A report surfaced early Wednesday that Titans second-year quarterback Jake Locker had emerged internally as the favorite to start this season in Tennessee. The report was especially believable because Locker flashed big-time ability off the bench in 2011. He also outperformed incumbent Matt Hasselbeck on the first two days of training camp.
It’s been downhill since.
Locker has completed just 9-of-30 passes in the Titans’ last two practices. Meanwhile, Hasselbeck has gone 26-for-31. Locker hit rock bottom during Thursday evening’s session, missing on his first seven attempts before finishing 1-of-10 with an interception.
Some of Locker’s passes were interfered with, and receiver Nate Washington dropped one. But Jim Wyatt of the Nashville Tennessean observed too many “sailed” throws. Added ESPN AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky, “the accuracy issue is alive and well.” Remember, the book on Locker coming out of college was that he possessed an exceptional arm-athleticism combination, but his accuracy needed fixing.
Coach Mike Munchak promises that he’s not worried.
“If guys aren’t hitting what they want, obviously they start pressing a little bit,” Munchak explained. “But that is something that happens in this league, and you have to move on. We’re in training camp and there’s a lot of ups and downs in camp and [Locker] will be fine.”
We’re sure Locker will be “fine,” too, but he won’t be beating out Hasselbeck if he continues to perform like this. Look for the Titans’ quarterback competition to clear up in exhibition games.
Tennessee opens the 2012 preseason in two Saturdays at Seattle.