Three Titans Quarterbacks Speak in Chapel

Lipscomb University’s student body was excited to hear the testimonies and personal reflections of the three Tennessee Titans quarterbacks at the Thursday, March 7, Gathering in Allen Arena. Rusty Smith, #11, Matt Hasselbeck, #8, and Jake Locker, #10, shared with students how they handle the pressure to win, leadership of the team and family life in the pressure-cooker environment of the NFL. Read on for more info or watch the complete interview on YouTube.

Football quarterbacks not only feel pressure from their coach and the fans in the stadium on game days, but also the owner, fans watching on TV or keeping up with the game online, and even Fantasy Football players, said Hasselbeck, who has led teams to the NFL playoffs six times during his football career. “When we’re in the tunnel, we can hear all the cheering, and there is smoke and fire. Then we run out and huddle up and one of us will says a prayer,” Hasselbeck told the students. “Usually the prayer is along the lines of asking that we will play for an audience of one today. That we will do the best with what God gave us and play just for Him.” All three quarterbacks said they came from homes of faith, to varying extents, and each went through their times of trials as he grew older. But today each of them works to incorporate faith in God through their busy lives. “You certainly do have to work to fit in quiet time,” said Smith, who became the most prolific passer in Florida Atlantic University football history during his college career. Locker, a rookie who came to the Titans in 2011, described a game the players play to help them keep focused on reading the Bible every day. They pass around a Daily Bread reading, and if one player doesn’t do their reading for the day and they get called on it by another, they owe $1 in the Daily Bread Box.

Despite the pressure to compete for the game-day spot, the three quarterbacks have found a way to be comrades. “It’s just like having brothers,” Hasselbeck said, quoting the Bible verse about “iron sharpening iron.” “That’s exactly what we do, always challenging one another.” “It’s an awesome feeling to know that when you go to work in the morning, you better bring it, because the other two guys will,” said Locker. “But whoever gets the top spot, you know you will have the support of the other two.” The three quarterbacks also described mission work they have done both in college and during their football career. Smith, for example, went to the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina to help rebuild three churches.

“God doesn’t need my ability, He just needs my availability,” said Hasselbeck. “That’s my approach to life.”