Dec 30, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker (10) prior to the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee Titans: Peyton Manning or Jake Locker? 2012 Review

During the 2012 offseason, Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams wanted his franchise to sign Peyton Manning. Adams was upset when Manning joined the Denver Broncos. Adams felt as though COO Mike Reinfeldt didn’t make enough of an effort to bring Manning to Nashville.

The Titans finished the 2012-13 NFL season with a 6-10 record. The Broncos had a 13-3 record. That was good enough for the AFC’s No. 1 seed. After the season ended, Adams fired Reinfeldt. In 2013, Mike Munchak will rely on Jake Locker in what’s expected as a do-or-die season. Playoffs or bust.

Should the Titans have been more aggressive in their pursuit of Manning? Did management make the right decision with Locker and Matt Hasselbeck? Let’s see how both of these quarterbacks performed during the 2012-13 season:

Peyton Manning (16 games): 68.6 completion percentage, 4,659 passing yards, 37 passing touchdowns, 11 interceptions, six rushing yards, zero rushing touchdowns.

Jake Locker (11 games): 56.4 completion percentage, 2,176 passing yards, 10 passing touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 291 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown.

The primary concern surrounding Manning was his neck. Ironically, he stayed healthy. Locker didn’t. While Adams and many fans were disappointed in the outcome of the Manning sweepstakes, it seemed like Manning had made up his mind: he wanted to work for John Elway.

Let’s assume Manning joined the Tennessee Titans. In the short term, they win more games. Maybe enough for a playoff berth. They’d have gotten more national exposure. Nashville becomes more attractive to free agents. The local economy would’ve received a boost because downtown businesses get more customers. No 16.5 local ratings. Maybe Locker becomes an understudy to Manning?

That’s a lot of positives. Of course, Manning doesn’t automatically make the Titans a 13-3 team. How would Manning have done with Chris Palmer as his offensive coordinator? Even if Manning did well, they’re not a Super Bowl contender. Not with their defense.

In the long term? It’s too early to say. Locker has 11 starts. Seven of those starts came with a separated non-throwing shoulder. Five of them came with Dowell Loggains. Most of them came with an offensive line that was decimated from injuries.

Locker will get another season. He should get that opportunity. The Titans must surround him with better offensive minds than Loggains and, heaven forbid, John Shoop. Locker must improve his accuracy. These things mean nothing if he can’t stay healthy.

Coaching, accuracy and health. If those things are figured out, then Locker will make big strides in 2013.

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Tags: Jake Locker NFL Peyton Manning Tennessee Titans

  • Shawn Eagle

    Good article Joshua….I would have to agree on all those points. Locker does need to improve his accuracy, probably just as important is the coaching aspect that you mentioned….he needs stability from his coaches.

  • Justin Stewart

    Agreed. Hopefully they add to this O-line. Keeping Locker upright and CJ’s holes open go a big way towards success for this team.

    • Brandon Paille

      |CJ’s holes open

      Uh huh huh uhhh huh huh huh

      • Justin Stewart

        Daaaaaaaaaaaaaangit. Set myself up for that one…. Yargh.

  • [email protected]

    Locker is not very intelligent. Run first… he does not want to throw.. always looking for the run, this is not high school. Look at his record college and NFL. I think he would make an ok fullback though till he gets hurt.

    • Justin Stewart

      Disagreed. He is intelligent. And while this year he did tend to run a bit too much, his rookie season he did everything he could to stay in the pocket and throw the ball.

      Perhaps this year he ran more because he line was consistently crumbling.

      • Shawn Eagle

        The one thing that was different about last year and this year is that coaches didn’t have tape on him last year. This year they did…maybe it had something to do with his performance, maybe not.

  • josh gunnels

    I would have been sick if Peyton Manning had come here. It’s like letting Darth Vader come lead the Ewoks or something.

    • Justin Stewart

      Like Christians worshiping the devil. Yucky.

  • Brandon Paille

    I believe we were never actually in the running for Manning to begin with. He knew he had a legion of fans here from his days at UT and that he had better put on a dog and pony show. We’re rebuilding, Denver was just a QB away from contention.

    Besides, it’s not really fair to compare Locker to a QB not on the shit storm of a team that was the Titans this season. Compare Locker to Hass. Hass completed about 4 percent more passes than Locker. I know everyone is up in arms about Lockers accuracy but he’s really just an extra check down pass a game from being a 60% passer, with a busted shoulder, and crap offensive line and a coordinator change. Maybe I’m too optimistic about him, but I’ve seen some flashes of a real good player that kid could get molded into.

    • Justin Stewart

      Woohoo! Somebody else who believes! I’m not alone!

  • Pierre NyGaard

    Not to gloss over the whole part about Locker, who I do think deserves more time, with everything that happened at receiver this year.

    But talking Peyton, the Titans never really had a legitimate shot. “Trying harder” wouldn’t have accomplished much. It’s Vol thinking. Like “Jon Gruden wants to come to Knoxville. We just need to get serious!”

    • Justin Stewart

      Some people thought all the attention Manning got in Nashville was part of the reason he chose Denver.
      I was glad when he chose them. Winning a Super Bowl with him would pretty much taint the entire experience.