INDIANAPOLIS— Holding a clipboard for over 97 percent of the season wasn’t as easy as it sounds.
Certainly not for a 15-year NFL veteran that has three Pro Bowls to his name and 152 career starts.
The 2013 season was the first “full-time” backup role
On ESPN radio last week, Hasselbeck talked about his days as a starting quarterback when he played through broken ribs and was a bit “envious” of his backup.
Now, he has a different perspective on what it’s like to prepare all week and stand on the sidelines on 13 separate times last season.
“The team is going to count on me. They are going to need me and then Sunday after the game, win or lose, you are just kind of like, ‘Alright, I did that for nothing,” Hasselbeck said of his backup role each week on the SVP & Russillo.
“It’s like a final exam or writing a paper in college, doing all of the work and then you go to hand it to the teacher and the teacher is like, ‘Okay, good job. Not going to read it. I don’t care.’
While this role for Hasselbeck isn’t something he is used to, he has fully embraced watching Luck’s progression.
Both Luck and practice squad quarterback
Hasselbeck knew when he signed with the Colts, invoking 197 games of NFL experience was part of what was going to be asked of him.
“I’m really happy to be part of Andrew’s success, a very, very small part, but to be there and just help, cheer him on, compete in little stupid, silly things we do before practice and just kind of pay it back a bit for guys that have definitely helped me along the way, I’m happy to do the same,” Hasselbeck told ESPN radio.
When Hasselbeck arrived to Indianapolis this offseason, he learned quickly that Luck wanted to cut back on his turnover number during his rookie season.
Despite significant injury losses all over the offensive side of the ball, the Colts led the league in the fewest committed turnovers (14).
Hasselbeck has had the privilege of watching some of the game’s finest quarterbacks grow and he sees no reason why Luck won’t follow a similar path.
“He’s got everything you look for in what people call a franchise quarterback,” Hasselbeck said. “He’s got all the things you can’t really measure—the intangibles. Then he’s got all the measureables also.
“In the first two years, he’s just been exceptional in the last two minutes of a game, or when the game is on the line. He’s really excelled running the ball, throwing the ball, getting us into the right runs, getting us into the right pass attempts. He’s kind of outsmarted a lot of these smart defensive coordinators. That’s probably been the strength for him.”