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Who: Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker
The Tennessee Titans were incredibly close to shocking the football world and making the postseason in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year the franchise in 2011. They had just spent a top-10 pick on a quarterback and had their all-everything running back hold out into camp.
Then came the signing of longtime Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who seemed to be that veteran presence that this team needed on the field and off.
Hasselbeck had his best year since a Pro Bowl performance in 2007. He threw for over 3,500 yards and possessed a quarterback rating near the mid 80s. That being said, the veteran quarterback did struggle down the stretch, throwing just four touchdowns in the final seven games of the season.
Enter Jake Locker, for whom Hasselbeck acted as a great mentor. The former Washington standout didn't see a great deal of action as a rookie, but he did contribute four touchdowns without throwing an interception. This was after he looked extremely good in training camp and during the preseason.
Now, Tennessee is in a precarious situation. It is still considered contenders for a playoff spot in the AFC, which may lead it to believe that the veteran is its guy.
However, there are other factors that play into this situation. First, can Tennessee conceivably sit a quarterback it selected in the top 10 for his first two seasons in the league? Second, would the 2012 version of Jake Locker be that much worse than his veteran counterpart?
The answers are twofold. Tennessee wouldn't hesitate letting Locker ride the pine another season, especially with the relationship he has with his mentor. That being said, there is a strong possibility that Locker would actually increase the Titans' chances for a postseason run.
My bet is on them going with the youngster here.
Winner: Jake Locker