Originally posted on Fox Sports Tennessee  |  Last updated 6/11/12
The Tennessee Titans already have committed to one year with Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback with Jake Locker, last years first-round pick, learning his apprenticeship under the veteran, but will it end up being two? After last season, Titans head coach Mike Munchak had promised an open competition for the starting job entering 2012. An interesting wrinkle in the story developed last week during offseason team activities when Munchak told The Tennessean that the Titans early season schedule would play a role in selecting the starter a factor that would seem to fall into Hasselbecks favor. The first quarter of the Titans schedule is by their most difficult: defending AFC champion New England visits LP Field for the season opener; the Titans visit San Diego the next week, come home to play another 11 playoff qualifier in Detroit and visit reigning AFC South champion Houston, which will be the favorite to repeat in the coming season. With that foursome in mind, 2-2 would be an excellent start and 1-3 might be considered somewhat respectable. With owner Bud Adams on the record since before he hired Munchak in February of last year and through Adams actions in pursuing Peyton Manning this past March, its clear that coming off last seasons 9-7 mark the organizations win-now mandate continues which is not the ideal atmosphere in which to develop a young starting quarterback. You always look at whats coming up, Munchak told the Tennessean. You do that when youre adding players to your roster. And when youre drafting, youre thinking about who can help early Those are really not the main things, but you have to factor everything in. I could sit here and put down a list of pros and cons on who should start in our first game, and there are a lot of reasons for both of them. So that would not be (the sole reason) why we would do what we do. Weve got to go with the guy thats going to help us to win. Last season Hasselbeck threw for 3,571 yards his most since 2007 and the third-most in his 13 seasons. However, injuries plagued the 36-year-old throughout the season, especially towards the end, hurting his productivity and durability. In a game that was as responsible as any for keeping the Titans out of the playoffs, he threw for 223 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions in a 27-13 loss at Indianapolis, which was winless at the time in Week 15. Some of the key moves the Titans made in the offseason are the kind that would benefit either quarterback. Guard Steve Hutchinson ought to improve their pass protection, which will take some of the hits off the quarterback, and should improve their inexplicably bad running game last season. (In addition, having Chris Johnson for a full offseason of workouts under his belt should help.) Both would benefit the quarterback, as will first-round pick Kendall Wright, the wide receiver out of Baylor. The question becomes if, all things being equal, Hasselbeck earns the starting job based on the early schedule, what effect does that have on Locker? In many ways, the Titans would be bucking the trend of starting quarterbacks who were drafted high almost immediately. Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Matt Ryan, Mark Sanchez, Joe Flacco, Sam Bradford and presumably Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III rank among those who have been thrown right into the starting job since 2008 and have found a measure of success. One of the only exceptions to that group is Jacksonvilles Blaine Gabbert, about whom serious questions remain as to whether he can be an effective NFL starter. Would similar questions then dog Locker? When given his few chances last season, he mostly acquitted himself well, posting a 99.4 rating with four touchdowns and no interceptions in five games, but its too small of a sample size. The 23-year-old has said all of the right things to this point, but would he start to question the organizations commitment to him, especially coming off the chase of Manning? Those are not simple questions to sort out nor if ill feelings arise would they be easy to smooth over for Titans front office types. Blending the organizations short-term and long-term interests could present a tricky balance in this situation.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Knicks announce they have parted ways with Phil Jackson

Mike Trout progressing towards return before All-Star break

There's nowhere for Chris Paul to go

Mother Nature stops Tim Tebow's St. Lucie debut

Carson Palmer not sure if 2017 will be his last NFL season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Spurs, Clippers among teams interested in Andre Iguodala

Vanderbilt players shot while trying to get teammate’s phone back from thief

Would adding George, Hayward make Celtics a super-team?

Kevin Durant congratulates Russell Westbrook for earning MVP honors

Colts QB coach: Andrew Luck should not be double-digit INT guy

Jim Kelly praises Sean McDermott, throws shade at Rex Ryan

Although you have seen this start before, this season is no sequel for the Dodgers

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

Who won Wimbledon the year you were born?

Box Score 6/27: Monday is for all sorts of ballers

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2017 is not another disappointing sequel for the Dodgers

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker