Yes, I’m doing it, I’m putting it out there that I think the Tennessee Titans would be best served by going with Matt Hasselbeck as the #1 QB to start the season. Yes, I said it, to start the season.
The Tennessee Titans started last season as an after thought to many people. They signed an aging, savy veteran QB in Matt Hasselbeck in free agency and immediately drafted his replacement in Jake Locker. The Titans came into last year with a first year head coach, brand new offensive coordinator, the best offensive player holding out, oh, and then this little thing called the lockout. The lockout effectively rendered Munch and Palmer zero time to really change anything offensively from the previous year. Yeah, Palmer tweaked a few things but he simply didn’t have time to install his offense.
Hasselbeck walked in and had to learn a new offense, get used to his new receivers, get used to a new division, get used to playing fourteen games without Kenny Britt, and get used to watching CJ get tackled in the backfield for most of the season. Hasselbeck still threw for 3,500 yards, completed 62% of his passes, had a 110 QB rating inside the red zone with zero interceptions and guided the team to a 9-7 record and one game shy of the playoffs.
This year Hasselbeck has the benefit of OTAs, training camp, hopefully a healthy Kenny Britt, a rejuvenated CJ, an addition of an old friend in Steve Hutchinson, a second year working with Munch and Palmer, and oh yeah, 1st round pick Kendall Wright, a very promising WR that should only help our offense. One would think that if he started and played a full season, and didn’t have injuries to contend with, he would easily finish the year with 4,000 yards passing, 23-26 TDs, and still completing 60- 62% of his passes.
Why would you not want Hasselbeck to start when you look at what he was missing and what he may be able to do in his second year at the helm. I mean, come on, why would you not want that? Oh, yeah, the Washington kid, the future of the franchise, Jake Locker. Surely they didn’t draft him in the first round just to sit him on the bench.
I will tell you, I’m very excited about watching Locker play and I think he has a very bright future. I also said at the beginning of the article that I believe Hasselbeck should start the season as the starter, not finish, but start. I think it will be important to get the offense going early and getting into a flow and I think Hasselbeck offers the best chance at that. I can see Locker being worked into some games and probably do what he did last year, fill in for Hasselbeck if he is injured or ineffective. This year though, if Locker gets in and plays well, I think the coaches will have a very hard time handing the keys back to Hasselbeck.
I love Locker’s upside and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see the Jake Locker era begin this season, I just don’t think it should start at the beginning of the season. What say you?
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