I imagine at this point most of everyone is growing thin of the Tennessee Titans quarterback debate. With little to no relevant news coming out of the Titans’ direction though, the quarterback situation is what must be focused on. At least, until a decision is made. And by recent indications, it may take some time.
A few days ago, Titans offensive coordinator Chris Palmer stated that there would be no timetable in determining who will take the opening snaps when the Titans start the season at home against the New England Patriots.
It seems as though the Titans like having some drama at the quarterback position at any point, whether it’s bad or good. Thankfully for us, the current situation embraces the latter. It began last year in a game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Matt Hasselbeck, who started all 16 games last season for the Titans, injured his elbow and had to be pulled from the game, leading the way for Jake Locker to be truly welcomed to the NFL. Locker initiated a short-lived, but spirited, comeback attempt as he essentially outplayed Hasselbeck with two touchdown tosses to Nate Washington.
Ever since that game, and his other comeback attempt against the New Orleans Saints, many fans have been calling for Locker to start. Come September 9th and those fans may get their wish. At the end of last season head coach Mike Munchak left open the possibility of an open competition at QB when training camp would roll around. OTAs have begun, and the Titans coaches are coming through on Munch’s words.
This dilemma is entirely in the hands of Mike Munchak and Chris Palmer. Owner Bud Adams won’t be intervening in this decision. The Titans love Hasselbeck in a way that coaches love veteran leaders. There’s no reason for them not to as Hasselbeck had a career year in 2011 and led a team that was supposed to be less than mediocre to a 9-7 record. It’s hard for them to argue, though, that he regressed towards the end of last season. It was evident, and I’m sure they noticed.
While they love Matt’s experience, they are likewise infatuated with Locker’s athleticism. Along with his mobility, Locker gives the Titans offense a new dimension and expands their playbook to allow for a more explosive offense. He showed last season that he definitely has kinks in his game. The accuracy isn’t always there and his footwork is, at times, sloppy. But can they pass up so much potential in a year where it looks like the talent is there (on offense) to be maximized?
The coaches are taking their time to make this decision for a reason. I know they love Hasselbeck, and we all do too. But they’re waiting for Locker to show up to camp, run circles around Hasselbeck, and take this job as if it’s his to lose. From what we’ve seen from him so far, it wouldn’t be a shock to see it all happen, very quickly.
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