According to a report by Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean, the Tennessee Titans have named Jake Locker as their starting quarterback for at least the beginning of the 2012 season.
Sure, the team is taking a chance on a young guy like Locker who has never started a regular-season contest before. There will be some bumps along the way, but the University of Washington product has great potential.
Here are three reasons why starting Locker at quarterback makes sense.
Tennessee has chosen Locker as the man it wants to lead the franchise for roughly the next decade or so. Starting him now gives him an opportunity to build a rapport with the receivers and get even more comfortable within the offense.
Matt Hasselbeck was never seen as more than a veteran stopgap between Vince Young and Locker. The longtime Seahawk enjoyed a solid 2011 campaign, but for a team like the Titans, it's time to look to the future.
There will be a learning curve that comes with the job, but that is to be expected from a young signal-caller. Experience on the job can only help this team for the future.
Hasselbeck's Veteran Presence
Excuse Hasselbeck if he isn't overjoyed about losing the starting job, but like it or not, the guy is a professional in every sense of the word and will help the club in 2012.
The Boston College alum has seen just about everything there is to see over the course of his career, and his sheer presence in the locker room will help Locker. Not only his experience, but also the mindset of a quarterback must be passed on to the newest starting QB for the Tennessee Titans.
The little things, such as forgetting his mistakes and making the right reads, could play a big role in determining the amount of success that Locker will enjoy this season and in years to come.
A Year Away
The way I see it, I don't see the Titans as a true contender for the 2012 season.
The most likely scenario has this team being a year away from truly contending, and if that is the case, it makes perfect sense to start Locker right now.
If the franchise is building toward success in 2013, why not give Locker this year to learn on the job and give him a great shot at enjoying some success next year and further down the road as well?
There will be some mistakes, but the key for Locker will be forgetting those mistakes and learning from them.