Jake Locker struggles, clouds Titans’ QB competition
Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak said in July that he plans to settle on his starting quarterback by the third week of the preseason. After Friday night, his decision isn’t any easier.
Jake Locker seemingly could have sewn up the starting job simply by not faceplanting in his first NFL start. He had a nightmarish performance despite the Titans topping the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 30-7.
The numbers were gruesome: 4-of-11 passing for 21 yards and an interception. Locker rushed for 24 yards on two carries, which helped the Titans put together a touchdown drive capped by Chris Johnson’s great running.
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The knock on Locker coming out of college was his accuracy. That was a problem against the Buccaneers. He sailed a number of passes. One of them was picked off on a very poor decision, where Locker pump-faked and then threw across his body.
Locker played nearly the entire first half and left with a 20-7 lead because of turnovers, the Titans’ defense and agood running game. Matt Hasselbeck played one quarter and moved the ball on all three of his drives, although the Titans only came away with three points. Hasselbeck finished 4-of-5 passing for 29 yards.
Conventional wisdom before this game said that Locker was winning this battle. If Munchak was looking for an excuse to start Hasselbeck, the coach has one now. We should find out soon enough.
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on @greggrosenthal.