Found August 06, 2013 on
In today's NFL, most young quarterbacks don't get three years to prove themselves worthy of being long term starters for the team that drafted them early. Gone are the days of giving quarterbacks years to develop. Young quarterbacks are expected to at least show results early – even the “raw” ones like Colin Kaepernick.
For that reason, it's already of a bit of a surprise that Jake Locker isn't under more scrutiny as he enters his third season. Will Locker be able to turn a lack luster debut into a strong second full year as a starter, or will the Titans be looking for a new quarterback in the 2014 Draft?
In the case of many struggling quarterbacks, the problem keeping them from success is obvious. Maybe it's poor arm strength, an inability to read NFL defenses quickly, or just a lack of strong leadership skills that forces their team to look else where.
In the case of Jake Locker, however, it's not quite so apparent. He's got a big arm, his throwing mechanics are almost perfect, and he has all the leadership qualities an NFL team would look for in a quarterback. In spite of all that, he's not been able to consistently throw accurate passes at the NFL level. For most quarterbacks, a problem with accuracy can be fixed by tweaking their mechanics. Unfortunately, for Locker there's simply not much to tweak.
In spite of the accuracy problems, it'd be unfair to label Locker as a bust at this stage of his career. Locker hasn't exactly been dealt a favorable hand when it comes to the circumstances surrounding him thus far. The offensive coordinator position has been unsettled in Nashville, the offensive line and running game hasn't given Locker any help, and their most talented offensive weapon (Kenny Britt) hasn't been able to consistently stay on the field. To add to that, Locker separated his shoulder on play that should have been blown dead early in the season, and he never fully recovered for the remainder of the season.
While it's not time to write off Locker entirely, it is safe to say that the 2013 season should be his last chance. The Titans spent their entire offense putting Locker in a position to succeed, acquiring veterans like OG Andy Levitre and TE Delanie Walker, and drafting young contributors like OG Chance Warmack and WR Justin Hunter. The offensive line now has the potential to be one of the best in the league, and Tennessee's wide receivers group is by far the most talented the franchise has had since they relocated to the state. The team also plans to incorporate plays out of the pistol formation, which should theoretically play to Locker's talents.
So will Locker be able to utilize all of the weapons he now has at his disposal? So far results at training camp have been mixed. Early on, Locker was erratic throwing the ball and even looked like a player who might be pushed by back up quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for playing time. However, as camp has progressed Locker has steadily improved. He's appeared to settle down, and with that he's improved his accuracy and overall performance in camp.
That improvement culminated with a strong showing on a simulated game day at LP Field, where he finished the day going 16-26 with three touchdown passes. He showed strong chemistry with both Britt and Kendall Wright, and appeared to be as comfortable as he's been taking NFL snaps.
The performance was certainly promising but it of course serves as no guarantee that Locker will prove himself to be a franchise quarterback in 2013. But there is finally hope amongst Titans fans now. Will Locker prove that hope to be well founded, or will the fan base become acquainted with yet another first round quarterback in 2014?
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AROUND THE WEB
NASHVILLE, Tenn. Seven different NFL running backs have eclipsed 2,000 rushing yards in a season, including Minnesota's Adrian Peterson last year.
The previous six including the Titans' Chris Johnson never reached that milestone again, leaving Peterson and Johnson as the only active players with a chance to make history by achieving the feat twice.
At the beginning...
The assumption has been that the Titans' starting middle linebacker job will go to Colin McCarthy, a defensive captain a year ago. Moise Fokou (Foh-koo), one of Tennessee's free agent signees this offseason, has made it into a competition.
Fokou has worked with the first-team defense all but one day since signing with the Titans. A day after McCarthy worked with the first...
Alterraun Verner is listed as Tennessee's starting right cornerback right now, not that he's sure he will be on the field to start Thursday night's preseason opener against Washington.
He could be. But so could Tommie Campbell.
A starter last season, Verner is fighting for the job in training camp. They take turns practicing every other day with the first-team defense...
Our next stop on our trip around the Tennessee Titans position by position as we approach the start of the 2013 regular season is a look at the outside linebackers.
As I've covered before, most recently in the offseason positional analysis, Jerry Gray on his arrival in 2011 brought a revised conception of what the two outside linebacking positions meant. The Titans brought...
I was near the area where the receivers do their positional work for Monday afternoon's practice, which also afforded me a good vantage point to watch the rest of practice. After the positional work, practice began with special teams, which is usually one of the most boring aspects of camp. Today's session was no different, as most of the period consisted of coverage on...
Fastest back in the league T…You know fantasy football season is rapidly approaching when the name Chris Johnson is mentioned. There’s a great feature on the Tennessee Titans running back in the current issue of Inked magazine on Newstands now. CJ2K is always a lock to go first round.-TOChris Johnson to Race a CheetahChris Johnson To Light a Big One
Marc Mariani has a scar that runs from the outside of his left ankle up to his calf and another scar on the inside of his leg. If he ever sets off an airport metal detector, he need only point to his lower leg where the scars tell the story of the metal rod inside the skin and muscle.
Still, the Titans receiver and returner has no worries about his leg. Mariani can't wait until...
You know fantasy football season is rapidly approaching when features on NFL stars hit newsstands. There’s a great feature on the Tennessee Titans running back in the current issue of Inked magazine on Newstands now. Chris Johnson is one of those guys you kind of sigh when picking in drafts, but could pay off this season if the Titans offensive line improves.
In a normal year, I would begin the defensive part of our trip around the Titans position by position as we approach the regular season with a look at the defensive tackles. Not this year, though, not after Jerry Gray's declaration in his recent media session that "Who said we were going to be a 4-3 system?" My automatic response to that was "Antonio Johnson, a...
Following up on the prior post on the guards, we conclude the offensive side of our trip around the Tennessee Titans position by position as we approach the 2013 regular season with a look at the centers.
While the Titans will have two new starters at guard, we know who those men will be barring injury and other unexpected things happening. The man manning the pivot position...
For six months, Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker and his family have struggled coming to grips with the death of his aunt and uncle at the hands of an accused drunk driver.
Some closure, though, may be around the corner.
The prosecutor in the pending trial of Nechole Thomas has told FOX Sports that he expects a plea bargain will be reached when she is set to appear Aug...
Hot News for SS Bernard Pollard
The Washington Redskins will travel to LP Field to play against the Tennessee Titans in what will be both teams first preseason game of 2013.
While the game will be watered down with backups, and players destined for the practice squad it will represent the first opportunity for fans of both teams to see some of their starters take the field for the first time.
Overall outlook: Now entering his third season as head coach, Mike Munchak is immersed in Titans' history. He was a first-round draft pick of the then-Houston-Oilers in 1982 and played on their offensive line his entire 12-year career. After that, Munchak was part of the O-line coaching staff from 1994-2010. Basically, he IS Oilers- Titans football, which is why it's tough...