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Breaking Down Why Jake Locker Still Is Not Ready to Start for Titans

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 18:  Jake Locker #10 of the Tennessee Titans throws a pass during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIAugust 20, 2012

The Tennessee Titans named Jake Locker their starting quarterback on Monday, but based on his preseason performances, the second-year pro is nowhere near ready for that job.

Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean is reporting that Locker has beaten out Matt Hasselbeck for the starting job, despite shaky outings in the team's first two preseason games. 

In two preseason contests, Locker has completed 11-of-24 passes for 101 yards, with no touchdowns and an interception. While his physical skills are tantalizing, the Washington product simply doesn't complete enough passes to make it as a starter at the NFL level right now. 

As a rookie in 2011, Locker saw time in five games. He completed just 51.5 percent of his passes for 542 yards, with four touchdowns and no interceptions. While some of those numbers don't look terrible, his completion percentage was almost laughable.

In his first career start against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday, he had trouble completing passes again. Locker completed just four of his 11 passes for 21 yards on Friday, and he also threw an interception.

The biggest knock on Locker coming out of Washington was that he couldn't complete passes at a high percentage. It appears he still hasn't shaken that distinction yet. 

The Titans have veteran Matt Hasselbeck as another viable option on the roster. While he's not exactly a thrilling guy to turn things over to, he might actually give the team a better chance to win.

Hasselbeck is entering his 14th season. In 2011, he completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 3,571 yards, with 18 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Again, those numbers won't blow you away, but he was solid, and that came without top receiver Kenny Britt (lost in Week 3 to a torn ACL) and with Chris Johnson having a horrible season. 

Locker is clearly Tennessee's future at quarterback. But he hasn't done anything that would prove he's ready to take over the position yet. The Titans' best bet would be to stick with Hasselbeck until Locker shows he can complete passes at a higher rate.

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