By TPR Staff

The Tennessee Titans believe that Jake Locker is their future franchise quarterback. While he has struggled at times to make big plays this season, Locker has looked very good at different times throughout his first couple of seasons in the NFL. If the Titans are to get back to the playoffs some day, Locker will have to play a large part in leading the offense.

But that is the future. As little as I may have thought about him over his career, or at least over the past four or five seasons, Matt Hasselbeck is the Titans’ present. Tennessee has won two straight games following last Thursday night’s upset win over the Pittsburgh Steelers and yesterday’s comeback win against the Buffalo Bills. It is not as if Hasselbeck is severely outplaying Locker in his starts. That is not the case at all. But the team seems to play better under the guidance of Hasselbeck on the field than they do under Locker.

Especially Chris Johnson.

Johnson has resembled the player who earned the CJ2K moniker from a couple of seasons ago. Not only is he finding the opening with ease compared to the beginning of the season, but Johnson looks like an entirely different player. He is running harder, stronger and faster. Opposing defenses seem to fear Hasselbeck more than they do Locker, as they stack the box against Johnson and dare Locker to beat them.

With Hasselbeck, the defenses appear to give more respect to Hasselbeck, meaning Johnson has one or two fewer players up front who can stop him after first contact. For further proof, over the past two games, Johnson has amassed 286 rushing yards while finally scoring his first touchdown on Sunday in the past 11 games on the ground.

Tennessee has won its’ past two games with Hasselbeck leading the way. He will certainly not be around forever, and Locker will eventually succeed him on a more permanent basis.

But if the Titans want to give themselves the best chance to win in 2012, they may be best off leaving Locker on the bench, even when he is able to return from injury. That could be as soon as Week 8 against the Indianapolis Colts.





Filed under: AFC South, Breaking News, NFL, NFL Player Injury News, NFL Player News, Tennessee Titans

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Readers Comments (8)

  1. avatar Darren

    I for one disagree with this. I believe this team can exceed with Jake Locker at quarterback now. Yes he still has a learning curve, but he has plenty of plus qualities to be starting over Matt. yes, Matt is doing decent, but I believe Locker can do even better. He can actually throw the deep ball unlike Hasselbeck and is mobile. I thank that our back up is Matt, but that is what he is now: the back up. As a Titan fan I’m very much anticipating the return of Jake.

  2. avatar Gary

    To say the team plays better with Hasselbeck than with Locker is premature at best. This team has stunk it up under both QB’s and they have played well in spots under both. I agree that neither QB has outplayed the other by any reconizable margin, but they do offer different intangibles. Hasselbeck is the savy veteran and has a better understanding of the pro game and can read defenses. He doesn’t have the strongest arm and is not considered a deep threat passer. Locker brings a strong arm and can make those deep throws and can make plays with his legs. His decision making at times needs examining and needs to learn when to just throw it away. He’s young and is going to make mistakes but has great upside and can develop into a very dangerous QB. As you can see, the QB situation in Tennessee is a very good one. When it comes to who’s starting, there is no wrong answer. I think they should allow Locker to heal however long that takes but when he’s ready…let him start. The Titans can win games with either Hasselbeck or Locker but Locker is the future and the future is now.

  3. avatar Jessie

    I think we need Locker to resume and learn, we are a young team, the defense is not up to par. Hasselback knows this. Put Locker back in win or lose, if we lose, we can upgrade on the defense earlier in the draft!!!!

  4. avatar Chris

    I think that as soon as locker gets the ok from the docter he should be the starter again i like hasselbeck but if we ever want locker to be our starting QB we need to give him a chance and on the comment gary and darren said yes locker can throw a a deep ball but it is not very accurate.

  5. avatar Daniel

    Dont care who quarterback’s just want team to win. “Just win baby”!

  6. avatar Shawn

    The line that Chris Johnson is back is very premature. Johnson got 199 of his 286 yards against the one defense that is worse than ours. If Locker is healthy, he needs to be the QB. We are not going anywhere this year with the horrible defense that we have. It’s best to let Locker learn now. He’ll be in situations where he has to throw because we will be coming back from deficits.

  7. avatar chuck

    I thought Locker was going to be a great NFL QB but apparently its not going to be the case. Paople keep saying hes still learning. Well hes had more than enough time to learn the offense! He’s just very unpredictable at QB! Some passes look great & you start thinking hes getting it then all of a sudden he throws ball into ground at receivers feet or overthrows him by 20yds. Honestly how long should he get? RG3,Luck, & Peyton didnt get a hole season to ride bench & learn the offenses. Peytons start was rough but he learned fast & is one of greatest if not beast ever to play QB. RG3 & Luck are having great starts for rookies! Titans last 2 high QB Drafts have turned out to be busts! Young had 1 good season & then become DIVA Punk! So I think unfortunately its time to cut there losses & either trade for better QB or try drafting one. Maybe they neek to the Chris Johnson in to make trade better for a good QB! I think Johnson scared all he does is dance around most plays & loses 1 to 2 yards more than he does gain yards. I lost all respect for him when he threw his linemen under bus saying it was there fault he was a punk not having good year! Maybe if he hit the hole hard everyplay & quit juking & jiving he be good running back! I think he new his 2,000 yd year was a fluke thats why he sat out for more money! Tenn. Needs to trade him or at least make him start returning kicks & punts maybe his speed be good for that! Also Tenn. Needs to go back to there old school uniforms from Air Mcnair’s & Eddie George day the Dark blue jerseys with white numbers & pants like they wore there Superbowl year. Baby blue jerseys have made them soft! They also screwed pooch firing Jeff Fischer best coach the had! New coach is a joke!


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