Whether new Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt sticks with the starting quarterback he inherited, Jake Locker, remains to be seen. But Whisenhunt says speculation that he prefers to bring in his own quarterback is incorrect.
“To be honest, I haven’t really thought about it that way,” Whisenhunt said Thursday, via Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “I am excited about the little bit of time I have spent with Jake. He exhibits a lot of the qualities I like. He has been great in the meeting rooms, I like the way our exchanges have gone. So our focus is on that.”
Whisenhunt already did bring in one of his own quarterbacks in Charlie Whitehurst, who signed with Tennessee this year after playing under Whisenhunt in San Diego last year. But Whitehurst is a career backup who has looked bad in his few playing opportunities, so his presence doesn’t really put pressure on Locker.
If the Titans use the 11th pick in the draft to select a quarterback, however, that would put pressure on Locker. If Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Central Florida’s Blake Bortles or Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater is available at No. 11, the Titans may select the player they hope can succeed Locker.
But Whisenhunt sounds like he’s willing to give Locker this season to prove himself.
“It is a make-or-break year for a lot of guys in the league. Jake is one of the guys,” Whisenhunt said. “That is the nature of this business. He just happens to play a position that gets a lot of attention.”
Whisenhunt’s most important job is getting that position straightened out.