To the Critics of Jake Locker: Take a Chill Pill


Dec 17, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker (10) throws a pass under pressure from New York Jets defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis (93) and linebacker Bart Scott (57) at LP Field. The Titans defeated the Jet 14-10. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Seriously, everyone just needs to take a step back and relax.

Last night, and mainly over the last few weeks, I noticed a trend. That trend being the fact that people are starting to lose faith very quickly. Almost at hyper-speed. Throughout Twitter and on many blog sites, people began talking about the future. Forget about the fact that we just won a game in prime time and eliminated a team from the playoffs. That meant nothing. What meant the most is that we suck. And, most importantly, that our quarterback sucks.

Whoever has recently declared that Jake Locker is not the future-that he isn’t and won’t be a competent quarterback in this league and that we’ll have to start over at the quarterback position very soon-you need to shut up and look at everything from a logical, open-minded perspective.

Locker has appeared significantly in 11 games throughout his young, two-year career. He’s started nine of them, all this season, with one of them ending extremely prematurely when he got injured in the first quarter of the first Houston game. If you’re going to decide from this ridiculously small sample size that the guy we took eighth overall two years ago isn’t the answer, then you have to be of the most impatient variety of humans to ever grace this earth.

It took Aaron Rodgers three years to become a very good quarterback, later flourishing into one of the best we’ve seen in a while. It took Alex Smith five years to be a productive quarterback in this league. Blaine Gabbert, who was drafted two picks after Locker, has played in more games and has been even worse. At the end of Gabbert’s dreadful rookie season, the jury was still out and many came to his defense. Christian Ponder, drafted four picks after Locker, has at times this season looked worse than both of them. Still, most hold faith that he’s the future of the Vikings franchise.

Yet, with these facts, many a Titans fan are going into code red, push the big red button mode.

Locker has a better QB rating than both Gabbert and Ponder. His rating is only five points behind Cam Newton’s, who’s drawn deserved acclaim for his play in his first two seasons. He’s hit more big plays than both Gabbert and Ponder. And he’s done all of this in a little over half a season.

Are you guys kidding me?

I understand attacking the offense as a whole and the defense. They haven’t performed even close to the level that we expected this year. One thing that we’re overlooking, though, is that this is a young team. These aren’t oldies disappointing an expectant fan base. When we went 9-7 last year, it was a pleasant surprise. So, obviously we’re not happy with our underachieving team this year. But guess who else is young? Yeah, you guessed it: Jake Locker.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that all is copacetic with this team going into the future. There are problems, some glaring. The offensive line hasn’t performed like we need it to. The receivers haven’t gotten the separation we’d like. The defense has big holes, but are improving at a good rate as of late. The quarterback hasn’t made the right decisions at many points in games. There will be growing pains and, as fans of a young team, we need to understand that.

The sooner we understand that, the quicker we’ll stop hearing nonsense like the direction that we should take in terms of the quarterback position. Give Locker a chance. A chance to at least show you something, which he has done. If anything, let him get a full season in before aborting a steady plan. I have a feeling many of you wouldn’t be that great in football front offices. Just a hunch.