Jake Locker started off strong in Saturday night’s preseason start for the Tennessee Titans, going 5-for-6 on the first drive with low-difficulty throws. However, Tennessee failed to punch it in the end zone under his watch and Locker would finish the night with a decent performance that produced 12-for-20, 116 yards and no touchdowns or picks.
“The priority for me this year is just playing faster, whether that’s through my progression or decision-making,” Locker said prior to the Titans’ Week 2 preseason contest against the Cincinnati Bengals, via USA TODAY Sports. “Not waiting to make it to where I was like, ‘Oh man, if I’d decided to run there, I could have made a good gain, where now I got sacked.’ … It’s just trying to make it a little bit faster to make those plays more productive. … Instead of holding onto it and trying to make something big out of it, take five yards and have second-and-5.
“That’s a good down and distance for our offense. We like being in that situation. And over the course of the season, I think those are plays that allow you to continue to stay on the field and continue drives and help you to win games.”
Locker finished 2012 ranked 22nd among 38 qualifying quarterbacks in Pro Football Focus grading, aided mightily by a run grade that ranked sixth among quarterbacks. His accuracy was extremely poor, however, finishing dead last in PFF’s under-pressure accuracy percentage (43.5). Jury’s out until we see a more devoted, aggressive defensive game plan thrown at the third-year quarterback.
This tweet perfectly encapsulated the counter argument, from Tom Kessenich of Stats, LLC: “Jake Locker and Blaine Gabbert both looking good tonight. Must be the preseason.”