AFC South Week in Review: Will Hasselbeck Start in Nashville?

Nate DunlevyGuest ColumnistJune 21, 2012

Griffin needs to make more plays to earn his deal.
Griffin needs to make more plays to earn his deal.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Organized team activity (OTA) news is wrapping up as is the spring. Only the Tennessee Titans are still working out. Most of the other teams in the South are limited to just rookies working with staff members.

That makes for a slow week for the AFC South Blog, and I too will be taking vacation time in the next few weeks.

Here are the big stories of the week.


Matt Hasselbeck is the favorite to win the quarterback job in Tennessee

I don't think anyone who had been paying attention to the Titans is surprised by this. I don't believe the decision is set in stone yet, but Hasselbeck is the safer choice, and NFL teams love to make safe choices.

I still want to see Jake Locker rise up and take this job. I think the Titans' ceiling is higher with him than with Hasselbeck.

The real question surrounding Locker is if he can refine his accuracy. Is he ready on the fundamental level for the grind of 16 games? It's one thing to come in and provide a spark a few times, but his mechanics have to endure under pressure every week.

Hasselbeck starts Week 1, but Titans fans should be pulling hard for Locker.


The Titans re-sign Michael Griffin

Almost as interesting as the news about Michael Griffin was the universal "meh" it garnered from all corners of the Internet. No one is standing up to call the move a mistake, but Griffin hasn't played like a top safety in recent years.

What's intriguing are the rumors out of Nashville that Griffin's contract was in part a reward for "doing the right things." In lieu of the Chris Johnson antics of years past, it's not surprising the Titans brass would want to reinforce that doing what they want leads to players getting paid.

If Griffin excels, this will be a major boon to the locker room. Players know when teams pay the right guys for the right reasons. If Griffin doesn't live up to the deal, however, it will send the message that the team cares more about "yes-men" than talent.


The Texans win the Rozelle Award

The Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) gives out an award named for former NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle to the PR department that does the most to help writers. Rozelle got his start in football working PR, so it's fitting the award would honor him.

As a member of the PFWA, I voted for the Texans. No team has treated me better or been more helpful. The Texans don't get nearly the media coverage they should, but that's not the team's fault. They are endlessly helpful and proactive.

I offer my congratulations and thanks to them. I wish all teams treated the press that well.


Maurice Jones-Drew's running doesn't lead to wins

It's not really news, but I forgot to highlight this article in the Bulletin Board this morning.

Jones-Drew's holdout is problematic because of the position he plays. Running doesn't lead to wins in the NFL. Paul Kuharsky's commentary in the linked piece is right on the money.

No matter how good MJD is (and he's wonderful), he's still a running back.

No matter how important he is to the community and locker room, he's still a running back.

Running backs don't generate wins.