Jake Locker is “excited,” but should he be?


Three years ago, the Titans used the eighth overall pick in the draft on quarterback Jake Locker.  Roughly three months later, then-Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt sent a second-round selection to the Eagles for quarterback Kevin Kolb.

Neither worked out very well.

Locker remains in Tennessee, entering the final year of his four-year rookie contract at a time when the Titans have to decide (by May 3) whether to pick up a fifth-year option at roughly $13 million.  With Whisenhunt arriving, it’s unknown whether the new coach will want to keep him around.

Locker remains positive, for now.

[I’m] excited about the hire and looking forward to working with Coach Whisenhunt.  He has always had very successful offenses and I look forward to learning from him,” Locker told Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com.

Whisenhunt was a bit more measured in his assessment of Locker.

“I just got finished with our [Chargers] season two days ago,” Whisenhunt said during his introductory press conference.  “It has been kind of a whirlwind.  You know there is a lot of time that goes into that, especially when you get into the playoffs.  I really haven’t had a chance to study that.  That is going to be a big thing over the next weeks and months, as far as evaluating our players and how they fit in.  The one thing I will say is that I liked Jake coming out.”

Whisenhunt may have liked Locker, but not enough to use the fifth overall pick in the draft on him.  (The Cardinals took cornerback Patrick Peterson instead, which has worked out fairly well for Arizona.)

What matters moving forward is whether Whisenhunt likes Locker enough to make him the starter in 2014 — and whether the Titans will exercise the fifth-year option.  Some have reported/speculated/guessed educatedly that the Titans won’t; one league insider has wagered with me a bottle (or maybe bag) of wine that the Titans and every other team will pick up the fifth-year option on their 2011 first-round picks.

If the Titans pull the trigger on the option by May 3, it likely means Locker will have a very good chance to be the Week One starter.  If they don’t, that could mean they’ll be relying on someone else — perhaps someone they draft five days later.

43 responses to “Jake Locker is “excited,” but should he be?

  1. Remember when young quarterbacks were allowed to develop? Locker hasn’t been great but he’s improved statistically evey year and was playing decent football before he got hurt.

  2. Why has P.P. only fairly worked out for AZ? Isn’t he blossoming into one of the better DBs in the league? Isn’t he a big reason for the maturation of Matthieu? I’d be willing to bet AZ would use the same pick on the same guy if they could do it over again.

  3. Wow, it seems now days that if a QB doesn’t take his team to the SB in the first or second year they are labeled a bust. I saw a lot of improvement in Jake, this year, and think he has a lot of upside. I would hang on to him and give him time to develope.

  4. The sad news is, I don’t think Whisenhunt is a good head coach. He has, again, risen to his level of incompetence.
    Jake Locker will be the first to pay the price for that.

  5. Absolutely because he is an offensive minded coach, and we finally spent money that we had on a quality coach!

  6. Jimmyt said: “Got news for you. The crazy owner will make that decision not Whisenhunt.”

    Got news for you, JimmyT: The “crazy owner” passed away last year.

    The new ownership is his antithesis … and didn’t even meet with Whisenhunt before he was hired. Translation: Powerful GM.

  7. Overall, I’m quite optimistic about Whisenhunt’s hiring. But I do have significant reservations, all of which pertain to his discernment with regards to Jake Locker. Any Titans fan who watched the games knows that Jake showed dramatic improvement in the first four games before his hip and MCL injury.

    However, Whisenhunt has a bad track record when it comes to judging, removing and pursuing unproven talent. It wasn’t just his love of Kolb that got him fired at Arizona–it was multiple decisions with his QBs. And the QBs that have shined under him were not QB’s that he discovered: Big Ben, Kurt Warner and Phillip Rivers.

  8. If you think that Jake Locker is good or will ever be good, please don’t speak another negative word about Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Kaepernick or RGIII. Then, find a dictionary, and look up bias.

  9. Do ppl really think whiz is going to bet his future on Locker?! If they can’t find a good QB in the draft or FA they will keep locker for a one year tryout. 2014 outcome will not reflect poorly on whiz because ppl know Locker isn’t his guy; however, if Locker is successful the media and team will give credit to whiz………win win for him! That’s why he did take the Lions Job! Lions cant give up on Matt Stafford, so if whiz stepped in and didn’t correct Matt’s play/Lions success they would blame him. Lions are too invested in Stafford, Megatron, and Suh to blame them for losing! That’s why the lions job took too long to fill.

  10. If they’re smart they will pick up the option on Locker. For the price, there won’t be a better option in free agency with his upside and in the modern NFL you need depth at every position. Look for an upgrade if you can, but don’t force it. Titans can’t afford to pass on the best available player to focus on a specific position.

  11. Make no mistake, Locker knows he is going to be on the outs very soon.

    Why? Just ask Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Ryan Lindley, Brian Hoyer, Max Hall, Brian St. Pierre, Richard Bartel, Derek Anderson, and Matt Leinart. They ALL know what a fraud Whisenhunt is, especially when he tries to take credit for how Kurt Warner dragged the Cards into the Super Bowl. These QBs all know Whisenhunt couldn’t develop any NFL level QB as he failed with all of them.

    When Warner was with the Cards, every Monday morning, Warner would bring 20-30 new spread offense plays and have them worked into the game plan. Whisenhunt just sat back and learned from Warner just as McCoy sat back in 2012 in Denver to learn from Manning, which is what he took to the Chargers.

    Sorry Titan fans, it does not look good for you, unless the offense becomes what Whisenhunt predicted for the Cards when he first when there: 67% run and 33% passing. If so, he will try to run Chris Johnson into the ground and then blame him to get rid of him for the offense’s failures. After all, that is Whisenhunt’s track record.

  12. Far too much is being made of that 5th year option. The Titans can very easily not take the option. Let Jake play out his contract and if he plays well, extend him before 2015 FA starts.

  13. realdealsteel says:
    Jan 15, 2014 9:56 AM
    Titans would be best served by finding a QB who can really pass. Just not run around waiting for someone to be open.
    Titans would be best served by finding some WRs that can get open.

  14. Jake Locker has a very team friendly cap number, he’ll be back in 2014 for sure. As the starter, thats another story. but if he stays healthy he should win the job outright.

  15. Lokcer was lighting it up earlier in the season and looking like he could lead tennessee to the playoffs. the guys major setback is injuries, he cant stay healthy for a full season at the most important position! gonna be a great backup for someone out there if he is cut loose.

  16. Some team will bring him into camp, he’s young with mobility. If he works with Whisenhunt, perhaps he plays like he did at the beginning of this season before getting hurt and losing confidence.

  17. Locker IS GOING to be on the Titans in 2014…there is no question about that at all. 2015 is a different story. And for those talking about how good Locker looked this year before getting injured (AGAIN), I totally agree, he did look like he’d made strides…but what difference does it make if you can’t stay on the field? Who cares how well a guy is progressing if he misses more starts than he makes? 2014 is absolute make or break for him….

  18. Whiz had his choice of Stafford who is going to be there or TN where he can choose his QB of the future. Seems he made the right decision.

    Besides, he is a QB builder. With the likes of Skelton, Leinert, Kolb, and Anderson, in AZ, what could go wrong in TN?

  19. bluepike says: Jan 15, 2014 9:37 AM

    Jake Locker stinks. Whisenhunt reached for the extra millions – now he has to draft a QB.
    As somebody who has a moderately strong dislike for the Titans, I feel pretty oobjective in saying that Jake Locker has never gotten a fair shot. He needs a coach who understands how to develop quarterbacks, or at least how get the most out of them (eg. Warner). He also needs a legitimate target to throw to. If a quarterback suffers under wideouts like Kenny Britt and Nate Washington, we can’t place all the blame on him. Even when Jared Cook started developing as a legitimate threat, they let him walk at the first opportunity. Kendall Wright is good, but not a true No. 1 receiver. If the Titans can get their hands on a reliable, playmaking target this offseason, there’s no reason to think Locker won’t be able to step his game way up.

  20. was playing decent football before he got hurt

    “before he got hurt” <- that's the key phrase here.

    Can you count on him on playing 16games a season? At some point, you have to cut your losses…

    hear that Cutler? Rose? 😉

  21. this is a new coach if he has input he may very well want his own qb, plus the management may decide for whiz one way or the other my question as a ram fan both the titans and the rams need to think about a early 1st round qb but for sure at least a 2nd rounder if they decide to stand pat!! locker and bradford share another common trait both have trouble staying on the field due to injuries.

  22. This time last year, Carson Palmer and Josh Freeman had just had 4000 yard seasons in Oakland and Tampa Bay, while Alex Smith and Philip Rivers were “done”, while Sam Bradford was a bust who was about to be released.

    Meanwhile, RGIII was already having his bronze cast made for the Hall of Fame.

    A lot happens in the course of a year. Decline the option, let him earn what he earns, and trust that if it doesn’t work out for him, there’s going to be somebody available.

  23. So let me get this straight:

    According to folks on here, Cam Newton is a bust and will never develop into anything…

    But Locker is improving…and just needs more time and we cannot be so quick judge and just because a QB doesn’t win a Superbowl in the first three years doesn’t mean anything.

    Hypocrite much?

  24. Jake has been good at times, when he’s been in, but we need to be confident in who we have back there. With Brady, Manning, etc., you know what you’re getting. I don’t like watching, hoping he’ll not screw it up somehow, hoping he won’t get injured.

    But we have bigger holes to fill, and there won’t be a QB worthy of pick 11. DE, T, S, possibly, but I’m hoping for C.J. Mosley.

  25. And LOL at Titans fans who claim Locker is improving. Well, you guys had another QB, FAR, FAR, FAR more accomplished than Locker in the PROS AND COLLEGE that was improving too before you decided he was trash:

    Vince Young 60% Tds: 10 Int: 3 Rating: 98.6

    Jake Locker 61% Tds:8 Ints: 4 Rating: 86.7

    Yet somehow Locker should be thought of as a franchise QB and Young should be benched and gotten rid of.

    Hypocrite much?

  26. LOL at the guy with the VY love.

    The only question with Locker is his ability to stay healthy. If he can, he’s shown that he can be a very effective QB.

    I know stats don’t tell the whole story, but his career rating is 81.1, Matt Stafford’s is 83.1. Not to mention the Titans have a better roster from 1-53 than the Lions, Whiz made the right choice.

    I see the Titans taking a mid-round QB to throw in the mix.

  27. As a Washington Husky fan I think Locker was great. However, even I have to admit if I was a Titian fan I’d prob want a different QB that can make it thru a full season. Percy Harvin has given me new perspective on “player durability” and how important that is beyond simply looking at what a player can do “if” healthy.

    Both Locker and Harvin would be All Pro’s “IF” they could remain healthy. That is a BIG “IF”….

  28. Give Locker a chance when healthy and with an offense minded coach. I’ve watched this kid play every game since a freshman at UW in the PAC12 = the ONLY PAC team without a QB coach (thanks to Tyrone ‘disaster’ Willingham_ and perform amazing feats to lead his team.
    Then Sarkisian came along and tried to make Jake a [ocket passer (he is not – he is much more of a Russell Wilson/Kapernick, etc.). He also a far better athlete than Rivers at SD. If the new coach does see this, set him free, let Pete Carroll deve,op hi, as Wilson’s backup, and you will see the next Steve Young.
    Let’s not forget the Titan RB who quit after his new contract, a depleted OL (locker got crushed all the time), and mediocre receivers.
    If the new coach doesn’t see a young, mobile version of Wilson/Kapernik or others, let him get to a team that will develop him. Otherwise, in 2-years, his body will be so messed up, he’ll have to retire.

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