Munchak tells Locker: Do what you’ve been doing and you’ll start

AP

In another indication that the Titans’ quarterback job is Jake Locker’s to lose, coach Mike Munchak said today that if Locker continues to do through the rest of the preseason what he has done so far, he’ll beat out Matt Hasselbeck for the starting job.

Asked what Locker needs to do to win the starting job for the regular season, Munchak answered, “I think Jake Locker just has to do what he has been doing out here.”

Locker played better than Hasselbeck in the preseason opener, although neither quarterback was great. Munchak said he wants to see Locker get the Titans’ first-string offense into the end zone on Friday night against the Buccaneers.

“He needs to do what he did last week, but finish the drives as an offense,” Munchak said. “He finished and got the field goal on one of his drives. His one drive we didn’t get a touchdown, so it would be nice to see him, even though he isn’t going to get as much time as he’d like, out of 20 or 25 plays, get at least two drives where we do something positive with points. We’d like to see us go up by 10 points, move the ball, stay on the field and find a way to make plays. Those are the things you want to see.”

Locker has never started an NFL game, while Hasselbeck has 147 regular-season starts in his career. But Munchak said he doesn’t think Locker’s lack of experience is an issue.

“I don’t think it’s a big deal,” Munchak said. “I think it’s just something he needs to do and it’s helpful in the process for any player to go out there and get a chance to play. When I was playing, I didn’t go out there and start any preseason game, but then I started in the first regular season game. Guys do it all the time.”

Locker will get his first preseason start on Friday. And it’s sounding more and more like he’ll get his first regular-season start on September 9.