Why Mike Munchak Must Wait to Name Tennessee Titans' Starting QB

Benjamin MottCorrespondent IIIAugust 18, 2012

Aug 17, 2012;  Tampa, FL, USA; Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak watches the play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Tennessee defeated Tampa Bay 30-7. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE
Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

Mike Munchak is stuck between a rock and a hard place right now. The head coach of the Tennessee Titans has said that he wants to name a starting quarterback sometime around the Titans' third preseason game.

Here we are, a week before the third preseason game, and the quarterback competition in Nashville couldn't be any more obscure.

Six days after Matt Hasselbeck's abysmal performance against Seattle, in which he threw two interceptions, Jake Locker followed up with a poor game of his own, going 4-for-11 through the air for 21 yards and a terrible interception, on a play in which he threw the ball across his body.

Now Munchak has to decide on either a starting quarterback or whether or not he should wait to name a signal-caller until after Thursday's game against the Arizona Cardinals, which will be nationally televised on ESPN.

Locker has had a solid training camp thus far, and it may not be considered fair to disqualify him from the starting job just because of one poor game, especially considering how well he played against the Seahawks.

However, in a game in which a good performance would have all but locked up (no pun intended) the starting job, the second-year pro out of Washington failed to impress through the air, to say the least, although he did bust off a 21-yard run to set up a Titans touchdown.

On the flip side, Hasselbeck put Locker in a position to steal the job away after his own poor performance against Seattle, and while he didn't do poorly against Tampa Bay, he didn't really impress, either, in limited action.

It's not an easy task to name a clear-cut starting quarterback based on just two preseason games. Two games aren't enough for a full evaluation, considering the fact that every quarterback has a poor game every once in a while.

It would be in the team's best interest for Munchak to give Locker and Hasselbeck one more chance to prove themselves this week against the Cardinals. Having them alternate drives with the first-team offense in the game would probably help Munchak get a better feel for who is the best man for the job.

One thing is for sure: Whoever wins the starting job may be on thin ice to open the season.

If that person falters, look for the backup to get his chance to run the offense.

Note: Coach Munchak will be holding a live press conference  at 5:00 PM EDT/4:00 PM CDT to discuss last night's game and possibly name the starting quarterback for the season opener against the New England Patriots. To watch it live on the Titans' official website, click here.