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Tennessee Titans Football

Competition Won’t Affect Friendship of Locker, Hasselbeck

Posted by Gary Glenn on February 28, 2012 – 5:12 pm

Jake Locker said the open competition between he and Matt Hasselbeck won't affect their strong friendship that goes deeper than football.

Head coach Mike Munchak has consistently said that open competition throughout offseason workouts, training camp and the preseason will determine whether Matt Hasselbeck or Jake Locker start at quarterback for the Titans in 2012.

Hasselbeck said last month he had no problem with Munchak’s approach, and Locker today agreed during an interview with Mark Howard, Frank Wycheck and Kevin Ingram on Nashville’s 104.5 The Zone.

“By us going out and competing as hard as we can every day against each other is only going to bring out the best in each of us, and at the end of the day the best guy will play,” Locker said. “I don’t think that it’s any different of an approach than we took last year. Every time I practiced I was preparing for a chance to possibly start, and that’s how Matt is. You understand it as competitive guys that have played their whole life and have been used to being on the field.”

The Titans’ quarterback situation is much clearer and solidified than it was a year ago. The team had released Vince Young and was prepared to use its 8th overall pick on the position, plus sign a veteran prior to training camp — all with the on-going uncertainty of the NFL Lockout.

“I think standing here a year ago and saying our quarterback situation was a mess, and then this year feeling so good about it because of signing Matt and drafting Jake…but then the negative side is you can’t play both of them at the same time, so how do you make two guys happy that are that competitive?” Munchak said while addressing reporters at the NFL Combine last week. “That’s the tough part, and neither one of them wants the job handed to them. They want to come in and compete for it, and we’ll try to do the best we can when we start in May, June and into training camp to put them in situations where they truly are competing and hopefully it becomes obvious who should be the best guy to lead the team.”

Locker and Hasselbeck have already built a strong friendship, one that can withstand some hearty competition, the second-year quarterback said.

“Personally I don’t think it will have any effect on our relationship at all,” Locker admitted. “We have a friendship that is a lot deeper than just football. I think whoever ends up getting the nod at the end of all of it, the other guy will be there giving him all of the support he can from the sideline and throughout the week of practice. I truly believe that.”

In the meantime, Locker will use this offseason to review his own tape, while looking at tape of some of the NFL’s top quarterbacks in an effort to improve his game.

“For the guys that have been doing this as long as they have at such high levels takes a lot of hard work, a lot of confidence in what you’re doing, and I think the ability to prepare,” Locker said. “It’s amazing to watch those guys work.”

Locker took advantage of his own playing time as a rookie, completing 34 of 66 passes for 542 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in five games as a reserve. In addition, he rushed the ball eight times for 56 yards and a TD. But he also took a sack on the final play of a 22-17 loss at home to New Orleans in Week 14, coming up a few yards short of a victory.

Locker said he’s spending extra time studying red zone situations when the game speeds up and the field becomes shorter.

“There’s a lot of room for improvement as far as figuring out how to close a few of those games out because I think we had an opportunity to do that,” Locker said. “It comes down to one or two plays during the course of a game. I think just mastering the offense, really understanding that if the first and second reads aren’t there, finding a check-down to get four or five yards to continue to move the chain and keep your defense off the field and allow your offense to gain momentum.”

Locker said he felt prepared when he had the chance to play, but that won’t stop him from continuing to find ways to improve his game.

“I took some stuff home with me. I have all our games from last year on tape. I’ve been watching those, going through them, especially some of the ones I had an opportunity to play in to kind of see where I could improve,” he said. “It’s also a great way to keep yourself familiar with the offense so that when you get back you’re not having to retrain your mind to the verbiage and the structure of the plays. I’m also watching some guys that I have a lot of respect for in the NFL and play the position really well.”

That additional knowledge, plus having a full offseason to train at the NFL level, will only help him improve, he said.

“Anytime you’ve had a full season you have a better idea of what to expect, especially going into training camp,” he said. “Throughout the course of the year you have a better idea of what your schedule is as far as preparation and what goes on during the week. I think those things allow you to really kind of settle in to those routines and schedules so you can get the most out of them. That’s the thing I’m looking forward to the most is being familiar with the process and being able to feel comfortable in it.”


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Posted in titansonline.com Blog | 28 Comments »


28 Responses to “Competition Won’t Affect Friendship of Locker, Hasselbeck”

  1. By EBTITAN on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply

    GOOD LUCK TO BOTH ! I WANT A SUPER BOWL VICTORY! SOON PLEASE MR ADAMS WOULDN’T THAT BE AWESOME, I’VE BEEN WAITING 35 YR’S & TIRED OF FREAKIN LOSING!

  2. By kenny on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply

    im pulling for locker. i repsect hasselbeck for what he done for the titans last season but 2012 is lockers time to shine. i see him in the next five years winning us a superbowl!! hes got everything that i look for in a qb. go locker!!!

  3. By Eevahn on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply

    LOCKER!! Love this man so much. He loves to run empty CJ has some hands and speed see if you guys can improve on that and develop some plays based on what he likes.

  4. By armando on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply

    arriba los titanes este año sera mejor

  5. By zack on Feb 29, 2012 | Reply

    i do like what matt did for us last season but Locker is our franchise QB so i think it is time to see what Jake got i know that he can get us some superbowl and keep us winning i am kinda getting sick of tired of losing but everyone needs to help the team just one person can’t make a whole team so we will need to get our defense up and going and our offense needs to keep going blocking and catching everything and our special needs to keep up with it

  6. By Jose on Mar 1, 2012 | Reply

    I have the most respect for both of these guys. Mr Hasselbeck is a true leader.

  7. By Josaphat on Mar 1, 2012 | Reply

    I think Locker gives us the best chance to win and with Kenny Britt and C J as weapons plus an extra defensive ends through free agency we can have a Superbowl caliber team go Titans!!!

  8. By Me on Mar 1, 2012 | Reply

    Jake had no turnovers all i have to say

  9. By Steven Crosio on Mar 2, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t care if the starting QB is Matt Hasselbeck or Jake Locker just as long as they both are in tip top shape for next season and hopefully there’s a Super Bowl victory in New Orleans.

  10. By THESEED on Mar 2, 2012 | Reply

    I think our future is very bright! Unlike VY, these guys work on there game. Real leaders and real winners!

  11. By taylor on Mar 2, 2012 | Reply

    THE LOCKER ERA NEEDS TO START NOW!!

  12. By tennman865 on Mar 4, 2012 | Reply

    I would like for Matt to start the season just give Jake a little more time to adjust to the speed of the NFL. Ths will make Jake a great QB for us in the future. I think jump too soon to hand Vince Young the keys to our team. Let’s make sure Jake is our man before jump the gun again. Bye the way does anyone know of a place where I can replace Vince Young name wll Jake Locker’s name on replica jersey?

  13. By layne28 on Mar 4, 2012 | Reply

    I think Matt should start he carried the team after getting nothing from CJ and the injury to Britt. Hats off to Nate(85) and Williams(17) for stepping up. Locker will be great but it never hurts to set behind a guy like Matt. We need to get the d-line upgraded and sign our star player back(FINNEGAN-31). I think we also could upgrade the safety position(GET MORE PHYSICAL). We also could get a tough speedy OLB(OPPOSITE AYRES). Great young core. Rudd should be trade bait. Morgan is also dead weight he needs to get it together this year. In games like the Indy game last year LOCKER should of been put in after the first quarter.BAD CALL COACH.

  14. By FlawlessWallace on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    Time for Locker. Jake is explosive and Hasslebeck cant convert 3rd downs. No more anemic QBs in TN please.

  15. By CalmDown on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    Lets be realistic guys. The Titans are probably not going to compete for a Super Bowl next year. Lets sit Jake for another year and let him learn the game. We need to upgrade our o-line, d-line, LBs, and secondary.

  16. By yoyomama on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    Agree with CalmDown. I’m not sold on our LBs either…especially Ruud or McCarthy. McCarthy (although he is tenacious) is either slow or always out of place. Cant tell you how many times we got gashed from opposing teams throwing check downs in the flat with either no one covering them or it took way to long to get people over there after the completion. I’d like to see us make the switch to a 3-4.

  17. By Jonathan peak on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    get a wide recevir like justin blamon

  18. By Bironas311 on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    We need to rebuild the offense around Jake Locker…Hasselbeck just wasnt producing enough TD’s and the few games i was able to see, due to work and lack of Locker, but this kid is throwing 30+yards throws for that 7. Would be nice to Get Marques Colston on the left side to give our WR core more deph with Britt returning and then having that superbowl veteran to help set up CJ’s run game(and im not talking about last years run game, the years before)…Draft a few offensive lineman…maybe grab a Clay Matthews type of guy and BOOM! SUper bowl here we come

  19. By aiden lyerla on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    JAKE LOCKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i have watched since 2009 i love him

  20. By Nick Baird on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    As a founding PSL owner and a lifetime Tennessean not to mention a Life long Tennessee volunteer… I have the utmost respect for Titans owner Bud Adams and the Tennessee Titan’s… I also have a great respect for our QB’s Matt and Jake… But If I had the opportunity, and I was Bud Adams (at his age) I would at this time have to bring the All time best QB in NFL history imo, to finish out a Fabulous career and finally win a Super Bowl with the supporting cast of players we have now, and never allow the Houston Texans to hold me back (Bud Adams) from winning my first Super Bowl as an owner for over 53 years… Absolutely no dis- respect to Jake or Matt but Mr. Adams it’s time to bring Tennessee’s favorite son Back to Tennessee to finish out his career and yours with a couple Super Bowl victories… No colts player will ever wear #18 again and he will certainly go into The NFL Hall of Fame as a Colt… But we will also retire the #18 as well and possibly win twice as many Super Bowls than he has worn in a colts uniform… Give him a three or four year contract (Money is no object)… Payton will come here for less money than he will receive on any other team… It’s about winning and Payton Manning is not only a winner but he is still a franchise Quarter Back and will win a lot more games and Championships… Mr. Adams, GO Sign him today and let’s go win a Super Bowl…Thank You!!

  21. By Charlotte on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    I am from Seattle and Matt was not always the best, but it we could get Peyton to teach Locker we would be so much better of in the long run for bouth men and team.

  22. By layne28 on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    Manning helps Locker none two different styles Matt is just fine for mentoring Jake. Why spend our cap space on something you already have when our defense lacks something at every stage. Plus we need to upgrade our o-line. Manning may never be 100% again not a chance i’d take.

  23. By ztw52289 on Mar 8, 2012 | Reply

    Why in the world do we need, or even want, Peyton Manning? We have two quarterbacks and no need for a 36 year old QB with 4 neck surgeries. I repeat, 4 NECK SURGERIES and 36 YEARS OLD! Manning is on the decline and paying him a ton of money to come to Tennessee makes sense how?

    As far as Colston goes, just remember, Drew Brees has been his quarterback. There is a hell of a difference between Brees’ talent and the talent of either of our quarterbacks (Manning included). Brees makes everyone around him look like an all-pro. Hassleback doesn’t do that and Locker is completely unproven. Why risk signing a high cost player who has been riding on the coat tail of a hall of fame quarterback for his entire career? No thank you.

    However, if you want another receiver, I think Justin Blackmon is the way to go simply because he is an athletic freak and can catch anything thrown his way. Plus he is very very young and can develop in the system with Jake Locker. (For proof this approach works, reference Andy Dalton and AJ Green in Cincy or Eli Manning and Hakeem Nicks in New York).

    Instead of using money on an offensive player we do not really need, why not go for a Mario Williams or trade up in the draft for a player like Coples (DE) or Claiborne (CB)? With Cortland Finnegan presumably leaving we need MAJOR help in the secondary. And besides, our current pash rush couldn’t penetrate through a wet paper bag, much less an opposing NFL playoff offensive line. The New York Giants proved last season that defense goes a long way in winning championships. So let’s watch the film, look closely at our finances, not let emotion cloud our judgement, and improve our weakest link, the defense.

  24. By addicted2football on Mar 9, 2012 | Reply

    It wouldn’t surprise me to see Locker win the QB battle, but I won’t be disappointed if Hasselbeck ends up being the starter. Our lack of pass rush is the biggest reason our secondary looked rough last year, but a guy like Mario Williams could go a long way towards fixing that problem.

  25. By layne28 on Mar 10, 2012 | Reply

    needs: DE-Mario Williams, Couples why not both?
    S-Babineaux bring him back
    OLB-Jo-Lonn Dunbar from saints-free agent.
    FB- Bring back Hall(short term)
    RB-Mike Tolbert(great compl. to johnson).
    WR-Jerome Simpson Brandon Lloyd
    DB-Webb from baltimore BRING BACK FINNEGAN IS THE BEST CHOICE.

  26. By Zach Z on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    i say let the competition decide who is best QB, @ least for this year. Next year needs to b Locker’s time, unless Matt tears it up. If we dont land Mario, we need to use our first pick on an end to sure up our pass rush (and a back up in later rounds), but second round we need another WR. After we lost Kenny, our entire offense became handicapped because our then starters had minimal experience and none were quite as near the play-maker as Britt is

  27. By layne28 on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    Well it sounds like we are gonna get a high priced free agent BUT NOT MARIO,BUT PAYTON MANNING. Looks like Bud is going to throw the bank at him. At first i was aginst it but maybe getting him fixes a few more problems like another WR and C at a discount to play with Manning(WAYNE AND SATURDAY). Hopefully Mr. Adams won’t overlook the real areas of need. I’ve really wondered how CJ would with a real accurate down the field passer. Then who wants Matt and what kind of player can we get in return?
    WOULD LOVE TO SEE FINNEGAN BACK!!!!

  28. By rev on Mar 15, 2012 | Reply

    it is what it is people need to think here peyton the man no denying that but got to think about the possibility one good hit and hes done reason why colts let him go
    hasselback is lockers mentor you sign peyton way i see it only gonna hurt the kids development let the kid play colts getting luck we need a play maker wr to go with kenny britt aint worried about cj 2 k get ball down feild no more 8s in the box cj will tare em up.

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