Tennessee Titans: Analyzing the Quarterback Competition for Jake Locker
Even though Matt Hasselbeck did everything he was expected of last season, it's still Locker's job to win if he's able to prove to the coaching staff that he's ready for to start.
What it really boils down to is that Locker is the future, while Hasselbeck is a rental until that future becomes the present.
Locker has already given himself a head start by performing so well in his limited time last season. He nearly beat the Atlanta Falcons, a comeback that came up just short, after Locker managed nearly 200 yards of total offense in the second half alone. Not to mention, Locker's impressive performance against the New Orleans Saints that almost delivered a upset win if not for Drew Brees' normal heroics.
Locker's value still goes well beyond his numbers, which are only going to improve. His leadership in the huddle was really what was most impressive as he looked like a seasoned veteran during critical points in the game.
Now the million-dollar question is, can he take the job away from a veteran that really did nothing to deserve losing his starting role?
Who should start Week 1 for the Titans at QB?
The fact is that Hasselbeck had one of the better years of his career in 2011, throwing for over 3,500 yards, his highest total since 2007. Hasselbeck is entering his 14th season, so if the Titans are thinking long term, then it may be smart to start Locker—if he appears ready to do so.
If Hasselbeck is the Week 1 starter, odds are he won't make it through the entire regular season. If that happens, one has to wonder if it will finally be Locker's job for good.
Kenny Britt's return also adds a new dimension to this competition. Britt's value increases with a dynamic player like Locker on the field, because Locker is a dual-threat quarterback. This is going to increase Britt's opportunities to get open when Locker scrambles out of the pocket.
No matter who wins this quarterback competition, the Titans are in good hands at quarterback. There are plenty of teams who aren't nearly as lucky.
In the end, Locker is probably fighting an uphill battle to take over the job from Hasselbeck right out of the gate, but it will only be postponing the inevitable.
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