Five Questions With:<br> Tim Hasselbeck

"If you look at my situation the way it is right now, I'm like a lot of guys are. When you look now you say hopefully I'll be the third guy. At the same time we're all fighting for a spot on the roster when you're in my situation. I've always gone into camp where there have been three guys and I was the fourth guy hoping there would be some other team to pick me up."

Q: One year ago you were in a much different point in your career, how much have things changed for you?

A: It was more different at the end of last season when I was playing. If you look at my situation the way it is right now, I'm like a lot of guys are. When you look now you say hopefully I'll be the third guy. At the same time we're all fighting for a spot on the roster when you're in my situation. I've always gone into camp where there have been three guys and I was the fourth guy hoping there would be some other team to pick me up. Now I'm hoping at least I'll be around in September. I also feel like -- in terms of maybe I always felt I was good enough to play -- but when you only get in there in the preseason, and you're playing with guys who won't make the team, on your side and the other side of the ball, sometimes you still have that question in your mind, what would it be like if i were in there with the starters. I have more confidence from that end. One other thing, people are patting me on the back saying you did a good job so the Redskins will probably keep you this year. It's nice and I appreciate that but as soon as you think your situation is solid and secure that's when you end up losing your job. I have been trying to maintain the attitude that I'm still trying to prove msyelf.

Q: Is it tough to go from starting five games to now fighting for the third spot again?

A: I was in Gibran's situation the last couple of years. I was in Europe and A.J. Feeley was with the Eagles and he had played the year before and it's like, A.J. isn't going anywhere. You come in and from his standpoint that's where I was. It would be really hard to make the team. In terms of looking at it I went from not having a chance to make the team in Philly to then starting five games here. Then it does make you realize that, shoot, anything can happen. I might not play a down this year or I might play eight games. Before things like that seemed really far fetched, but with what happened to Tom Brady and Marc Bulger, things like that happening made guys in my situation, it gives you more hope that even if are down the line and playing behind two guys who are good players it doesn't mean you're not good enough to play or that you won't start again. I always hoped I would be able to play and start games, but I didn't really know if it would happen. So when it happened last year it was like it can happen. I'm 10 steps further ahead on that than I was last year.

Q: Are you still known as Elizabeth's husband?

A: Yeah. It would take a lot to change that. I don't mind that, it's fine.

Q: Where do you feel you're better?

A: One of the things that was difficult for me in Philly was that even though I was there for two camps in a row, I always felt I was bouncing from team to team. Everyone else had gone through training camp and learned. I was in minicamps but there was a big span of time where I wasn't with them. I was always trying to catch up in terms of learning the playbook. Because there was a changeover and a new system here, it feels like a new team now. But where that has helped me is that it doesn't feel any different to me. I know for Mark it's different. He'd been going to the same place for nine years. It feels different for him and for Patrick. This is the first changeover for him. For me I've been able to adjust to that because it's what I've been used to. Whether that makes me play better, I don't know. I'm more comfortable than when I first started. I'm used to feeling like this.

Q: Is part of you annoyed that you don't have a chance at the starting job?

A: When they signed Mark my first reaction is that it's bad for me. I felt like the way Patrick felt. Whatever you think the chain is, everyone moves down one. Gibran might have felt the same way. So when that happens it's a little disappointing. But I think if you let yourself get frustrated by things you can't control then it ends up bothering you. And it ends up that it doesn't make you play any better or handle the situation better and it makes it awkward between the quarterbacks. It's just based on seeing how things worked out for my brother where he was in Green Bay and he then got a chance to play in Seattle. He plays, he does OK and then they bring Trent Dilfer in. He thinks the window has closed and he'll never get it back again. But you never know what can happen. When you're the backup or the third guy everyone says that you never know what can happen. Sometimes it gets frustrating hearing that. But for me it rings more true because I was at home and five weeks later I'm starting for the rest of the year. You saw what can happen. Because of the way it has been for my family I've been able to see that your window is only so big and you only get so many opportunities. If you don't take advantage of them then you're not going to be playing football anymore.


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