Patriots Look At Replacement For Flutie

Are the Patriots interested in replacing Doug Flutie, or will they work on bringing back the ageless wonder? Insiders confirm New England has met with one young gunslinger, an early indication that the team is looking to move forward without one of Boston's most notable sports figures.

Doug Flutie is one of the most active 43-year-old quarterbacks the NFL has seen. He has a youthful enthusiasm for the game and by all accounts has enjoyed his return to his hometown team. The issue for New England now is to decide whether Flutie offers the best option to backup Tom Brady, or if pursuing a younger player via the Draft is a better choice.

Patriots Insider has learned that the Patriots have indeed decided to interview candidates who may offer a better long-term option to become Brady's backup. Although the team has Matt Cassel, the teams' seventh-round draft pick in 2005, as Brady's current backup and Todd Mortensen as a potential third-string quarterback, they continue to investigate talent.

TFY Draft Preview has confirmed the Patriots huddled with one such player in Mobile during the week practices at the Senior Bowl, and will continue to keep their eye on him as the Draft approaches. That player; UAB quarterback Darrell Hackney.

Darrell Hackney, 2006 Senior Bowl
The NFL Draft reaches every corner of the world and a quarterback out of UAB is no longer a question mark but a potential marquee name. And after setting school records, Hackney has garnered plenty of interest at the next level from scouts and coaches.

Hackney, who finished as the school's all-time leading passer with 9,886 yards and 71 touchdown passes, was also named the first-team quarterback on the 2005 All-Conference USA team.

The Atlanta, Ga., native threw for 3,180 yards and 22 TD's during his stellar senior campaign, which also saw him throw for 300 or more yards on four different occasions - showing the world that he could compete without wide receiver Roddy White, a first round pick last year.

Hackney passed for 3,070 yards and 26 TD's in 2004, and for 1,659 yards in 2003 and 1,977 and 14 TD's as a freshman in 2002.

His career passing total of 9,886 yards ranks fourth all-time on the C-USA list, and his 71 TD passes is the sixth highest total in conference history.

If the Patriots are actually thinking of drafting Hackney, they may have a competitor for his services. Hackney also huddled with the scouting staff for the Miami Dolphins in Mobile. The Dolphins are searching for an answer to their quarterback issues, and that answer does not appear to include Gus Frerotte.

Ironically, Hackney is built similarly to former Patriots backup Rohan Davey. Miami Dolphins head coach Nick Saban had Davey on his team when he was still coaching at LSU and may see the same things in Hackney that attracted him to Davey.

Whether New England brings Flutie back or not will likely be determined by their impression of younger players in the Draft, and Hackney is one player who has their attention.'s Denis Savage caught up with Hackney and spoke to him about his ability, what the Senior Bowl meant to him and being himself.

You can listen to the interview by clicking on the link below:

Listen to Audio   (Windows Media Player required)

Related: Profile | Scouting Report | Top Ranked QBs | Senior Bowl South Team Practice Reports | Official Bio


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