On Matt Hasselbeck's first practice

August, 4, 2011
8/04/11
10:32
PM ET
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans got what they were looking for at Matt Hasselbeck's first practice and said what you’d expect they’d say afterwards.

The tempo picked up, and while there were plenty of bumps, everyone was upbeat about what unfolded. At the same time, Jake Locker, working at the second quarterback, continued to show improvement and had a very nice night.

“I think I reverted back to some of my old stuff, but Geno [center Eugene Amano] and those guys up front did a great job of just hanging in there with me, snapping the ball,” Hasselbeck said. “I think I only went the wrong way once, that anybody noticed anyway.

“I have to learn it and I have to unlearn this stuff. What was once ‘green’ is now ‘red’ and what was ‘red’ is now ‘blue.’ In a competitive situation where everything is going real fast, everything just reverts.”

He said he’s getting way more from Locker, Rusty Smith and Brett Ratliff then they are getting from him so far and that quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains has been a great resource for scouting reports on his new teammates.

Coach Mike Munchak said the increased tempo allowed him to add an extra red zone period at the end of practice.

Said receiver Justin Gage: “In a day or two Matt will be right there with the rest of us. You can tell just from today, he’s a fast learner, he learns from his mistakes.”

A few other notes out of the Titans’ evening session on Thursday:
  • Munchak indicated second-round pick Akeem Ayers is in line to play the strongside and Barrett Ruud was the first team middle linebacker out of the gate as you’d expect. That leaves the Titans with a battle between Will Witherspoon and Gerald McRath for the starting weakside job.
  • The Titans are blurring the line between free and string safety and Munchak declined to say Chris Hope is solidly in place as a starter before the new free agent acquisition, Jordan Babineaux, even walks in the door. He’ll get a chance to compete.
  • Titans’ union rep Jake Scott said he believes because there is only one company claiming it can accurately test for HGH, that he is skeptical of the accuracy of the testing. He’s for it in principle. “But their motives are questionable. Their incentive is to catch people,” he said. “If they don’t catch anybody, nobody thinks their test works.”

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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