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The Guest Spot: Why Hasselbeck Starts Week One


This weeks edition of The Guest Spot comes courtesy of Michael Campbell. Follow him on Twitter @Campbellonious.

Why Matt Hasselbeck will Start Week One

While Titans fans were forced to watch teams like Jacksonville throw their future franchise quarterback into the fire, (I say forced because it was truly painful to watch Blaine Gabbert command an NFL offense) they began to wonder what they had with their twelve million dollar man who had yet to see the field.  Did the rookie philosophy with Gabbert pan out?  If you consider shattering all confidence and costing one of the longest tenured coaches in the NFL his job, then yes, it panned out.  Other rookie quarterbacks to get the starting nod early included Christian Ponder of Minnesota & Cam Newton of Carolina.  Ponder showed some signs of life and Newton absolutely lit it up last season.

Unlike other NFL teams the, Titans took a much more melodic approach while introducing their future franchise quarterback to the NFL.  Locker didn’t play at all last season with the exception of times when Hasselbeck was out with injury.  He was given a playbook and told to learn behind a twelve year veteran.

For these reasons there’s been quite a bit of discussion this off season as to who will be named the starting quarterback for the Tennessee Titans for 2012.  Like most of you, I’m a huge fan of Jake Locker.  He brings excitement to the team and is a much more dynamic playmaker than Matt Hasselbeck.  That being said, I have a hard time believing Locker gets the starting nod over Hasselbeck for the home opener against New England.

With all the time and effort the Titans have put into building Locker’s confidence, it’s hard to imagine Jake hitting the field in the first six games this season.  The Titans have one of the toughest (if not the toughest) opening schedules of any team in the NFL.  With the exception of week five at Minnesota (which is no guarantee) it’s not a stretch to say Tennessee may very well open with season with a 1-5 record; despite being a better team in 2012.  Four of the first six games include teams that went to the playoffs last year (New England, Detroit, Houston, & Pittsburgh) – not to mention a San Diego team which is about as unpredictable as any NFL franchise.  With that type of uphill battle in front of the Titans to open the season, I can’t see the front office giving Jake the go-ahead.  As fans we know, the quarterback gets all the credit for the win or loss.  The way I see it, Hasselback starts the first six games and Locker getting the nod for game seven; just in time for the Bills and a downhill battle the rest of the season.

Looking back:  If I’m forced to choose between the possibility of ending up with a clone of Blaine Gabbert or sitting my future franchise QB to learn from a veteran who led the Titans to a near playoff berth – I’d take the latter every time.

Michael Campbell

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  • dragak1981

    I am tired of hearing how Hasselback has to start because the schedule is so tough!  If the Titans are indeed going to be a good team and a team that contends in the Playoffs, they need to be able to beat playoff caliber teams.  If Locker has his mechanics worked out he should start.  The offense will be much more explosive and the fact that he can run with the ball makes one more thing that opposing defenses have to worry about.  Additionally, Locker needs to be able to play against and beat the best teams out there if the Titans are going to be successful.  The Lions and Patriots defenses are really nothing special.  If Hasselback wins the QB competition and gives the Titans the best chance to win he should start.  There is no other reason to make him the starter that holds any water.

  • JasonPeters

    Well of course whoever gives the Titans the best chance to win should start…I think he’s saying that Matt gives us the best chance to win by way if his experience against some tough teams. I do think if you read between the lines in what’s been said from Webster & Munch that they feel like Matt has a better ability to get the ball to the receivers than Locker at this moment in time.

  • Campbellonious

     @dragak1981 ^ completely agree – I want to see Jake Locker as much as everyone else.  They are a much more dynamic offense with him.  Point of the article wasn’t to push for Hasselback – just saying with the time they have taken to develop Jake & build his confidence last season (despite the media & fans pushing on them) they are in no rush to start him.  Strength of schedule will no doubt be evaluated by the FO as well.

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