker, Tosses TD pass to Stevens

Posted by Gary Glenn on September 30, 2012 – 1:07 pm

Matt Hasselbeck stepped in for an injured Jake Locker and fired a 19-yard touchdown pass to Craig Stevens, pulling the Titans within 14-7 with 7:52 remaining in the first half at Reliant Stadium.

The scoring drive covered 78 yards on seven plays, marking the first touchdown of the season for Stevens and the fourth of his career.

It was the first touchdown pass of the season for Hasselbeck and the 195th of his career.

Hasselbeck has completed 4 of 6 passes for 74 yards and a TD (148.6 passer rating).

Locker injured his left shoulder being sacked by Houston’s Glover Quin in the first quarter. He is questionable to return.

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Tough Return for Hasselbeck

Posted by Gary Glenn on August 11, 2012 – 10:10 pm

Matt Hasselbeck’s return to Seattle didn’t go quite as planned. On his first play from scrimmage a short pass intended for Nate Washington bounced out of the receiver’s hands and was intercepted by cornerback Brandon Browner, who returned it 23 yards for a touchdown.

“On the first play, I had a choice to take a shot down the field to Jared Cook or take a quick completion to Nate Washington on the left.  I decided to throw to Nate, and it was kind of a freak thing,” Hasselbeck said. “It was disappointing it started that way, not at all how I envisioned it.”

Hasselbeck responded with several solid throws, including an 18-yard strike to tight end Jared Cook while rolling to the left. He went on to complete 5-of-9 passes for 45 yards. Washington caught three of his passes for 24 yards, while Cook had two catches for 21 yards.

Hasselbeck’s last pass was intercepted by cornerback Richard Sherman on a deep throw intended for wide receiver Damian Williams.

Returning to the city he played in for 10 years, the veteran quarterback said it felt weird to be back. He played the entire first quarter and two plays into the second quarter before Jake Locker entered the game.

“It was great to see the familiar faces,” Hasselbeck said. “The reception I got from the fans in both the pregame and during the game was humbling. I tried to address the team right before the game. I didn’t think I would get choked up, but I got a little choked up and ended up not really having anything to say. I’m disappointed that the stats weren’t better and we weren’t able to score, but all in all, it was great to be back.”

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Hasselbeck: Addition of Wright will Help Titans Offense

Posted by Gary Glenn on April 30, 2012 – 5:15 pm

Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck isn’t all that familiar with his new teammate — wide receiver Kendall Wright out of Baylor. But he knows adding another explosive weapon can only help Tennessee’s offense in 2012.

“When you defend a team knowing they have multiple guys that can be inside, outside, in the slot — whether it be Kenny (Britt), Nate (Washington), Hawk (Lavelle Hawkins), Damian (Williams) or whoever, I think it just gives us more leeway,” Hasselbeck said shortly after his arrival on Monday to a Titans Caravan stop in White House, Tenn. “It should help the passing game and the running game. We’ll find out.”

Despite some draft analysts showing concern the Titans didn’t take a defensive player with the 20th overall pick, Hasselbeck said he’s learned over the years to never be surprised by what might happen on draft day.

“Just knowing how the draft really goes, you hear GMs and scouts say ‘we just take the best available on our boards,’ so I’m never surprised. Now if they would have drafted a quarterback, I probably would have been surprised,” he joked.

“I don’t know a whole lot about the kid we drafted in the first round, but from what I’ve heard he’s very explosive with the ball in his hands,” Hasselbeck said. “Obviously, Baylor had kind of a resurgence with the explosion they had on offense this year. What we do know is that we have guys that are explosive and can make plays and help your fantasy football team out.”

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Munchak: QB Competition Will be one to Watch

Posted by Gary Glenn on April 12, 2012 – 11:55 am

Head coach Mike Munchak said the team’s quarterback competition between Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker will be one of the most exciting things to watch throughout training camp and the preseason.

Munchak spoke to local business men and women during a Nashville Business Journal breakfast Wednesday at Lipscomb’s Allen Arena. Munchak said he’s thrilled about Locker, and that last year’s 8th overall pick is going to be a great quarterback for years to come.

“Now will he start this year? That will be the fun part watching Jake compete with Matt Hasselbeck. That will be a question I’ll probably field every single day, but that’s fine because we have two good ones and fans should feel confident that we have a quarterback in place that we can win a Super Bowl with.”

Locker, meanwhile, told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday that he’s going to to everything he can to win the starting role.

“To have them hand that job over to me, whether it’s something they are legitimately thinking now or not, I hope that if they’re not, I hope that by the time it’s over, they will,” Locker said. “And if they are (now), I hope that I’ve done well enough to earn that spot.”

Locker received a vote of confidence from teammate Jared Cook.

“I think Matt has a little bit of upside, but I think Jake’s got heart,” Cook told The Tennessean. “Jake knows what he wants. When you know what you want, sometimes you’re going to get it. So I think it’s going to be a good competition.”

If Locker fails to win the job, he said he’ll continue to push Hasselbeck every day in practice.

“I’m going to do everything I can to win that job, and in that, I’m going to push him (Hasselbeck) to be better,” Locker said. “He’s going to do the same thing, which is going to push me to be better. And at the end of the day, if I don’t end up winning the job and I’m his backup, I’m going to do everything I can on game day to help him to help our team be successful and help our team win games, and I feel he’ll do the same thing.”

Whoever wins, Munchak feels the Titans are in good shape at the quarterback position.

“You’re going to have a quarterback here that you feel great about,” he said. “Both of them are great people. Jake is going to be really special. Time will tell as everything unfolds, but it’s going to be exciting to watch.”

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Hasselbeck Happy to Remain a Titan

Posted by Gary Glenn on March 22, 2012 – 5:56 pm

Matt Hasselbeck was on spring break with his children last week when word broke that the Titans were going to pursue Peyton Manning to be the team’s next quarterback.

Knowing Tennessee was rumored to be a potential landing spot for the four-time NFL MVP, Hasselbeck was not in total shock.

“I’ve got tremendous respect for Peyton Manning, the player, who he was at Tennessee, who he was in this division…he’s a four-time NFL MVP and probably one of the top five quarterbacks to ever play the game,” Hasselbeck said. “With Tennessee being rumored, I almost expected that because of who he was in the state. It wasn’t a shock to me.”

Still, it left the veteran quarterback and his family in limbo.

“You really don’t know what the future holds,” Hasselbeck said. “There were no guarantees that I was going to be back here. If Peyton Manning had chosen to come to Tennessee, I would not be playing for the Titans next year, and that would have been unfortunate in my mind because I haven’t been here long.”

Despite being here less than a year, Hasselbeck and his family have fallen in love with Nashville, a place they didn’t want to leave.

“It’s wonderful,” he said. “It kind of had that reputation going back to last year when we were deciding what team to go to…so many players when they’re done playing here, they stay here. That was exciting, and we’ve seen that in the short time we’ve been here.”

After the Seahawks decided to part ways with Hasselbeck last off-season, the veteran quarterback signed with the Titans prior to the start of training camp. Hasselbeck was swayed at the time by Titans executives Mike Reinfeldt, Ruston Webster and Lake Dawson, all of whom were with Hasselbeck at one point during his tenure in Seattle. This time, he had to trust the same individuals that brought him to Tennessee throughout the challenging process that finally ended Monday when Manning announced his decision to join the Denver Broncos.

“All I could go on was that they were being honest with me in the process. As a player, I think that’s all you can really ask for,” Hasselbeck said. “If the owner wants to make a change and pursue somebody in free agency, that could happen on any team, anywhere at any time. I guess for me at the end of the day, I get it. With the Peyton thing, I get it.”

The competitor in Hasselbeck made him feel like, ‘Hey, I got this,’ but he also realizes being an NFL quarterback requires thick skin. There’s no such thing as hurt feelings.

“Part of playing quarterback is being able to be coached, being able to handle criticism well, being able to handle criticism by your coach or by outside factors,” he said. “What has resonated to me a lot with ‘Munch’ (head coach Mike Munchak) is the same thing — just be a pro. At the end of the day you can always hang your hat on that.”

Hasselbeck has done just that, staying quiet throughout the process until finally speaking with local reporters today. He said he’s looking forward to reuniting with his teammates and strength coaches Steve Watterson and Jason Novak when the team begins its offseason program next month. He’s also excited about this coming season.

“I feel like we have a good thing going here in Tennessee,” Hasselbeck said. “If I had to make the choice this year like I did last year, I still would choose Tennessee. I like what we have going here.”

That includes working with the franchise’s future quarterback, Jake Locker, a close friend who Hasselbeck stayed in touch with last week.

“There’s just something important about going through things together,” Hasselbeck said. “As a positive, we all kind of went through this together. We all kind of sat back with our hands tied. We couldn’t do anything about it. we just sat back to see what would happen and we made it through.”

Now Hasselbeck can put this past week behind him, returning to the situation he was in before the Manning pursuit began.

“I’m excited that I get a chance to kind of finish what we started here,” he said. “I’m very confident in my ability to get it done as a quarterback. Bottom line, we’re just happy to get to stay in Nashville.”

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Competition Won’t Affect Friendship of Locker, Hasselbeck

Posted by Gary Glenn on February 28, 2012 – 5:12 pm

Jake Locker said the open competition between he and Matt Hasselbeck won't affect their strong friendship that goes deeper than football.

Head coach Mike Munchak has consistently said that open competition throughout offseason workouts, training camp and the preseason will determine whether Matt Hasselbeck or Jake Locker start at quarterback for the Titans in 2012.

Hasselbeck said last month he had no problem with Munchak’s approach, and Locker today agreed during an interview with Mark Howard, Frank Wycheck and Kevin Ingram on Nashville’s 104.5 The Zone.

“By us going out and competing as hard as we can every day against each other is only going to bring out the best in each of us, and at the end of the day the best guy will play,” Locker said. “I don’t think that it’s any different of an approach than we took last year. Every time I practiced I was preparing for a chance to possibly start, and that’s how Matt is. You understand it as competitive guys that have played their whole life and have been used to being on the field.”

The Titans’ quarterback situation is much clearer and solidified than it was a year ago. The team had released Vince Young and was prepared to use its 8th overall pick on the position, plus sign a veteran prior to training camp — all with the on-going uncertainty of the NFL Lockout.

“I think standing here a year ago and saying our quarterback situation was a mess, and then this year feeling so good about it because of signing Matt and drafting Jake…but then the negative side is you can’t play both of them at the same time, so how do you make two guys happy that are that competitive?” Munchak said while addressing reporters at the NFL Combine last week. “That’s the tough part, and neither one of them wants the job handed to them. They want to come in and compete for it, and we’ll try to do the best we can when we start in May, June and into training camp to put them in situations where they truly are competing and hopefully it becomes obvious who should be the best guy to lead the team.”

Locker and Hasselbeck have already built a strong friendship, one that can withstand some hearty competition, the second-year quarterback said.

“Personally I don’t think it will have any effect on our relationship at all,” Locker admitted. “We have a friendship that is a lot deeper than just football. I think whoever ends up getting the nod at the end of all of it, the other guy will be there giving him all of the support he can from the sideline and throughout the week of practice. I truly believe that.”

In the meantime, Locker will use this offseason to review his own tape, while looking at tape of some of the NFL’s top quarterbacks in an effort to improve his game.

“For the guys that have been doing this as long as they have at such high levels takes a lot of hard work, a lot of confidence in what you’re doing, and I think the ability to prepare,” Locker said. “It’s amazing to watch those guys work.”

Locker took advantage of his own playing time as a rookie, completing 34 of 66 passes for 542 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in five games as a reserve. In addition, he rushed the ball eight times for 56 yards and a TD. But he also took a sack on the final play of a 22-17 loss at home to New Orleans in Week 14, coming up a few yards short of a victory.

Locker said he’s spending extra time studying red zone situations when the game speeds up and the field becomes shorter.

“There’s a lot of room for improvement as far as figuring out how to close a few of those games out because I think we had an opportunity to do that,” Locker said. “It comes down to one or two plays during the course of a game. I think just mastering the offense, really understanding that if the first and second reads aren’t there, finding a check-down to get four or five yards to continue to move the chain and keep your defense off the field and allow your offense to gain momentum.”

Locker said he felt prepared when he had the chance to play, but that won’t stop him from continuing to find ways to improve his game.

“I took some stuff home with me. I have all our games from last year on tape. I’ve been watching those, going through them, especially some of the ones I had an opportunity to play in to kind of see where I could improve,” he said. “It’s also a great way to keep yourself familiar with the offense so that when you get back you’re not having to retrain your mind to the verbiage and the structure of the plays. I’m also watching some guys that I have a lot of respect for in the NFL and play the position really well.”

That additional knowledge, plus having a full offseason to train at the NFL level, will only help him improve, he said.

“Anytime you’ve had a full season you have a better idea of what to expect, especially going into training camp,” he said. “Throughout the course of the year you have a better idea of what your schedule is as far as preparation and what goes on during the week. I think those things allow you to really kind of settle in to those routines and schedules so you can get the most out of them. That’s the thing I’m looking forward to the most is being familiar with the process and being able to feel comfortable in it.”

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