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Tennessee Titans: Can Jake Locker Lead The Titans?

Can Jake Locker Lead Tennessee Titans

Dec 23, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker (10) (right) rushes with the football as Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (52) (left) chases from behind during the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Locker is the starting Quarterback for the Tennessee Titans, but can he lead the Titans to the playoffs and hopefully the Super Bowl? We’ll see this year, hopefully.

Mike Munchak and Dowell Loggains have tweaked the offense yet again to take pressure off of Jake Locker. The expectations that Jake Locker will be able to air it out and move the offense up and down the field are gone. Instead, the Titans are reverting back to old days and a power rushing scheme that should be heavy with play action passes and bootlegs. Three yards and a cloud of dust, welcome back.

Say what you will, but the Titans have got to be concerned with Locker’s evolution as a passer and how he has picked up the game to change the entire philosophy of the offense in one year. Firing an offensive coordinator is one thing, changing the entire offense to make it easier on your young QB tells people that he can’t really do all that you thought he could when you drafted him.

Locker came to the Titans advertised as a guy that could get out of the pocket and escape the rush with his legs. Actually, Locker took more than a few sacks and didn’t have much of a feel for when the rush was getting to him. Locker never really looked comfortable lining up in the shotgun and throwing the ball all over the field either.

So this change in philosophy should help Locker, correct? Yes it should. Will it help him enough to become the QB they think they drafted? Possibly.

Locker has shown flashes and switching to a run based offense should help with his reads and help with his confidence. If the run game works like it should, then the passing game will be the biggest benefactor. Running the football allows the play action game to set up and it also allows the offense just a tad bit more time to get rid of the football, which should help Locker.

Locker, a young QB who needs as much time as he can get throwing the football will also enter training camp without the luxury of spending most of his summer throwing due to off-season shoulder surgery.

In Locker’s defense, he has had a rough couple of years to start his pro career. He’s been injured and already suffered through two complete changes to the offense. He is young and will work harder than anyone. He knows that he can’t just walk in and say that this is his team, he knows he must earn that title. If there is any player I believe in, work ethic wise that will make it to the top, it’s Locker, but sometimes being the hardest worker doesn’t make you the best player.

The question remains….Can Locker lead the Titans? The coaches hope so, but if not then Ryan Fitzpatrick might.

 

What say you?

 

Shawn Eagle

You can follow me on twitter @RS1Eagle

 

Topics: Jake Locker, NFL, Tennessee Titans

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  • James Hayes

    Like you said if locker can’t then fitz will

  • j.graver

    I think you’re way off here. You cannot possibly judge Locker based on his play last season. First of all, the sample size is way too small. He played less than half the season. And he played those game behind one of the worst-assembled interior offensive lines in the league (we haven’t been stable up front since Kevin Mawae retired). Not only that, but we had 5 offensive linemen on IR by the end of the season. Locker didn’t have a chance to escape defenders in the pocket because there was rarely even a pocket for him to throw from. It is unfair to say that the coaching staff should be “concerned with Locker’s evolution as a passer” because he has never had a chance to evolve. To say that we are changing the entire offense because we actually went out and signed some capable linemen, and because we have assembled some legitimate offensive weapons, is a huge overstatement. Locker has never had the tools around him to be able to “air it out,” Kenny Britt missed Locker’s rookie campaign and last year he was not fully recovered. Nothing against Nate Washington, but when he is your best receiver, you lose the ability to air it out. Also, minor note, but Locker WILL be able to spend the summer throwing because he has been medically cleared to do everything except take contact. Don’t just write articles for the sake of writing an article- this entire analysis is wrong.

  • Shawn Eagle

    The o line wasnt banged up until 3/4 of the season was done. Way off? Then why is the coaching staff doing everything they can to fortify the o line and bring in a career banger in Shon Greene? Way off, not at all, you are correct though, there is a small sample size but with that sample size the Titans have chosen to become a run first team….once again….you dont do that with a qb that you feel can throw the ball consistently do you?

    • Mat. W.

      The interior O-line wasn’t great even when everybody was healthy

    • j.graver

      I agree the Titans have chosen to be a run first team, because that is where the best offensive weapons are (great RB duo, great versatile blocking TEs, combined with unproven WRs and young, inexperienced QB). I just don’t agree that fortifying the o-line should be seen as an overhaul of the offensive strategy or as a big move towards the run first team. The Titans offensive line was TERRIBLE last year. Even if everyone had stayed healthy through the whole season, the line still would have been grouped with the worst lines in the league. Chris Johnson ranked near the bottom in yards before contact and the Titans gave up more sacks than the majority of the league (we ranked 12th- which isn’t as bad as, say, the Texans in the David Carr era, but perhaps Jake Locker escaped a few more sacks than we give him credit for). Just because we’ve shored up the interior of the offensive line does not mean we are moving towards an entirely new offense, and it definitely does not mean we are moving towards an entirely new offense BECAUSE Jake Locker has failed to develop as a passer. My entire argument is predicated on the fact that I think it is way too early in Jake Locker’s career to say that the Titans have given up faith in him as a passer and in the entire offense as an “air it out” team. In support of that, I would like to point out that we spent two first round picks and the 2nd pick of the second round in three of the last four drafts on wide receivers. I don’t think we would have traded 3 picks away to move up 6 spots to draft Justin Hunter if the 2013 offense is going to be dominated by the run game. Every analyst in the world said the Titans biggest needs were offensive line and defensive line. By signing Levitre and drafting Warmack and Schwenke, I think the Titans were simply addressing a glaring need, as opposed to “changing the entire offense.” I think Tom Brady and Drew Brees would’ve even struggled behind the line we had last year, with Britt not fully recovered from injury and Chris Palmer’s crazy complex offensive scheme. Of course, I’m not saying that Locker is as good as Brees and Brady, I’m not crazy. I just think that we can’t judge Locker until he has a chance to play behind a stable offensive line with decent receivers to throw the ball too. That is all. That is why I think you are, as I put it, “way off” in your assessment.

      On a side note, I do enjoy your articles, even if I don’t always agree with the points you are making, and I especially appreciate you taking the time to respond to my comment.

  • Shawn Eagle

    He’s unsteady in the pocket…which his legs should help…but haven’t….not comfortable in where to throw the ball…can’t get the ball there accurately consistently…..they are taking the pressure off of him…..not much confidence

  • josh gunnels

    Ahhh.. the Locker argument.

    I will say this. They decided to change the offense last year even when Hasselbeck was still the QB. NO ONE on the team could get it. Not just to “dumb it down” for Locker. Hass didn’t light it up either, he was just better at taking some of the short stuff that the defense gave him, while Locker tried to force the bigger play too often. Something I hope he learns to do better.

    This coming year is Locker’s “no excuses” year. I just worry about the expectation level though. I don’t see why he wouldn’t improve now that he’s been cleared to throw already, which was a worry of mine (and yours) in the offseason.
    He may be in his third year, but he will also only be making his 12th start. Big difference there. I just hope Dowell can come up with good game plans. A lot rides on that as well.