INDIANAPOLIS— If everything goes according to plan,
What Hasselbeck has brought to the Colts this season can’t be measured in completions or passer rating but rather his value behind the scenes.
Take for example the wee hours of Oct. 15.
Just a few hours earlier, the Colts had lost to the San Diego Chargers and the offense had been shut out of the end zone for the only time this season.
Hasselbeck had not played a snap in the Colts loss but there he was on the team plane dissecting the tape.
“No one can sleep, it’s late at night, everyone is replaying every little thing and we watched the film together,” Hasselbeck says recalling the tape session.
“It’s an opportunity for me to say to our receivers, ‘Hey, one thing you could do to help the quarterback here is this.’ Or for me to say, ‘Hey here’s how the quarterback is going to read this play, you have time to put a little sugar at the top of your route.’ Things like that maybe they help, maybe they don’t.”
From Hasselbeck’s vantage point, the 15-year veteran feels that he has a “35,000-foot view” of what is going on each play.
While Hasselbeck stresses that his No. 1 goal is to be ready to play at any moment, he realizes he has a dozen more years of experience then almost every Colts skill position player.
“What I found is maybe the biggest asset to this team is the time I get to spend with the young receivers, tight ends, backup running back or backup center just in conversations over lunch with some of the coaches about things that help me prepare and things that help me where I felt that I had the weight of the world in terms of responsibility with pass protection, routes, cadence, playbook, all that stuff,” the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback says.
The roles Hasselbeck have had in his decade and a half in the NFL range from a practice squad quarterback with potential Hall of Famer Brett Favre to leading the Seattle Seahawks to the 2006 Super Bowl.
“Football-wise, he’s been in so many situations, he’s very calm,” Luck said of Hasselbeck. “He can be a very calming influence during a game, practice, whatever it may be and always has sound advice.”
For quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen, Hasselbeck has been a welcomed addition to a quarterbacks room with Luck and fellow second-year quarterback
Christensen agrees with Luck in describing the significance of having Hasselbeck’s tutelage in the game’s most scrutinized position.
“I don’t know that there’s a specific thing as much as just a good presence on having been through every scenario that comes up,” Christensen said of Hasselbeck’s greatest attribute.
“You’re going to have a hard time bringing up a scenario that he hasn’t been through. So he’s brought that and he’s been excellent in our room.”