Even a veteran lineman like seven-time All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson, there is a bit of a learning curve.
Hutchinson signed with the Titans in March and is getting his first taste of the off-season in Tennessee and is now settling in to his new surroundings. But it took a little time.
“I’ve come a long way in a couple of weeks here. It’s a new system for me, new terminology,” Hutchinson said. “The first week or so, you’re probably a little too mechanical, thinking about the plays, and then it comes natural and you kind of get on the same page as far as the speed. You don’t think it anymore, you just play. That’s good, I’m probably at that point, so it’s going well.”
Hutchinson came to the Titans to fill their left guard spot after spending the past five years with the Minnesota Vikings. Before that, he was in Seattle where he was teammates with quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. The old friendship with Hasselbeck has helped Hutchinson make a smoother transition both on the field and in the Nashville area.
“It’s nice to have a familiar face when you’re coming into a new organization, and somebody that you know that’s coming from a new system,” Hutchinson said. “He can kind of translate some things, like we used to call this this back in Seattle. And off the field it’s nice too, because our wives know each other, so that makes it nice.”
While it is good to have familiar faces around, one of the biggest draws for Hutchinson to the Titans is his belief that Tennessee is a team on the upswing.
“That was one of the things that drew me to here. I don’t think there’s such a thing as overachieving in the NFL,” Hutchinson said. “You get what you work for, and a lot of times you don’t even get that. You don’t become 9-7 by accident. Obviously, we have a good core and a good team. Now with an off-season with a new coaching staff, and some draft picks and free agents, it looks better and better to me.”