Locker has the job in Tennessee unless injured, “probably”

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Now that Jake Locker is the starting quarterback, the job isn’t his to lose.  It’s his to keep.


That was the key word during an interview of coach Mike Munchak by Steve Wyche on NFL Network earlier this morning.  Wyche asked if Locker would be benched for Matthew Hasselbeck for any reason other than an injury.

“Probably not,” Munchak said before eventually adding this caveat:  “Unless there’s a reason to make a change.”

Careful inspection of Munchak’s words hint that the endorsement of Locker isn’t entirely unequivocal.

“I think we know Jake’s gonna have some ups and downs, as any quarterback does in the NFL,” Munchak said.  “Being a young guy he’ll have some.  But he’s shown us when he’s had a bad day or bad throw he’s come back in that same game and made better decisions and made plays.  So I think in this situation we’re very confident in him.  We feel he’s won the position and he’s ready to go.  So, no, we definitely would hang with him unless there was like you said probably an injury situation.”

Again, “probably.”

It’s no surprise, then, that the Titans have no plan to trade Hasselbeck.  And while they apparently don’t intend to have Locker on a short leash, Munchak’s multiple uses of the term “probably” implies that a benching remains a possibility.

There’s nothing wrong with that.  Only franchise quarterbacks have guaranteed jobs from Week One through Week 17.  And if those franchise quarterbacks don’t perform like franchise quarterbacks, they could be in trouble, too, depending on the quality of the backup.

In Tennessee, Hasselbeck has shown he can get it done.  Locker has yet to show he’s a franchise quarterback.  And so, while the hope is that Locker will step up, the truth is that if he doesn’t, Hasselbeck will be ready to go.

For now, the Titans think that probably won’t happen.  Otherwise, they probably wouldn’t have given Locker the job.

5 responses to “Locker has the job in Tennessee unless injured, “probably”

  1. i am curious to see how Tennessee looks this year. the afc south is wide open for whoever wants it. Houston seems the favorite but a good defense and a strong running game could definitely control that division.

  2. Go Jake Locker! Go Titans ! All I have to say is Jake Locker has to be better than Vince Young…. I had a Young #10 Jersey and got the last name removed from the back of it, after ironically the Titan’s drafted another #10 in Jake Locker…I believe Locker has better character than Young has and works harder as well…it should be an interesting season…

  3. Wow this might be the biggest non-story you’ve ever reported and I’m counting Tebows choice of cereal this morning.

    Let me quote Mike Munchak the only real source of legit information in this article..
    “So, no, we definitely would hang with him unless there was like you said probably an injury situation.”

    C’mon man!

  4. Nikhil Balakumar says:Aug 28, 2012 9:57 AM

    titans will be 0-4 and hassleback will be starting game 5. he should have been the the starter week 1
    Titans could just as easily be 0-4 with Hasselbeck under center, and that’s not a knock on him. It’s the defense that’s the big question mark this year: can they improve enough to handle NE, SD, NFC North, Pitt, Hou twice? I’m not exactly pinning my hopes on good preseason games against the Bucs and Cardinals as a measuring stick.

    I like Hasselbeck a lot, but if he’s not the one player standing between you and a playoff berth (and he really isn’t), then you might as well see what Locker can do, and get the growing pains out of the way.

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