NASHVILLE, Tenn. — No pressure, Luke Falk.
There will now be a link between Falk and Tom Brady for the rest of the former’s career after the Titans selected him with the 199th overall pick Saturday — the same one New England used on its future Hall of Famer in 2000.
The similarities between the two quarterbacks don’t just stop with the pick number, either.
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Falk idolizes Brady, modeling his game after the five-time Super Bowl champion and even following the TB12 program, Brady’s unique approach to off-field training.
“It’s a pretty crazy coincidence — [he’s] somebody I look up to,” said Falk, a former walk-on who became the all-time Pac-12 leader in career passing yards, touchdowns and total offense (passing Titans starter Marcus Mariota) while at Washington State.
Falk sees a lot of parallels between their careers prior to the NFL.
“We have the same similarities in terms of style of play,” he said. “We’re not the most mobile guys. We can do stuff in the pocket, creating throws in a small space. [We’re] accurate, kind of have the same compact throwing motion. He’s the best to do it. Somebody to look up to that I’ve always tried to model my game after. It’s a huge coincidence, pick 199. I’m so grateful that Tennessee took a shot on me.”
Falk is expected to develop as a backup behind Mariota. Both players share the same agent. Veteran Blaine Gabbert was signed to be Mariota’s backup, but Falk likely will compete with him and could force the Titans and new coach Mike Vrabel — Brady’s former teammate in New England — to keep three quarterbacks.
Falk also has Nashville ties. He has two sisters who live there trying to make it as country singers. He joked he has somewhere to stay temporarily when he arrives in Nashville.
Ranked 96th on ESPN analyst Mel Kiper’s Big Board, Falk said he was surprised to still be on the board in the sixth round. But he attributes it to the next step of his football career, having to exceed lower expectations.
“I expected to get off the board a little earlier … The word that came to mind was ‘shocked.’ It wasn’t exactly how I thought it’d play out,” Falk said.
“It’s been a pretty grueling process. When I finally got the phone call and saw my name on the TV, nothing but gratitude. It’s been an interesting football career — I had two scholarship offers, both pulled. Went to Washington State, seventh guy on the depth chart, trying to claw your way up. Your locker is in a different spot. You’re not able to eat with the team. You’re paying for your own books. You’re paying for your own way. It’s tough. I thought it got me to have a gritty attitude, a ‘can do’ mindset and knowing it’s a marathon. I’ll take all those lessons that I had at Washington State and bring them with me to the next level.”