Time right for Titans, Dolphins to sink or swim
September 4, 2012Eastern Indiana Sports
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Matt Hasselbeck couldn't hold a candle to Brett Favre during the now-cagey elder stateman's younger days as a backup to the NFL's most deliberate decision-maker, and there's really not much of a comparison to the situation that the two former Green Bay Packers teammates have experienced in their silver years as a player.
Detractors of Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak's supposedly debatable decision to begin the 2012 season with the green but potential-laden Jake Locker instead of the battle-scarred but declining Hasselbeck at quarterback like to use the example of Aaron Rodgers' slow apprenticeship under a reluctant Favre during the reigning league MVP's first three seasons in Green Bay.
Much like it happened with Hasselbeck some seven years earlier, the Packers' patient approach with Rodgers yielded a top-shelf quarterback able to lead his team (a different one in Hasselbeck's case) to a Super Bowl.
Green Bay's judgement to sit Rodgers in 2007, in essence made by Favre's drawn-out choice to play one more season (at least with the Packers, that is), would reap rewards both for that year and the ones to come. A re-engerized Favre bounced back from two straight mediocre campaigns to lead Green Bay to 13 regular-season wins and a trip to the NFC Championship Game at age 38, while Rodgers would pilot the Pack to a remarkable playoff run culminating with a victory in Super Bowl XLV three years later.
The 2012 Titans don't seem to bear much of a resemblance to the 2007 Packers, however. For one, there's very little to suggest that a late-career renaissance a la Favre is on the horizon for Hasselbeck, who'll turn 37 in September. The follicly challenged three-time Pro Bowl performer's play has receded nearly as much as his barely visible hairline over the past four seasons, in which Hasselbeck has recorded a lackluster 50-to-58 touchdown-to- interception ratio and missed 13 games due to injuries.