Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak officially tied his fate with Jake Locker when he said his inconsistent quarterback is entrenched as the starter. Munchak made it crystal clear that recently-signed veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had no shot at the starting job and his role as second on the depth chart was not going to change.
Although Munchak’s statement provided a much-needed vote of confident for Locker, he too may be given a pink slip and shown the door if Locker continues to struggle with accuracy and inconsistency.
In the NFL, only a select group of players are entrenched as starters, which is largely due to their impressive play on the field and not reliant on where they were selected in the NFL Draft. The Titans regime that selected Locker with 10th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and hired Munchak is no longer calling the shots.
Current general manager Ruston Webster has no allegiance to either of them and in order adhere to Titans owner Bud Adams‘ win-now mentality, the time for a new coach and a new franchise quarterback may be drawing near.
Despite Locker’s impressive athletic traits, his ongoing struggles with accuracy combined with Munchak’s questionable decision-making leaves a lot to be desired. Munchak’s loyalty to old friends has led to poor hiring and his unshakable allegiance to an inconsistent quarterback maybe his downfall.
The Titans’ failure to prepare a back up plan to the oft-injured Locker raises a number of questions, and if a young quarterback is not added via free agency or the draft, Webster’s seat will also begin to warm.
The source of success in the NFL is competition because it builds camaraderie, maximizes efficiency, and eliminates complacency. Even Carolina Panthers franchise quarterback Cam Newton had to compete for the starting job before being entrenched as the starter.
Locker has yet to be pushed and the lack of a true challenger has compromised his career, as well as the success of the Titans. Although Locker and Munchak are dawning Titans blue today, do not be surprised if the two are both looking for work elsewhere after the 2013-2014 season.