As many Tennessee Titans faithful, the entire Titan staff, and Jake Locker himself knows, this season will be do-or-die for the quarterback. This season marks the most important season of Locker’s career as the Titans need to see productivity out of him to give him the chance to continue to be the quarterback for years to come.
Ever since the days of Steve McNair the Tennessee Titans have not had a solidified leader and playmaker at the quarterback position, which as everyone knows, is essential to the success of a franchise. Hence the fact they are called franchise quarterbacks. If Locker can’t show some major signs of that this season, then it may be the end of the Locker Era in Tennessee.
First, Locker has been average at best, in his run as the Titans starting quarterback. He has had some flashes of greatness, but for the most part Locker’s play has left more to be desired. There is no doubt Locker has the talent and represents the organization well by how he holds himself on and off the field, but in this league, if you can’t perform and get wins it simply doesn’t matter.
While he is entering only his third season in Tennessee, in a league where young rookies are expected to contribute early, Locker is well behind in comparison to some other young guys around the league. The success of Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, and Colin Kaepernick put added pressure on Locker and the Titans staff to find a quarterback who can turn things around right away.
Take a look at some other young quarterbacks career’s thus far in comparison to Locker:
Jake Locker – 4-7, no playoff appearances
Cam Newton – 13-19, no playoff appearances
Blaine Gabbert – 5-19, no playoff appearances
Christian Ponder – 12-14, no playoff appearances
Andy Dalton – 18-15, appeared in playoffs twice
Robert Griffin III – 9-7, one playoff appearance
Andrew Luck – 11-6, one playoff appearance
Russell Wilson – 12-6, one playoff appearance
Colin Kaepernick – 7-3, one playoff and Super Bowl appearance
So in comparison, it is really a mixed table of careers. But last year’s quarterback class success put a lot of added pressure on Locker and the rest of his quarterback class as a whole.
But what really puts Locker in a predicament is the incoming class of quarterbacks that will be present in the 2014 NFL Draft. The likes of Teddy Bridgewater, Tajh Boyd, Johnny Manziel, A.J. McCarron, David Fales, Aaron Murray, and Logan Thomas all come into next year’s draft and brings what is one loaded quarterback class. Maybe one of the best quarterback classes in recent years. Locker needs to be worried about these youngsters looking more promising in Tennessee than him for the future.
If Locker can’t perform or make an impact for the Titans this season, then you can imagine the Titans will be looking at one of these young guns to fill his shoes immediately.