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At Age 39, What Still Motivates Matt Hasselbeck?

Intro: Matt Hasselbeck has returned for yet another NFL season and the opportunity to be in a young, talented locker room is keeping the 39-year old quarterback plenty motivated.





INDIANAPOLIS – Matt Hasselbeck turns 40 years old in 2015.

He has played in 201 career NFL games.

If the Colts have it their way, he won't take a meaningful snap all season long.

So, why exactly is Hasselbeck about to embark on NFL season No. 17 (18, if you count a season on the practice squad)?

"My goals are bigger than being a starting quarterback," Hasselbeck said.

"I think the most important thing is being in a great organization, with great coaching, that is trying to win a Super Bowl right away, that actually can. And that's this team."

With 152 career starts under center, Hasselbeck has been the man with all eyes fixated on his every move.

Now, that thought only occasionally creeps into his head.

Of course, Hasselbeck's primary focus remains preparing each week as a starter behind Andrew Luck.

His gratification at this point in his career also comes throughout the entire Colts locker room.

"If I were to say there's one thing, besides winning, that I get a lot of satisfaction out of it's just the opportunity to invest in younger players," Hasselbeck said.

In 1998, Hasselbeck was one of those younger players.

After not getting invited to the Combine, Hasselbeck was fortunate to be chosen by the Green Bay Packers in the sixth round of the draft.

He spent his first NFL season on the Packers practice squad and went into sponge mode.

"I was teammates with some future Hall of Fame guys and some guys that are already in it and they took time to invest in me and teach me when they didn't have to," Hasselbeck said.

From Reggie White to Brett Favre, Hasselbeck soaked it up.

The favor is now being returned from the Colts veteran backup quarterback with his locker flanking young offensive players, Khaled Holmes and Jack Doyle.

"I take a lot of pride in working with our practice squad guys, our backup center, or our backup tight ends," Hasselbeck said.

"If Jack Doyle catches a pass, I'm celebrating on the sidelines probably even more aggressively than his two parents in the stands. He's a great guy and its fun to invest in a young guy that's willing to work. I just take so much satisfaction in that. It's awesome."

It's why, in two and a half weeks, Hasselbeck will walk back into an NFL complex for his 18th offseason program.

Starting opportunities could have come elsewhere, but that's not what means the most to the oldest quarterback in the NFL.

"There's a ton to like about the Colts," Hasselbeck said.

"This is a building that is used to winning. We have banner, upon banner, upon banner in our facility and we have our Lombardi Trophy. That's the goal every year."

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