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Jake Locker certainly has a tall task ahead of him if he wants to supplant veteran Matt Hasselbeck for the starting quarterback position.
After all, Hasselbeck was a primary reason the Titans were as successful as they were last season. Combine that with the tough opener against the New England Patriots, and you've got yourself a strong argument to stick with the veteran to open the season.
Locker has already proven that he has the tools to be a starter now. Now he just has to show coaches that he's mentally prepared for everything that goes along with being an NFL starting quarterback.
On the flip side, Hasselbeck has nothing to prove. He's been there and done that. That means Locker has to be very convincing that he somehow makes the Titans a better team as the starter.
The reps are pretty much being split at the moment between these two quarterbacks, but where Locker can really separate himself from Hasselbeck is how he performs during the preseason.
Locker performed well last preseason despite not having a regular offseason to prepare as a rookie, so his performance this year should be strong once again.
If Locker does indeed take the starting role from Hasselbeck to start the season, then it'll be his job for good. He is the future of this team, so there's no turning back once he's declared the starter.
A couple extended scoring drives during the preseason and limited mistakes in practice will go a long way when Mike Munchak makes his decision sometime during the preseason schedule.