Jake Locker was supposed to come in and make fans of the Tennessee Titans forget all about the Vince Young debacle. Locker was that promising young arm that would lift the Titans back to being one of the powers in the AFC South.
Unfortunately the promise is still there, but the Titans have yet to climb back on top of the division they dominated along with the Indianapolis Colts for so many years. Truthfully, Jake Locker has fizzled, and those who believe that he really is going to be the franchise quarterback for this team aren’t seeing clearly.
After two full seasons with the Titans, Locker has played in the equivalent of a single season’s worth of games, hampered by injuries and inconsistencies along the way. He had two seasons worth of tutelage from one of the best QB mentors in the league, Matt Hasselbeck, but still hasn’t really shown much more than mediocre results.
This isn’t to say that it’s time to close the book on Locker as an NFL quarterback, or that he’s Vince Young 2.0, but his high interception-to-touchdown ratio, and relatively low completion percentage should be reason for concern. Yes, he’s still young and truthfully some of that is to be expected from a young QB, but sometimes when you watch you can just see when a quarterback doesn’t have that indescribable thing that pushes them to the top…and Locker just doesn’t have it.
Moving from a personable and supportive teammate like Hasselbeck, to the newly acquired Ryan Fitzpatrick as one of the Titans’ quarterbacks will also probably add to Locker’s unraveling. While Hasselbeck was probably always looked at more as a colleague and teacher, Fitzpatrick will no doubt be perceived by Locker to be competition for his starting job.
Competition can be a good thing, but in the case of Locker, it may turn out to be a final straw in his undoing. He’ll have to stay healthy for the first time in his NFL career, and he’ll have to be much more sharp, or the coaches will not hesitate to throw Fitzpatrick in to see if he can fare any better.