The Tennessee Titans figure to be a part of some NFL rumors as we get closer and closer to camp. The quarterback situation there seems to be up for grabs with veteran Matt Hasselbeck trying to fend off second-year quarterback Jake Locker. The Titans used their 2011 first round pick on Locker and see him as their quarterback of the future and Locker is heading into training camp hoping to make that future now.
Locker has been pretty vocal that he is headed into camp with the goal of emerging as being the Titans starter. Offensive Coordinator Chris Palmer, who has a reputation as a good quarterback guy around the league, has called the race “even.” Head Coach Mike Munchak has all but announced there will be a competition in camp.
Locker’s task will not be easy. Hasselbeck has experience on his side and has proven he can succeed in the NFL. Locker has potential and a nice arm but needs to improve on his accuracy, something he says he has worked on all offseason. One area where Locker has an absolute edge is his mobility. Hasselbeck is, shall we say, an immobile quarterback.
Last season, Locker showed the Titans what he is capable of, throwing 4 touchdowns without an interception on 34 of 66 passing (51.5%) in 5 games, none of them starts. He didn’t turn the ball over once, either by interception or by fumble. His best game came against the Indianapolis Colts where he threw for 108 yards on 11 of 16 passing with 1 TD. However, he was more of a clock manager than anything in his rookie year and Mike Munchak and his staff did a very good job of allowing him to build confidence without overexposing him.
If Locker has a strong camp and preseason Munchak will have no choice but to name Locker his starting quarterback. Hasselbeck is good but Locker might actually give the Titans a better shot of winning week in and week out. I will go out on a limb and say if Locker keeps the turnovers to a minimum in the preseason while completing 55% of his passes the job will be his. With young wide receivers in Kenny Britt (if healthy) and this year’s first round pick, Kendall Wright, the Titans have a chance to develop an excellent vertical passing game for years to come.