INDIANAPOLIS – A handful of years ago, Matt Hasselbeck was accustomed to the crowd gathering around his locker on Thursday afternoon.
Hasselbeck, who always has time for the media, faced a media contingent on Thursday that isn't the typical size a backup quarterback sees in a given week.
The media staked out at Hasselbeck's locker on Thursday wanted to talk to the man taking the reps at practice with Andrew Luck limited for a second straight day, due to a right shoulder injury.
With the national media making a rare appearance for a Thursday practice, Hasselbeck spoke to a group he was used to seeing back in his days as a starter in Seattle and Tennessee.
"This is the first time actually," Hasselbeck said to a question about talking to this big of a media hoard during his three seasons in Indianapolis.
Hasselbeck is also receiving first team workload this week that he hasn't witnessesed in his three years as Luck's backup.
At Thursday's practice, the Colts quarterbacks warmed up indoors before heading outside for the individual period of practice.
During this time, Luck's work was restricted to hand offs and tosses to running backs. Hasselbeck and new practice squad quarterback Alex Tanney made all the throws.
This is new territory for Hasselbeck in Indianapolis and also, obviously, for Luck, too.
Near the end of practice on Thursday, Luck finally had a taste of what Hasselbeck is normally feeling during the week.
"We had a chance to talk and it was a conversation of how boring it is to not get every snap at practice," Hasselbeck said, recounting his conversation with No. 12. "He's like, 'Oh, man, I feel for you. I didn't realize what it's like when you don't get every snap at practice.'"
"He knows that I'm always sort of jokingly complaining, 'You can give me like two snaps this week.' That's really the only time he and I ever really acted unusual (this week)."
Hasselbeck reiterated on Thursday that he expects Luck to play on Sunday, but the backup has to prepare like the starter.
Why Hasselbeck is always a media favorite is the insight he often provides thanks to vast NFL experience.
The 40-year-old-Hasselbeck spoke on Thursday about a major difference the Colts offense has seen this season in how teams have game planned against them.
"The surprising thing this year is people are just playing man coverage and saying, 'We dare you,'" Hasselbeck said.
"We didn't have great days those first two games just beating man coverage, pretty simple Cover One and bringing a guy or two with line stunts and having too many in the box for an ideal situation.
"We feel good about (facing) that, we just haven't played our best, in the first two games. Last game, we played much better."
This past offseason, Hasselbeck had the chance to escape the "clipboard" role as a backup quarterback.
Inquiries to be a starting quarterback came for Hasselbeck, but he elected to re-sign with the Colts.
The thought process was the ultimate prize that has escaped Hasselbeck since being drafted back in 1998 was at its greatest in Indy.
Hasselbeck had started 151 career games when he signed with the Colts in 2013, so accepting a full-time backup role wasn't easy for the former Pro Bowler.
"It's a challenge," Hasselbeck said of his backup duties.
"When I decided to come here, you are deciding to come here as the backup. (Luck's) a guy that has traditionally been very, very healthy. It's actually a lot tougher than being a starter at times because you just don't get any practice, you don't get any snaps, you don't get any input, you don't get any say. You can't even use your own cadence.
"It's not as great as everyone thinks it is."
On Sunday, the expectation is for Hasselbeck to once again be behind the scenes.
"I need to do (my job)," Hasselbeck said
"It's one of the things that I'm required to do by my job. If necessary, I'll be ready to go."
A great Wednesday afternoon practice getting ready for the Jaguars.