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“Favored” Locker fizzles after hot start to camp

Matt Hasselbeck,  Jake Locker AP

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.

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19 Responses to ““Favored” Locker fizzles after hot start to camp”
  1. rpiotr01 says: Aug 3, 2012 11:45 AM

    Despite the promising start, it seems Locker is an unworthy successor to the vaunted nick-name “Jake the Snake.”

    Fans will have to continue to wait…

  2. 49erstim says: Aug 3, 2012 11:45 AM

    He missed throws at training camp? Uh oh! :-p

  3. buddysguys says: Aug 3, 2012 11:47 AM

    what a terrible class of QB’s it was after Cam…lots of reaching going on with Ponder, Locker and Gabbert.

  4. titansbro says: Aug 3, 2012 11:50 AM

    The accuracy questions coming out of college were overblown. Locker had something like 46 dropped passes (catchable balls) his senior season at U-Dub. Meanwhile, Andrew Luck only had something like 16 or 17 if I remember correctly. I’ve done the math on this & if Locker had only 17 drops his completion percentage would’ve been within 1% of Luck’s.

    I am a Titan’s fan & I’m probably a bit biased. But even before the draft last year I was hoping & praying they would take Locker. I was so afraid they were going to take Gabbert.

    In other words, I am not worried about Locker one bit. With that said, I also want Hasselbeck to start the first 4-6 games, unless it’s completely obvious that Locker is ready.

  5. zoxitic says: Aug 3, 2012 11:53 AM

    Titans have a great knack for drafting bust QBs

  6. titansbro says: Aug 3, 2012 12:02 PM

    You can’t count Vince Young as that was forced on the team by the owner. What other busts have they drafted?

  7. truths4all says: Aug 3, 2012 12:52 PM

    I recall that ALL of the “experts” declared Ponder, Locker and Gabbert to be ‘can’t miss” future NFL QB stars (just like they have even more for Luck). Now, these teams want to know if they can get their deposits back and so they can move on. Now where is that next 5th o 6th rounder that turns out to be the second coming of Tom Brady or Joe Montana?

  8. realfootballfan says: Aug 3, 2012 12:52 PM

    This is why I said I would have never drafted Locker so highly. Accuracy, much like Gabbert’s scaredy cat syndrome, can’t be fixed with coaching.

    I think his ceiling is Jake Plummer, not terrible, but not worth a top 10 pick either.

  9. irishjugalo says: Aug 3, 2012 1:32 PM

    This could get ugly. Anyone know what Steve McNair’s up to?

  10. grizzled55 says: Aug 3, 2012 1:39 PM

    We talkin bout practice

  11. EJ says: Aug 3, 2012 1:40 PM

    truths4all says:
    Aug 3, 2012 12:52 PM
    I recall that ALL of the “experts” declared Ponder, Locker and Gabbert to be ‘can’t miss” future NFL QB stars (just like they have even more for Luck). Now, these teams want to know if they can get their deposits back and so they can move on. Now where is that next 5th o 6th rounder that turns out to be the second coming of Tom Brady or Joe Montana?

    One of those type of players is playing this year, 7th round draft pick Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Buffalo Bills, he is extremely underrated. The league will see a newer, bolder leader in Fitzpatrick this season.

  12. cash804 says: Aug 3, 2012 2:14 PM

    buddysguys says:
    Aug 3, 2012 11:47 AM

    “what a terrible class of QB’s it was after Cam…lots of reaching going on with Ponder, Locker and Gabbert.”

    ==================================

    Cincinnati fans would beg to differ after the season that Andy Dalton had…

  13. wooderson92 says: Aug 3, 2012 2:26 PM

    Get a grip people, it’s a couple practices. Tough being an athlete in the internet age when every second of practice is analyzed to the nth degree. Let’s let the sample size get a bit larger before declaring anyone a bust

  14. huskylawyer says: Aug 3, 2012 3:14 PM

    I’m a Washington Husky fan (hence the handle), and though it pains me to say it, I’m glad Locker is gone. His inaccuracy was insane, despite the fact he had NFL caliber WRs, RBs and TEs around him. Unlike Tebow, he has relatively good mechanics, but for whatever reason, he can’t hit a barn if it was 10 feet in front of him. Case in point, our next QB (Keith Price), came in and basically LIT UP the Pac-12 with basically the same personnel that Jake had.

    Jake ran the “wing-t” offense in high school and rarely threw the ball. It showed in college. I hope he figures it out, but I’m skeptical. He is an AMAZING athlete (he’d be an all-pro safety or TE if he switched positions), and we used to call him the “White Michael Vick.” But he’s not nearly as accurate as Vick (and Vick isn’t even all that accurate except for the past 2 years).

    Go Dawgs!

  15. maximus929 says: Aug 3, 2012 5:13 PM

    I live in Seattle and so watched Locker up here some. He was never that accurate a QB. I really don’t think he’ll ever be a top flight QB.

    Hate to burst your bubble.

  16. jd says: Aug 3, 2012 5:26 PM

    Quoth huskylawyer: “His inaccuracy was insane, despite the fact he had NFL caliber WRs, RBs and TEs around him.”

    You can not have watched Locker’s career with any attention if you believe this!

    In Locker’s senior year, he had no TE to throw to. The TE position was a desert, with only 3 catches coming from that position that year. Tell me how high any QB’s completion percentage would be without the opportunity to check down to his TE. The last few games of Jake’s senior season, Sark didn’t even use a TE for most the of the game. He had a walk-on OL playing as essentially a 6th OLineman.

    As for NFL talent at the RB and WR positions, check out the rosters of NFL teams right now. Unless I’ve overlooked somebody, except for Chris Polk, there isn’t a single Husky RB/WR who will be on an NFL roster when the season starts.

    Like you, huskylawyer, I’m a Husky fan (my first game was the 1978 Rose Bowl (go Warren Moon!), but I had to call you out on your blatantly ridiculous statement.

  17. deathtoromo says: Aug 3, 2012 7:11 PM

    Was I the only one confused by this headline??

  18. seahawksbmx says: Aug 4, 2012 10:46 AM

    With Locker & Hass both playing in Seattle for the first time as an opponent, not to mention the Seahawks’ own 3-way QB battle, that is a pre-season game that I’d actually love to attend. Matt should start the season for the Titans. History & age say he will be unlikely to finish it. Let the Locker era begin at that time. Both are great guys and I wish them all the best.

  19. spankygreen says: Aug 4, 2012 2:58 PM

    A veteran, (Hasselback) SHOULD outplay a guy that’s only been in the league 2 years. This is not news however they both suck so what other breaking news do you have?

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