Jake Locker will be the starting quarterback for the Tennessee Titans this fall. Recently he was able to take some time out of his training camp schedule to talk to reporters about the experience he is able to witness, that is the 2012 NFL Regular season.
Many people feel that the main reason Locker is not ready to be the starting quarterback is because he is too young. However Locker is using those doubters to his advantage.
“I think that’ something that he [Mike Munchak] has mentioned that he wanted to see out of me, especially being a younger player. How I responded to negative plays or bad days out here.”
He is very excited to be presented with the opportunity and is going to take it as serious as ever, but when asked what he did first after he found out the news he responded as any professional athlete probably would, with a sense of poise.
“It’s really cool, and it’s something I’m very proud of. But like I’ve said before, it’s not going to change my approach, it’s not going to change how I approach practice or a game, but it’s really cool to be given this opportunity.”
It’s only been a year since Locker has been in the NFL but he has gotten to follow in the footsteps of one of the best, veteran Matt Hasselbeck. He has seen the good the bad and the ugly, and can now say, with his first official start last weekend, that practice is great but nothing compared to a regular game
“You are able to get some sense in practice, but when you get out there in a live game, it definitely heightens that development.”
He knew all along that he was the number two guy, being the veteran, but understood that he still had a chance to compete for the starting position. “If you think you’re in this league and not in competition, you’re doing something wrong.”
Exactly, Jake Locker, nothing is guaranteed. At the same time though, Locker finds full respect for Matt Hasselbeck.
“He’s one of the best guys I know, it wasn’t awkward, it wasn’t tough, he is very supportive, very encouraging to me and that shouldn’t surprise anyone.”
As far for what he did right after he was named the starting quarterback, “It was fulfillment of a childhood dream. Being able to call my dad, and to talk to my mom and dad and let them know was pretty cool.”
It’s nice that the team is excited, likewise for Locker. But it’s time to get down to business. The regular season starts in only two weeks and the Titans want to improve on their 9-7 record from last year. They will have to start out strong, especially with a team like the New England Patriots.
“Getting on the same page and getting really comfortable in the passing game and confident in the running game, finding ways to move the ball and put points on the board will be our focus these next couple of weeks.”
“I’m going to continue to work as hard as I can and be a good example and go from there.”
I see a leader in Jake Locker, I really do. Hopefully he can come out on top this year. He concluded the interview by saying no one is as big of critic as he is on himself. He admitted he will be more upset than anyone if the season or a single game doesn’t go the way he wants it to.