Entering the second pre-season game of the 2012 season, the Tennessee Titans were looking to bounce back from a poor performance last week by being more efficient against the Tampa Bucs.
Jake Locker was also looking to wrap up the starting QB for the 2012 season. Coach Munchak had said earlier in the week that it was Locker’s job to lose and the he had already pulled even with Matt Hasselbeck in the open QB competition. Well, lemme tell ya, Locker looked like he wanted nothing to do with being the starting QB for the Tennessee Titans.
Against the Bucs, Locker went 4-11 for 21 yards and 1 int. Those magical numbers were all produced in eight series in the first half. Locker looked absolutely lost out there on a number of plays. His interception came on an ill advised pass across his body and off his back foot. It was a horrible throw, but you know what, get them out of the way in pre-season and move forward. Need a bright spot in the game for Locker. Luckily there was one. Late in the 1st quarter Locker scrambled for a 21 yard gain which set up a beautiful TD run by CJ.
Let’s get into the running game. It’s funny how things go, last week Chris Johnson still doesn’t have, IT. This week, he found IT! He looked very good running for 46 yards and 2 scores on the night. CJ does a phenomenal job of committing to a hole, drawing the defender up and then bouncing it out wide and breaking it for a long gain. On both of his TD runs that’s exactly what he did. He looked like he was able to get it clicking.
Speaking of getting it clicking, Darius Reynaud may have earned himself a roster spot. How was this guy not in the league last year. Ok, here we go, 7 rushes for 75 yards, 1 KO return for 42 yards, 2 punt returns for 24 yards but he had a very nice 35 yard return. All this guy has done in 2 pre season games is make plays and he should make the team.
I would say something about the receivers but there is really nothing to say. Cameron Graham caught a TD pass from Rusty Smith in the 4 th to close the scoring.
This I can tell you, with Locker now being named the starting QB for the season opener I would acticipate the Titans spreading out defenses as much as possible. This will work to creat running lanes for CJ and it should also help Locker read defenses and take off if he doesn’t find anything after going through his progressions. Locker has a lot of room to grow but his teammates support him and that is huge. What is also great is that Matt Hasselbeck supports the change and is going to help make Locker even better.
Next up we have the Arizona Cardinals coming to town which should be the dress rehaersal for the opener in a couple weeks against the Pats. Let’s hope Locker settles down a bit now that he has claimed the starting job.