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Can Whisenhunt make Locker a pocket passer?

Locker AP

The Titans once made Steve McNair into a pocket passer.  Under coach Ken Whisenhunt, the franchise apparently is trying to do the same thing with quarterback Jake Locker.

As explained by David Climer of the Tennessean, Whisenhunt is adapting the mobile (and oft injured) Locker to Whisenhunt’s system, which means that Locker ideally will be less mobile.  And possibly less injured.

It may be easier said than done, but men like McNair and Hall of Famer Steve Young found a way to run as an absolute last resort.  For Locker’s longevity in Tennessee or elsewhere in the NFL, he needs to find a way to stay clean and thus healthy.

It may work.  It may fail.  But Locker’s future hinges on his his ability to become a better quarterback.  Which hinges on his ability to be able to play quarterback more often.  Which hinges on his ability to remain healthy enough to play.

When he’s been able to play, he hasn’t played poorly, generating a 7.1-yard average per attempt.  Last year, his passer rating was a respectable 86.7 in seven starts.

Regardless of what happens, the Titans appear to be all in with Locker, for 2014 and perhaps 2014 only.  They didn’t pick up his fifth-year option, but the primary backup is Charlie Whitehurst.

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23 Responses to “Can Whisenhunt make Locker a pocket passer?”
  1. scrp2 says: Jun 30, 2014 10:58 AM

    I think they should make a move to get Cleo Lemon or Tyler Thigpen.

  2. godlevel1989 says: Jun 30, 2014 11:09 AM

    Jake is gonna shine. He heals like the wolverine

  3. tennesseeoilers says: Jun 30, 2014 11:15 AM

    Florio is spot on. The Titans waited until Steve McNair’s seventh season to establish him as a field-spreading pocket passer. It was a fortunate move of desperation due to the terrible defense the team had in 2001.

    A year later, the Titans made it to the AFC Championship, and a year after that, McNair was named the NFL’s co-MVP (along with Peyton Manning). Because they waited so long with McNair, there were only two years (2001 – 2002) when he was a dual threat in the most dangerous sense. He had some great runs after that, but only ran just enough to keep defenses honest.

    And Jake Locker? Major potential there. A lot of the same intangibles (and tangibles) McNair had. Here’s hoping Whisenhunt is the guy to bring them out.

  4. iamkillerfin says: Jun 30, 2014 11:17 AM

    NOPE!!! Damaged goods!!!

  5. doctorrustbelt says: Jun 30, 2014 11:29 AM

    Can whisenhunt make himself a winning coach?!?

    45 wins – 51 losses

  6. fthrvic says: Jun 30, 2014 11:30 AM

    Take a look at Whisenhunt’s track record with QB’s during his time in AZ. He missed on input/picks of all drafted QB’s as well as free agents. When he did have time to develop them, he couldn’t. I’m not optimistic HE will be the one to turn Locker around. I am, however, optimistic that Jake himself can do so regardless of any coaching input from Whisenhunt or his chosen staff.

  7. CwickB says: Jun 30, 2014 11:33 AM

    No. Locker is a bum.

  8. micknangold says: Jun 30, 2014 11:34 AM

    Locker hs the potential to develop into a Pro-Bowl caliber player…who will never make it to the Pro Bowl without being chosen as an alternate because Brady and Manning and Luck and Rivers and what have you.

  9. tennesseeoilers says: Jun 30, 2014 11:35 AM

    We know Whisenhunt has been great at revitalizing aging QBs who seemed to be going downhill (Kurt Warner, Phillip Rivers). But if he mentors Jake Locker into a good franchise QB, it’ll be the first time Whisenhunt’s done that with a young guy.

  10. doctorrustbelt says: Jun 30, 2014 11:36 AM

    All this speculation is really moot since Jake Locker will get injured (as usual).

  11. ravens2xworldchamps says: Jun 30, 2014 11:49 AM

    Flacco Super Bowl MVP

  12. sounddawg313 says: Jun 30, 2014 11:59 AM

    This is a real test for Whiz, people overlook he had good or great QB’s when he had his best success, Pittsburgh Big Ben was pretty good coming out of college, in Arizona Kurt Warner was a HOF before they hooked up, he then struggled with the other 5 or 6 QB’s there & San Diego, Rivers was pretty good before him also, with Jake Locker he has a QB similar to the ones not named Warner in Arizona, not very good.

  13. twilson962 says: Jun 30, 2014 12:05 PM

    He should focus on making him an NFL QB.

  14. FlashPatterson says: Jun 30, 2014 12:05 PM

    micknangold says:
    Jun 30, 2014 11:34 AM
    Locker hs the potential to develop into a Pro-Bowl caliber player…who will never make it to the Pro Bowl without being chosen as an alternate because Brady and Manning and Luck and Rivers and what have you.
    ———————————
    The pro bowl is for the best at each position, if there are guys who are better then he isn’t pro bowl caliber.

  15. adoombray says: Jun 30, 2014 12:12 PM

    Whisenhunt has shown absolutely no ability to develop a quarterback in any way shape or form, which is why he was fired in Arizona. Warner willed that team forward behind the goodwill of the city, it was an amazing time to live in Phoenix but that had nothing to do wit Whizz.

  16. sdo4540 says: Jun 30, 2014 12:26 PM

    The system works.The system works.The system works

  17. clssylssy says: Jun 30, 2014 12:27 PM

    I admire Kurt Warner but was there in Arizona when he first began and was booed off the field by the fans in the early part of the season. Whiz gave him his starting job over the No 1 draft pic, the much hyped Leinert and got the team to the Superbowl within a minute of the Lombardi, something nobody else has done. He got fired because of an aging and out-of-touch GM and owner who listened to his man in the front office over the Coach. Fans forget that under Whisenhunt the Cards won the division twice in a row and started the next season 4-0, including a win over the Patriots at Foxboro before injuries plagued the team and things fell apart. I like Locker and he has the experience of playing in the NFL and, I believe, a desire to prove something. Whiz did it with Warner and Rivers, no reason to think he can’t do it with Locker…and the Titans have a better O-line than he had to work with in Arizona! Good Luck to Coach Whiz, Jake Locker and the Titans!

  18. kingpel says: Jun 30, 2014 12:57 PM

    Sounds like Whisenhunt is fixing to get himself fired again.

  19. clashpoint says: Jun 30, 2014 1:17 PM

    Can he make Locker stay healthy is a better question. I think he does ok when he’s healthy, but he never seems to finish the season.

  20. thirdistheworrd says: Jun 30, 2014 1:28 PM

    I think one of the problems with this whole issue is the strict and excessive use of the phrase “pocket passer”. Steves Young and McNair ran “as a last resort,” but that doesn’t mean they were “pocket passers”. Much like Elway, Montana, and Tarkenton, they used their mobility and athleticism to excel at the QB position.

    Locker, Kaepernick, and Griffin all need to find that healthy balance between pure pocket passer and “running quarterback”. None will succeed if they try to play like Brady, Peyton, or Marino, but neither will they succeed if they keep putting themselves in harm’s way.

  21. micknangold says: Jun 30, 2014 2:15 PM

    “The pro bowl is for the best at each position, if there are guys who are better then he isn’t pro bowl caliber.”

    Hey, if 6 QBs had identical, or near identical numbers, all in the same conference, could they all make it? What if the handful of guys I mentioned all throw one more TD and one less INT then Player X, and say about 200 more yards passing…how on earth can you say Player X didn’t have a Pro Bowl caliber season?

    The idea that the Pro Bowl rosters represent the best players in the NFL on a yearly basis is also very comical.

  22. simonator917 says: Jun 30, 2014 5:25 PM

    I hope he can turn his career around the same way Matthew Stafford did in Detroit. Good luck, Jake!

  23. qdog112 says: Jun 30, 2014 8:17 PM

    “And Jake Locker? Major potential there. A lot of the same intangibles (and tangibles) McNair had. Here’s hoping Whisenhunt is the guy to bring them out.”
    *****************
    Preposterous! If you wanna know he difference between McNair and Locker, take the time to review their scouting reports as college seniors. The only similarity was their ability to run when needed.

    As a senior McNair’s stats: 4,863 yards passing, 936 yards rushing for an NCAA record 5,799 yards in total offense. QB rating: 155.4.

    Locker’s stats were 2,265 yards passing, 229 yards rushing, 2,495 total offense for a QB rating of 124.2.

    No way Locker is in McNair’s class as a passer. After all, his nickname was AIR.

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