Free from context, Titans quarterback Jake Locker is struggling enough on his own.
When you look around and see other young and younger quarterbacks having success, it only makes his second season look worse.
Locker’s led the Titans to a 5-10 overall record (3-7 when he’s under center) and they rank 25th in the league in total offense.
So when he looks around and sees rookies Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson in the playoffs, and Robert Griffin III on the verge of the postseason, it just adds to the pressure that’s already there.
“It’s not how I would’ve wished they had gone,” Locker said of a recent stretch of rough outings, via Jim Wyatt of the Tennesseean. “But there are a lot of positives to be taken from it, and a lot of things that you can learn from and grow from to make you better going forward.”
In his last five games, Locker’s thrown four touchdowns, nine interceptions, and hasn’t had a passer rating of higher than 79.5 in any game. They’re 1-4 in those games, beating only the Jets (a true jury of their peers). Of course, Locker played better before injuring his non-throwing shoulder earlier this season, but the drop-off has been alarming.
Titans coach Mike Munchak is quick to point to the supporting cast, and the 19 sacks Locker has taken over the last five games.
“I don’t know if it’s him being shaky; I think the team is shaky,” Munchak said. “The support around him isn’t great. . . . There are a lot of factors that go into it. . . .
“He’s got to play better and the whole offense has to play better. . . . It starts with the quarterback, and Jake understands that.”
Of course, Munchak should defend him, since their futures could be linked. Owner Bud Adams has already put the lot of them on notice, and said he wanted to hear from Munchak why they’ve regressed.
Using the “developmental quarterback” strategy could buy Munchak another year, even as other quarterbacks are getting it done immediately.