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Chuck Pagano: "We Have Won With Matt (Hasselbeck) And We'll Win Again With Matt"

Intro: The Colts' confidence in Matt Hasselbeck isn’t typical for backup quarterbacks around the NFL. Why do the Colts believe in the 40-year-old Hasselbeck?


INDIANAPOLIS – Chuck Pagano had been a recruiter before, but never under these circumstances.

The Colts head coach was in Arizona, speaking by phone to a 37-year-old quarterback in the Bahamas, who he hoped would become his backup quarterback.

Matt Hasselbeck was on his daughter's cell phone listening to Pagano pull out some unconventional, albeit convincing, pitches.

Some 3,000 miles apart, Pagano's semi-plea to Hasselbeck went something like this…

"We've got an opportunity here, we love the direction we are going, we'd love to have you," Pagano began.

"I tried to play the born in the same hometown (Boulder, Colorado), all that stuff and play on the emotions a little bit. Just try to be the best recruiter I could be and talk him into coming our way."

Calling from the 2013 NFL owners meetings in Arizona, Pagano was trying to lure in a quarterback that a lot of league representatives around the Colts head coach knew very well.

Three years later, Hasselbeck is the fourth most experienced quarterback still in the NFL, about to play in his 204th career game.

Production hasn't waned for Hasselbeck throughout his rare longevity.

"You look around, there are not many (teams) winning football games with backup quarterbacks right now," Pagano said earlier this week.

"He's a great leader, got great experience. There's nothing he has not seen. Still got arm talent, can still make all the throws, athletic enough to extend plays, good decision maker. We're very fortunate to have Matt in this building."

Sunday, and possibly for the next month, the Colts will be very fortunate to have Hasselbeck under center.

If Hasselbeck wins three more games this season, his five wins this season will be the second highest total a 40-year-old quarterback has had in the NFL since 2000.

He's a quarterback that has seen plenty and knows where his advantages lie against a defense.

"I know my limitations," Hasselbeck said on Monday. "That might actually be a strength.

"But I have a lot of imitations. I'm not tempted."

Don't expect Hasselbeck to be making plays with his feet on Sunday like fans have seen from Andrew Luck.

The ball from Hasselbeck will likely come out quickly and the offense should be more tailored to him after Rob Chudzinski has had an entire bye week to prepare and create an offensive identity.

When most NFL teams have to turn to their backup quarterback, fret is usually followed with so much unknown involved.

Pagano is one of the rare coaches who doesn't lose too much sleep when crisis hits the starting quarterback.

"Obviously you don't ever want to be down your starting quarterback, but thank God we have Matt in the building," Pagano said.

"We've won with Matt and we'll win again with Matt."

A look back at the career of Colts quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.

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