Hasselbeck tunes out those who say Locker should start

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 5:22pm

Matt Hasselbeck does not need to put his ear to the ground, so to speak.

There is no reason for him to listen to sports talk radio or to comb the Internet. It makes no difference if he never logs on to Twitter or Facebook.

As he nears the end of his 13th NFL season, the Tennessee Titans quarterback knows what is being said. He does not have to wonder or guess.

Fans in ever-increasing numbers want Jake Locker to be the starting quarterback — sooner rather than later. Based on his play over the last five weeks, in fact, many want to see the 2011 first-round draft pick under center Saturday, when the Titans play their final home game of the season, against Jacksonville (noon, CBS).

“I think that the vibe outside the building is one that gets going like a snowball,” Hasselbeck said Wednesday. “I’ve been on every side of it. That’s just how it is. I’ve done my best in all roles I’ve played to be numb to that or be oblivious to that and to just stay focused where I need to be focused.”

In the last five weeks, Hasselbeck has completed 61.1 percent of his passes and has thrown one touchdown with five interceptions. His average yards per game over that span is 138.2.

He failed to finish three of those five games, however. Locker replaced him each time and while he completed just 51.6 percent of his attempts in those games, he averaged 176.7 passing yards and threw four touchdowns with no interceptions.

Coach Mike Munchak has maintained that as long as Hasselbeck is healthy he will remain the starter.

“[Hasselbeck] understood when he came here that — at some point — people were going to talk about the first-round quarterback,” Munchak said. “I think that’s a good thing. I think it’s a great thing that people realize we have two good quarterbacks, and we’re in great shape for a long time here at the quarterback position.”

Locker is the only one of the first five quarterbacks drafted back in April who has yet to start a game.

Jacksonville has gone with Blaine Gabbert, taken two picks after Locker, since Week 3. Tennessee’s final opponent, Houston, has started fifth-round draft pick T.J. Yates each of the last three weeks after injuries to two veterans.

“Matt deserves what he has,” Munchak said. “If we didn’t think we could win with Matt then we would make a change. I’m loyal, in a way, to a guy that has earned the right to start because we feel he’s the best guy for the position.”

At 7-7, the Titans currently are a game behind the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals and tied with two others in the race for the AFC’s final wild card spot. The Bengals have started a rookie quarterback, Andy Dalton, all season as the Jets did two years ago when they made the playoffs when Mark Sanchez was a rookie.

In order for Tennessee to make the postseason it must win its two remaining contests and get the necessary results in several games it does not play.

According to Hasselbeck, who made the playoffs last season with Seattle despite the fact that Seahawks lost three of their final four and finished 7-9, trying to sort out all the possible scenarios is as productive as listening to the cries for someone else to do his job.

“As a player, you should be fully motivated so there’s no need for extra motivation,” he said. “All that matters is you take care of business yourself or your team takes care of business. I think that’s where our focus needs to be and any attention we give outside of that is just a waste of our time and a distraction.

“I think it’s one of those things where you focus on trying to play well. At any moment that could change. … When you start getting outside, distractions like that stuff just start getting out of control.”

20 Comments on this post:

By: concretemike on 12/21/11 at 6:17

So Hasselbroke's ears are as bad as his calf....throwing arm....scrambling ability....leadership....at least he is good at calling time out.

Titans Suck!!!!!!!

By: Rasputin72 on 12/22/11 at 6:53

Hasselback is a reflection of the entire Titans organiization .They are just making money and not much else.

By: TITAN1 on 12/22/11 at 8:33

concretemike said "Titans suck". This coming from a dog hater.

By: bfra on 12/22/11 at 8:39

TITTY1 - That comment coming from a pacman worshiper!

By: TITAN1 on 12/22/11 at 8:39

Rasp, is your class "How I can be a More Negative and Bitter Person" on Monday nights or Tuesday nights?

By: TITAN1 on 12/22/11 at 8:44

barf, you are the poster child on why children should not play on their mother's computer. Either that, or you have a drinking problem. Get out of the past sonny, you have a hard enough time remembering the present.

By: bfra on 12/22/11 at 8:49

titty1; now don't get you bloomers in an uproar & don't put somebody down for telling the truth about the Titans, or your undying support of the spitman. Your quote "doesn't matter what he does off the field", when he was beating up on women & spitting in people's faces.

By: TITAN1 on 12/22/11 at 9:24

Listen bfra, your lying is getting old. Prove that I said that or shut up.

By: bfra on 12/22/11 at 9:29

titty1, anybody using this board during that time, knows what you said and how many times. Two yr. olds cry shut up!

By: TITAN1 on 12/22/11 at 9:33

You have a very bad memory, sonny.

By: bfra on 12/22/11 at 9:42

titty1, you responses to the 1st 2 posts of the day, paint your MO in vivid colors. Plus, right now the Titans do suck!

By: TITAN1 on 12/22/11 at 10:11

My response to concretemike is where he posted on the Tennessean a couple of months ago saying a dog deserved to be hanged. My response to Rasp is correct due to the fact he is always negative. bfra, you can make up lies all you want, but it will never change the truth. As for the quote you say I made, the person who actually made that statement still posts here, but I don't think he is big enough to admit it. If it makes your day to try to convince yourself I said something that I didn't, knock yourself out. Have a Blessed day!

By: bfra on 12/22/11 at 12:43

Knock yourself out trying to deny what you posted! I always have a blessed day!

By: dargent7 on 12/22/11 at 3:16

Hasselbeck is a major step up then V. Young was. Everyone forget that cry-baby?
And Collins played one game and is out for the year with the Colts. Our 3rd string doesn't even know where LP Field is located.
We needed someone, quickly.
Big Ben got hurt, and he got cremated by the 49ers.
QB's cannot heal that fast from these major injuries., eg. Cutler of the Bears.
But, Locker looks great. Bring him in quick if Hasselbeck is losing by the half.
This is a throw away season anyway at this point. All they can go for is draft numbers and all the good ones will be gone the time the Titans are up for bid.

By: bfra on 12/22/11 at 3:32

titty1, here is one response you got about your love of spitman:
By: courier37027 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

TITAN1, my three month absence is much shorter than your man crush on Pac. You fell in love with Pac starting with the draft. You defended the hair-splitting personal foul penalty Pac got sliding down the goalpost pad. You blamed the Las Vegas bouncer for getting in the way of a bullet. Get real TITAN. You got caught in a self-absorbed majority of one.
That was based on all the praise you lavished on the spitting thug!

By: TITAN1 on 12/22/11 at 4:16

So, you dig up a post by courier, who like you has attacked me for my support of the Titans in general. You can't comprehend anything I type because you are too pig headed to listen to anything. I have stated to you how I supported him and when I stopped. Anything you say different is a lie. You are so ate up with it when someone doesn't think exactly like you, it makes you crazy! Now, since you like digging up old posts and only post PART of a conversation why don't you dig up the one that has me saying what you quoted? You can't because it wasn't me. You and courier are always running your mouth and saying what you want regardless of what a response is to you. Grow up, sonny and get a life.

By: bfra on 12/22/11 at 4:23

That true analysis on your man crush on spitman was a quick find. Don't have time to waste on proving your lie. Anyone that has been on this board very long, knows how you flipped overboard on the thug & now want to lie and deny it. Man up!

By: TITAN1 on 12/22/11 at 5:19

Just as I thought, pick out part of a conversation and you think you have done something. You quoted me incorrectly if not, find it and post it, without any changes. Here is some advice for you, don't lie, it will come back to bite you. Put God and family first and you will be a much happier person.

By: bfra on 12/22/11 at 5:22

titty1 - And I say practice what you preach!

By: TITAN1 on 12/22/11 at 9:58

barf, I know it is probably past your bedtime, but maybe a good night's sleep will bring you some common sense.