When the Tennessee Titans selected Jake Locker in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft, it sent a signal to every veteran quarterback in football.
The Titans were desperate to land someone to mentor their young quarterback, and once teams were able to negotiate with free agents, they struck early, landing Matt Hasselbeck according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The former Seattle signal-caller has strong ties to the organization and their young draft pick, making him the perfect choice for the Tennessee.
If head coach Mike Munchak wants to get the most out of Locker, he can't throw him into the fire from Week 1 forward. As we saw with Vince Young, you have to take your time with project quarterbacks. With Hasselbeck under center, he can groom the former Washington Huskies quarterback into someone who can take the reins a few years down the line.
Locker is a hard worker, and Hasselbeck is the type of quarterback who you want mentoring a raw prospect. He will teach him how to read defenses and how to lead a team during arduous circumstances. This is a man who led Seattle into a playoff matchup against the defending Super Bowl champions and walked out with a victory.
Simply put, you couldn't ask for a better leader.
In the short term, Tennessee has the type of offense that can win football games under the right conditions. First off, the offensive line, which took a huge step back in 2010, has to improve. There was poor play on the interior of the line, and it didn't get the same type of push it had in the past, stifling the offense.
Secondly, Kenny Britt needs to stay on the field and out of trouble. The embattled wideout has gotten into trouble during the offseason, and had injury issues last year. Britt is going to be Hasselbeck's primary target, and without him, the Titans would not have the type of depth to dominate opposing defenses.
Obviously, Chris Johnson will be a focal point, but he is going to want a new contract, and Tennessee will have to pony up. The running back is one of the best in the game, and without him, Hasselbeck will struggle to make an impact.
The former Seattle quarterback has been to a Super Bowl, and he is the type of leader you want in your huddle on Sunday. Hasselbeck will be an immediate upgrade to what the Titans had last season, giving the team a chance to improve from last year's miserable collapse.
It is a new era in Tennessee, and with Munchak and Hasselbeck grooming Locker, there is hope for the future—something the franchise hasn't been able to say in some time.
Tennessee had to make this move, and in the end, it will be worth every penny, as Locker develops into a viable starting quarterback.