Matt Hasselbeck had seen the film on Andrew Luck and like a majority of those watching, he came away impressed with the “toughness and skill level” No. 12 possessed last season.
When Hasselbeck arrived to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center early last week, the moving boxes were in front of his new locker and along with unpacking his belongings, it was time to forge a relationship with the guy he had heard so much about.
“What I didn’t know about (Luck) and I have earned a great deal of respect for in a short amount of time, is just how he is as a leader and how vocal he is and you can tell that the way has been paved here with a great player at that position,” Hasselbeck said of his fellow quarterback.
“He’s stepped up to the plate, guys respect him, he does everything right. It’s fun to see. It’s enjoyable to watch.”
The 2013 season will mark the 15th for Hasselbeck and his career has included experiences with a pair of Super Bowl winning quarterbacks.
Hasselbeck’s first three seasons in the NFL included playing behind Brett Favre in Green Bay. In 2001, Hasselbeck became a full-time starter in Seattle and learned under Super Bowl winning quarterback Trent Dilfer (the then Seahawks backup) for four years.
After 10 seasons as a starter in Seattle (and one Super Bowl appearance), Hasselbeck moved on to Tennessee where he was used sparingly as a starter with the Titans trying to groom 2011 first round draft pick Jake Locker into their franchise quarterback.
Now, at the age of 37, Hasselbeck has found a new home in Indianapolis and while he is in search of the game’s ultimate prize, the veteran signal caller is ready for any task that is thrown his way.
“We all hope I never have to play but my job is to be ready to go and be ready to win games and that’s where my focus has to be if anything comes out beyond that then that’s fine,” Hasselbeck said.
“I’m here as a resource for anybody that wants it. It could be defensive coaches. It might be the young quarterbacks. Who knows? But my number one goal is just to be ready to play.”
As Hasselbeck tried to unpack his belongings during the team’s first week of OTAs his teammates migrated over to No. 8’s locker, ready to welcome a veteran voice in a locker room dominated by players more than 10 years younger than him.
“You can tell it’s a tight knit group, a tight knit team,” Hasselbeck said of the Colts.
“Everyone is very excited to get back together, to get back to seeing each other. For me, I’ve met a bunch of new people in a short amount of time. I’m trying to study a brand new playbook. We’re also working really hard in the weight room, out on the field, but it’s been fun.”
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