Tennessee Titans Preseason Week 1: Charting the Quarterbacks; Other Thoughts


The first preseason game for the Tennessee Titans has come and gone, giving us a chance to analyze, as well as overreact. I went back and looked at all of the passing plays from the first half–Jake Locker’s and Matt Hasselbeck’s throws–and detailed them a bit.

Matt Hasselbeck

  1. First pass of the game; 3-step drop short slant out to Nate Washington; off Nate’s hands, bounces up and intercepted by Seahawks; Kendall Wright in same vicinity as Washington–out of position and caused interception; incompletion
  2. 1-step drop from shotgun; quick slant in to Washington for first down; vintage Hasselbeck getting ball out quick; converts third down; completion
  3. Play action; attempted screen pass to Chris Johnson, but tipped by d-lineman; incompletion
  4. Short pass to Johnson; dropped by Johnson; incompletion
  5. Scramble left to avoid rush; Jared Cook for 18 yards on long drag; complete mismatch even against a safety for Cook; completion
  6. Short out to Washington for very short gain; completion
  7. 5 step drop; curl to Washington for first down; converts third down; completion
  8. 3 step drop; three yard throw to Cook on 1st and 20; completion
  9. 3rd and 14; deep fly to Damian Williams; overthrown and into defender’s hands for interception; pretty much a punt; incompletion

Jake Locker

  1. 3rd and 21; short screen to CJ; dropped by CJ; incompletion
  2. 5 wide empty set; stick route to Kendall Wright at 5 yards; Wright picks up 10 YAC; completion
  3. 5 wide empty set; short out to Williams; thrown behind, but great adjustment by Damian; completion
  4. Short out to tight end Craig Stevens; dropped by Stevens; incompletion
  5. 3rd and 4; comeback to Williams, broken up by Marcus Trufant; could have been pass interference; incompletion
  6. 4th and 4; short out to Williams; a bit high, but should’ve been caught for first down; incompletion
  7. Steps up in pocket; throws on run, comeback to Wright for 13 yards for first down; eyes downfield, looking for receivers instead of looking to run; completion
  8. 5 wide empty set; stays in pocket with good protection; fires bullet to Marc Mariani on comeback for first down; completion
  9. 5 wide empty set; small jailbreak screen to Javon Ringer at wideout for 12 yards; first down; completion
  10. Nine yard comeback to Wright; YAC for first down and more; completion
  11. Stays in pocket, finds Taylor Thompson for short gain; completion
  12. Steps up in pocket, scrambles right, but decides not to run; throw on run into endzone to Thompson; too low and pass was wobbly; incompletion
  13. 3 step drop; batted in air by d-lineman; incompletion

After watching both quarterbacks again, I saw more of the same and a few changes.

Hasselbeck’s mental part of the quarterback position is obviously still there, but his physical shortcomings are becoming a bit more apparent. Those newfound flaws at times affect the mental part, hence the last interception. He’s still competent, though, so we shouldn’t be that worried if he’s our starter come Week 1.

Locker still has the athleticism that he flashed last year and has adjusted a couple of kinks in his game. His footwork is better and he is stepping up in the pocket, as well as staying in a collapsing one. His eyes are downfield, mostly, and he’s looking to beat the defense with his rifle arm, which he’s more than capable of doing so long as he makes the right reads. The legs are just a bonus.

Some other thoughts:

  • Despite what others who “watched” the game said, Chris Johnson looked pretty good. He was breaking some tackles, running hard and looked like himself again
  • Colin McCarthy is a beast of a linebacker (nothing new here)
  • Derrick Morgan needs to step his game up
  • Fernando Velasco handled himself well, and the bad run blocking wasn’t necessarily because of him
  • The defense really stepped up after the first quarter, especially the pass rush
  • Brett Kern is actually a very good punter
  • Nate Washington is incredibly underrated as a route runner and pass catcher
  • Kendall Wright is filthy after the catch and just knows how to get open