Tag:Matt Hasselbeck
Posted on: June 8, 2011 9:32 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2011 11:02 pm

Could Hasselbeck be Locker's mentor in Tennessee?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Matt Hasselbeck may not be long for Seattle, but whatever professional fate awaits him, it's hard to argue that he's not a leader. When healthy, Hasselbeck has been the Seahawks' starting quarterback every year since 2001, and he led the team to a Super Bowl appearance in 2006.

Currently a free agent, Hasselbeck is still organizing team training sessions during the lockout. Doug Farrar, writing for SportsPressNW.com, says that Hasselbeck ran Friday's workout "with a sense of order and command that exhibited his value beyond stats and plays to his team."

There's a sense among some in the media that once the labor issues are resolved, the Seahawks will choose not to re-sign Hasselbeck and instead move forward with Charlie Whitehurst at quarterback.  That doesn't mean there won't be a market for him, though. Sports Illustrated's Peter King and Jim Trotter think that Tennessee is a "sensible" landing spot; the Titans will jettison Vince Young before the season, and it would be both cruel and inhumane to throw rookie Jake Locker into the starting job with no OTAs or minicamp -- and possibly an abbreviated training camp.

For now, though, the Titans, like many teams around the league, are making the best of an imperfect situation. Players held unofficial workouts at a Nashville high school Wednesday, and Locker was there to meet many of his teammates for the first time.

"He's got a lot of expectations on his shoulders, but for him to come in here and take command is, you know, pretty cool," Titans wideout Marc Mariani said after practice.

The NFL Network's Steve Wyche was on hand and noted that not only is Locker trying to learn his playbook without the assistance of Titans coaches, he's also trying to get on the same page with a lot of new faces.

There's no way of knowing what plans -- both immediate and long term -- the organization has for Locker, but running back Chris Johnson seems to think Tennessee's offense will feature the rookie first-rounder whenever the season starts.

"Everybody knows [Jake's] going to be the starting quarterback so he needs to be ready come Game 1," Johnson told the media after the workout. "So he's just trying to get ready."

If the Titans decided to sign Hasselbeck, he would face many of the same challenges as Locker, but with the benefit of 13 years of NFL experience.

Wyche's colleague, Jason La Canfora, said on Wednesday's NFL Total Access that "Tennessee would make a lot of sense (for Hasselbeck) … who has ties to key figures in that front office: (general manager )Mike Reinfeldt, (VP of player personnel) Ruston Webster. … And most importantly, he's already mentored Jake Locker, who was at the University of Washington. They have a working relationship. … Hasselbeck could come in, start right away, and help Locker progress."

It's too early to predict how this all plays out, but this much is certain: Kerry Collins ain't interested in being a nursemaid. Hasselbeck is a good fit given his history with Locker, even if it's a one-year stint to bridge the gap between the old franchise QB (Vince Young) and the new one.

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Posted on: June 5, 2011 11:21 am

Whitehurst thinks he can start in Seattle

Posted by Will Brinson

Thanks to the lockout, there are still a number of teams with unsolved quarterback situations. The Seattle Seahawks, who have Charlie Whitehurst as their only "actually signed quarterback," are one of those teams.

But fear not, Seahawk nation -- the bearded one believes he can be the guy to lead Seattle back to the promised land. Or, at least he thinks he win the starting job anyway.

"Well, luckily I'm not going through the free-agent stuff like some guys are going through," Whitehurst told The Seattle Times' Danny O'Neil in a recent Q&A. "I know I'm the only quarterback that's on the roster right now, and I'm sure that will change eventually when we get it figured. I look at it like I'm going to get the chance to be the starter, and I think I can do it.

"That's what I plan to do. Whenever we figure it out, I'll compete as hard as I can to make that happen."

Alright, so it's not exactly a John Beck-esque rant and/or statement about being the No. 1 QB in town. In fact, Whitehurst doesn't really sound all that confident about his job security.
Seahawks Offseason

But that's okay, since the Seahawks are all but guaranteed to bring in an additional body or two to compete for the starting job. Matt Hasselbeck seems like a lock at this point of the lockout.

And there's a good chance that Pete Carroll calls on one more mid-level/low-end starter -- could it finally be his reunion with Matt Leinart?? -- to compete for the starting gig in whatever training camp Seattle has. But that hypothetical new guy and Whitehurst are going to suffer from the same disadvantage: time.

Which is why someone like Hasselbeck stands a much better chance of ending up starting over someone like Whitehurst. Again.

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Posted on: May 21, 2011 12:57 pm

Ponder: 'I'm going in to take the starting job'

Posted by Will Brinson

Last we left Vikings first-round draft pick Christian Ponder, he was discussing the possibility of working out with teammates Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin.

Which is precisely what he needs to do if he wants to end up starting the first week of the season (whenever that is). Which, as he said during an "NFL Rookie Roundtable" on the NFL Network, is exactly what he wants to do.

"My view is that I was picked No. 12, they believe in me, and I believe in myself," Ponder said. ”From that time I got picked, my mindset was I’m going in to take the starting job.

"I have to earn it first, but my mindset is I’m going in and hopefully starting from Day 1."

Ponder, out of all the quarterbacks taken during the first two rounds of the draft -- and there were a lot of them! -- has the best shot to be the starter from the get-go.

The Vikings don't have an incumbent starter, they have a team that can compete right now, and Ponder's considered by many folks to be the most "NFL ready" rookie that was drafted during the 2011 NFL Draft.
Vikes Offseason

It still seems all but a given that the Vikings will target a veteran signal caller once the lockout ends, but if Ponder's working hard with his teammates and getting a grasp on the playbook, it's not necessarily a given that this veteran will have too big a head start on the former Seminole.

The type of veteran that the Vikings target might be the most indicative of whether or not they believe Ponder can kick off the season as the starter -- if Minnesota goes after a Donovan McNabb or a Matt Hasselbeck or a Kyle Orton, they probably expect Ponder to sit and learn. If they target, say, a Billy Volek or Jim Sorgi, Ponder better be ready to start rolling without training wheels.

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Posted on: May 20, 2011 6:19 pm
Edited on: May 23, 2011 6:28 am

Kyle Orton could be on the Vikings' radar

Posted by Andy Benoit

Some believe that Christian Ponder is the most immediate NFL-ready quarterback in the 2011 rookie class. But whether this is true or not, with no offseason workouts, even the most NFL-ready rookie is unlikely to actually be ready come Week 1.
K. Orton (US Presswire)
Thus, it’s no surprise that ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that Kyle Orton could be on the Vikings’ radar. Orton figures to be on the trading block in Denver. Mortensen says the Vikings have no interest in experimenting with Joe Webb in this role. Webb, in fact, may find himself back at wide receiver. (My analysis, not Mort’s.)

Being a veteran bridge quarterback for the Vikings would be in step with the rest of Orton’s career. Orton started ahead of rookie first-rounder Rex Grossman in Chicago and ahead of another first-round Gators quarterback in Denver named Golden Child Tim Tebow.

It’s worth noting that of the veteran quarterbacks available in 2011, Matt Hasselbeck and Donovan McNabb might be better fits in Minnesota than Orton. Both have spent the majority of their decade-plus careers operating in a West Coast offense similar to the one Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave will run.

Then again, Hasselbeck is somewhat injury prone and McNabb must shake his new reputation (fair or unfair) of not being able to adjust to new surroundings. Orton, on the other hand, is schematically versatile, accurate, fundamentally sound and, in all likelihood, affordable.

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Posted on: May 18, 2011 11:43 pm

Reading between the lines on Matt Hasselbeck

Posted by Andy Benoit

Free agent quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said in an interview with 710 AM Seattle that he got a M. Hasselbeck (US Presswire)copy of the Seahawks’ playbook from a teammate, which will allow him to learn some of the new terminology that new offensive line coach Tom Cable is bringing to Seattle’s run game. More notably, Hasselbeck also said that he and some of his teammates are quietly holding offseason workouts.

This all suggests that the 35-year-old veteran is sure to re-sign with the Seahawks once the lockout is lifted...right?

Well, not exactly. Included in those workouts are members of the Rams, Cardinals, Titans, Browns, Ravens and Lions. In other words, these are definitely just workouts and definitely not some semblance of a true Seahawks practice.

“There aren't really a ton of guys in town," Hasselbeck said. "This is Seattle, it's not (one) of the warmer places to live in our country, but it's been good. We've been having a great offseason so far in terms of workouts. It was a challenge getting going, it started out a little slow but we've rectified that. We've gotten kicked out of a few places, but we're rolling now. We're ready to roll.

"It's too bad that we can't just have our team, but we just don't have the numbers for that. All in all, it's sort of competitive that way. It's like this unspoken, you know, you don't want to get outdone by the guys in your division."

Hasselbeck’s point about Seattle not being a desirable offseason home for many NFL players raises an interesting question: can teams in warm weather climates gain an advantage during the lockout by having more players sticking around town and thus being able to workout?

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Category: NFL
Posted on: May 18, 2011 1:03 pm

Hot Routes 5.18.11: Reaching the summit

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • According to the Believe in Heroes web site, Titans coach Jeff Fisher and the rest of his traveling party have reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Which is pretty awesome.
  • Former Washington Post columnist Tony Kornheiser and Colts owner Jim Irsay are in a bit of tiff.
  • Now, everybody in the Raiders organization becomes a salesman/saleswoman. And that means you, new defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan. (“So, how many season tickets can I put you down for, lady?”)
  • If you buy Jaguars season tickets, the franchise is willing to reward you for your faith. By giving you “Teal Deals” books with more than $3,000 worth of gift certificates for local businesses.

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Posted on: May 13, 2011 4:54 pm

Report: Vikes not interested in Vince Young

Posted by Will Brinson

The Vikings, like several teams in the NFL, may have (over)drafted a quarterback in the 2011 NFL Draft. But surely they're still interested in acquiring a veteran-type quarterback who can help them win now, right?

Well, probably. But according to Steve Wyche of NFL Network, that veteran fella won't be (likely) former Titan Vince Young.

Per Wyche, Minnesota has "not had internal discussions" about Young, and at the moment he "does not appear to be under consideration" as a possible candidate to step in and mentor/bridge the gap to Christian Ponder.

This is probably a smart move. Young, despite making a Pro Bowl, hasn't been that successful in the NFL. And if you're looking for someone that fits the bill as a "let's win right now but plan on going with Ponder soon" type of quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck and Donovan McNabb are really much better options. Provided, of course, that they're available.

Those guys are looking for a spot to ride out the rest of their career and/or rejuvenate their respective value with a short contract, depending on what the team wants.
The saga of Vince Young

Young likely wants to do the same thing -- in terms of rejuvenation -- but it's hard to imagine he wants to join a team that doesn't want him long term.

The bigger problem for Young, though, is that the Vikings might not be the only team that doesn't want him at all. With the amount of teams who pulled trigger on a quarterback in the early rounds -- nearly a quarter of the league -- it's going to be tough for a guy with a rep like VY's to find starting quarterback work before the beginning of 2011.

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Posted on: May 12, 2011 10:51 am

Report: Seahawks talked to, interested in Leinart

Posted by Will Brinson

Matt Leinart to the Seahawks has been rumored -- and has made some sense -- for as long as Pete Carroll's been coaching in Seattle.

After all, the success that Leinart had under Carroll at USC is precisely what made him a Heisman Trophy winner and a top-five pick in the NFL Draft. But, for whatever reason, Carroll has opted not to sign him.

That could -- reportedly! -- change though, according to Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News, who writes that he hears "the Seahawks spoke to former USC quarterback Matt Leinart about joining the team next season."

I quote Wolf not because there's anything profound there, but because I find it interesting that it's "the Seahawks" and not "Pete Carroll" who talked to Leinart about the possibility of signing in Seattle.

Or maybe I'm reading too much into it -- what's especially odd about this report is that it comes on the heels of the 'Hawks reportedly talking to incumbent-turned-free-agent Matt Hasselbeck. Although perhaps Seattle simply used the brief between-lockout period to explore as many quarterback options as they could; a wise move heading into a draft where quarterback value was outrageous.

Of course, no post about Carroll and a former student would be complete without noting how odd he's handled picking and choosing former Trojans since he got to the NFL. He made a move for LenDale White, only to promptly kick him to the curb. He spurned Taylor Mays in the draft. He immediately traded away Lawrence Jackson. He somehow revived Mike Williams.

And, of course, there's Carroll not going after Leinart. We'll see if that changes in 2011, but supposing that Carroll will chase his former pupil just because he needs a quarterback and Leinart went to USC is probably a stretch, at least for now.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com