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Tommy Smith on Jake Locker: He is the quarterback

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The offseason kicked off with a head coaching change in Tennessee, but CEO Tommy Smith said Tuesday that he doesn’t anticipate that the hiring of Ken Whisenhunt will lead to a quarterback change.

According to Smith, the opposite is true. Smith believes that Whisenhunt’s arrival will be a positive for quarterback Jake Locker as he enters his fourth NFL season. Locker has missed 14 of the last 32 games because of injuries, leading to some speculation that the team might look in other directions but Smith said his confidence that Locker can fill the job has not wavered.

Absolutely. I do like Jake … and I think Ken is going to be very good for Jake,” Smith said, via the Tennessean. “Jake is a competitor. He is a smart guy. I think he has the ability. He is the quarterback. That’s what I have told him every time I see him. And that’s the way it is.”

The Titans have a decision to make before May about whether or not to pick up Locker’s fifth-year option for 2015, which would cost $13 million. If they do, there’s little chance that he’ll be replaced at quarterback in 2014.

Smith’s desire to stick with Locker isn’t a sign that the Titans plan to let things remain as they are across the roster. Smith made no commitment in either direction regarding running back Chris Johnson’s future with the team. If they do cut Johnson and his $8 million salary loose, Smith intimated the team will put it back into the roster when he said he’s not “putting any collars” on General Manager Ruston Webster when free agency opens next month.

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8 Responses to “Tommy Smith on Jake Locker: He is the quarterback”
  1. tatatoothy says: Feb 19, 2014 7:57 AM

    I think back to Whisenhunt’s Arizona teams and how much better they could have been with a true threat out of the backfield… If I’m GM of the Titans, I try to figure out a way to keep as many pieces of that offense intact (including Britt and Johnson) and see what Whisenhunt can get out of them.

  2. pantherfan40 says: Feb 19, 2014 8:00 AM

    that sucks for you titan fans , jake locker is made of glass

  3. pantherfan40 says: Feb 19, 2014 8:01 AM

    i give him until week 4 before another qb takes over

  4. titansbro says: Feb 19, 2014 8:32 AM

    tatatoothy says: Feb 19, 2014 7:57 AM

    I think back to Whisenhunt’s Arizona teams and how much better they could have been with a true threat out of the backfield… If I’m GM of the Titans, I try to figure out a way to keep as many pieces of that offense intact (including Britt and Johnson) and see what Whisenhunt can get out of them.

    ————————————————————-

    Are you kidding? Britt HAS to be gone. He dropped more passes than he caught this year & was a constant distraction. He is a turd in the punch bowl. CJ has to be gone too, unless he will take a major pay cut, which he has said he won’t do. No RB is worth $8M. Not even AP.

    To the article, Locker has to at least get this season as a final opportunity to be the guy. He was playing so well before his injuries last year. Can he stay healthy? I don’t know, I’m not optimistic. But you have to at least give him the chance. But no way do you pick up that option right now. If he plays well, they can resign him. With the way his career has started he will not want to go elsewhere & start over again if he is playing well.

  5. jjb0811 says: Feb 19, 2014 8:40 AM

    Should bring in Freeman or another young QB to add a little spice to camp.

  6. tennesseeoilers says: Feb 19, 2014 9:16 AM

    I love how Jake Locker’s play last season shut up all the critics about how he’s “an inaccurate passer” and “makes bad decisions.” You never hear that anymore. Obviously the game slowed down for him and he looked very much at home leading the team … up until his dual hip/knee injury. So now his critics lone go-to statement is “he’s injury prone.” That one will go away next season.

    From there, I’m sure we’ll progress to “he can’t win the big game” and then a few years later “he wasn’t the Super Bowl MVP so he’s not the reason the Titans finally have the Lombardi.” Yep, keep it coming guys … keep it coming.

  7. VondyP says: Feb 19, 2014 12:06 PM

    Very excited to see jake come back, drop CJ and draft carlos hyde!

  8. realfootballfan says: Feb 19, 2014 2:31 PM

    While I’m not a Whisenhunt fan because he didn’t take responsibility for the horrible personnel moves that he was largely responsible for in Arizona, he is a good, fundamentally sound game day coach. Contrary to popular belief, the Titans have a pretty good roster, and even with Fitzpatrick at QB last year, they won a few games despite Munchak’s mediocre coaching. The Titans would be my darkhorse for a quick turnaround in the AFC next year if they can keep Locker healthy and as I expect Whisenhunt to do anyway, minimize his attempts every week. Chris Johnson should be brought back because he is still a good player (why fans worry about what a player makes when they aren’t the owner, beyond me)and they are hardly up against the cap to be paired with a younger, more powerfully built between the tackle runner, which will allow them to phase Johnson out over the next couple of seasons.

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