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Munchak sold on Hasselbeck, who chose Titans over 49ers

  • By NFL.com
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While Titans coach Mike Munchak was pleased with Jake Locker's NFL debut Saturday night against the Minnesota Vikings, the starting quarterback competition appears all but over in Tennessee.

That's because Munchak hopes to give Locker time to develop while veteran Matt Hasselbeck leads the Titans into the regular-season fray, The Tennessean reported Monday.

"We are just taking it a week at a time, but we are assuming it is going to be that way, that Matt will be the starter when the season starts," Munchak said Sunday. "They both played well in a limited role, so you move on to the next week and see how things go. But it couldn't have gone any better for us at that position."

Hasselbeck told KJR-AM on Monday that he and Munchak have seen eye-to-eye from the start, which helped the quarterback choose the Titans over other suitors, including the San Francisco 49ers, when it became evident he wouldn't return to the Seattle Seahawks.

"My decision came down to San Francisco or Tennessee," Hasselbeck said, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. "At the end of the day, that was my decision, and San Fran would have been attractive for a whole bunch of reasons ... but at the end of the day, I think my conversation with (Munchak) and the offensive line here and a lot of stuff ... just felt really good about it."

"To be honest, maybe it was on the rebound and I just got dumped. I got a call from (Munchak). I was just like, 'Oh, man, it feels good to be wanted,' but I think at the end of the day, this was a good opportunity."

Hasselbeck has required time to learn a new playbook, but he went 5-of-6 passing for 55 yards in one drive of work in the victory over the Vikings.

The veteran's presence means the Titans don't have to rush Locker -- the No. 8 pick in April's draft -- but Munchak praised the rookie's 7-of-10 passing night against Minnesota, which included a 45-yard touchdown to Yamon Figurs.

Said Munchak: "(Locker) did some things we were hoping he would be able to do under pressure. Next week will be another challenge when he goes against someone else, as teams start to game plan as we get into the second and third preseason games. So he'll get a taste of some other things."

Hasselbeck told the radio station that he's excited to play with the rookie after first meeting him at the University of Washington, when Locker was a sophomore.

"Who would have thought, years later, we'd be in Nashville, Tennessee, rocking cowboy boots and hanging out with country music stars in between practices?" Hasselbeck said.

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