With all the talk about current young quarterbacks in the NFL such as Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Christian Ponder, Colin Kaepernick, and Andy Dalton, a name often left unmentioned is Jake Locker. While he has not yet had the same success as other young QBs, Locker will have a better season in 2013 than all of them.
To win in today’s NFL, you need to do at least one thing better than everyone else. For the Tennessee Titans, that is the offensive line. Completely reloaded in free agency and the draft, and coached up by two Hall of Fame linemen, it is the foundation of the Titans offense.
The O-line will dominate in the trenches, setting up a Bash and Dash running game with Shonn Greene and Chris Johnson. This running game will force defenses to game plan for it, opening up a new read-option style passing offense led by Locker.
It is no secret that Locker has accuracy issues, but he was never meant to be a straight pocket passer. His success is outside the pocket, throwing on the run, and creating plays. He isn’t a pure running QB like Michael Vick as much as he is an opportunistic leader like Russell Wilson.
Locker, now in his third season, sat most of his rookie year behind Matt Hasselbeck and was misused in the offense last year by Chris Palmer. The offense now, led by coordinator Dowell Loggains, will utilize Locker’s great footwork and strong arm to keep defenses back on their heels, forcing them to react to what he wants to do.
With receiver talent such as Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright, and rookie Justin Hunter, Locker will have all the tools around him to succeed. That, combined with a fixed shoulder and manageable schedule, will put Locker in the top 5 for QB effectiveness in 2013.