Locker’s injury last season and backup status in 2011 has translated into only 16 games played with 11 starts over his first two NFL seasons — not a large body of work for evaluation.
Despite the injuries and playing behind a depleted offensive line a year ago, Locker has thrown for 2,718 yards and 14 touchdowns vs. 11 interceptions in those 16 games. He improved his completion percentage from 51.5 in 2011 to 56.4 in 2012 and ran for 291 yards and a TD last season.
His career-high 378 yards passing in a win over Detroit showed he’s more than capable of moving the ball downfield.
Locker admits he “can improve in a lot of areas” as he looks to become more consistent and find ways to keep the offense on the field in 2013.
“There were a lot of third downs and situations where if we would have converted and kept drives alive, it could change a game,” Locker told NFL Network. “A lot of times it came down to one or two plays and just finding ways to maybe not make the flashy play but do what you can to move the sticks; just kind of learning the value in that.”
Locker said he doesn’t worry about critics.
“I go out and I’m always trying to get the best out of myself no matter what the situation,” he said. “It won’t be any different for me, I won’t approach it any different. I’m just excited about this season.”
Locker said he’s excited about the team’s recent additions and what they’ve already added on the field and in the locker room. He spoke highly of departed QB Matt Hasselbeck and said he’s looking forward to working with Ryan Fitzpatrick and having the veteran QB push him.
He also believes the Titans will look to establish the run in 2013.
“You look at this team four or five years ago when they were having a lot of success, they were really establishing a ground game and using the play-action pass to keep teams on their heels and win football games that way,” Locker said. “We’re going to try to do that same thing this year.”
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When the Titans agreed to terms with Ryan Fitzpatrick Monday after contract negotiations broke down with Matt Hasselbeck, it was with the understanding that he will serve as Jake Locker’s backup going forward.
Head coach Mike Munchak made that clear during an interview with Fox Sports.com’s Alex Marvez at the NFL owners meeting.
“I think (Fitzpatrick) understands his role,” Munchak said. “It’s Jake’s team. It’s Jake’s time. Jake’s going to be our guy. We made that decision last year after training camp.
“Ryan has been in this situation before … He’s going to compete with (Locker) and I think he’ll help him a lot throughout the week. It will be another great mentor for him. And we feel he can win if he has to play. That’s how we felt with Matt Hasselbeck also.”
Unlike last year when Munchak staged a training camp/preseason battle between Locker and Hasselbeck to determine the starting job, Locker will not be looking over his shoulder as he prepares for the 2013 season.
“This offseason, it’s nice that Jake will be going into camp knowing that he’s our quarterback,” Munchak said. “He’s got to stay healthy. We know that. That was probably the biggest problem last year. It’s hard to judge him because he didn’t play as much and he played injured.
“Unfortunately, when you have a quarterback who runs around a little bit they get hurt. There’s a chance that second quarterback is going to play a lot. We feel we had that situation with Matt and now with Ryan we have the same thing.”
Tags: Jake Locker, Mike Munchak, Ryan Fitzpatrick
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Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains wants to shorten and simplify the verbiage for his players in 2013, enabling them to focus more on making plays than thinking about where they need to be on the football field.
“Let them get out of the huddle knowing what to do so they can figure out what they have to do to make the play successful,” Loggains said during an interview Tuesday morning on Nashville’s 104.5 The Zone. “They shouldn’t be breaking the huddle wondering what the play is and where they need to line up…once you break the huddle, now you can think about what you have to do and how you’re going to do it.”
As players become more confident in processing play calls, they will play faster and become more productive, Loggains said.
“I believe that once these guys know where everyone is supposed to be, they can play fast and there will be less reads in the offense than there have been in years past,” he said. “I think that’s the biggest thing — where their confidence can go to the next level.”
Loggains hit on several other topics Tuesday:
(on the development of Jake Locker)
“We wanted to grade Jake on how he really played and the thing that stood out was that once we started getting banged up around him, that’s when he was trying to do too much because he felt it was on him to make a play. I do believe the injury to his shoulder affected him as the season went on.”
(on Locker pressing late in the season)
“I think at the end of the season he was trying to do too much. In the Green Bay game when Mike Otto got sick and we were playing with all those new linemen, I think in his mind if he didn’t step up and have his best game, we didn’t have a chance. I think he put too much on himself. It really slowed him down. And as you know, when you try to do too much, it’s the worst thing you can do because you’re not going to play fast and you’re going to hurt your football team by doing that.”
(on Locker’s accuracy)
“I don’t consider it as big of an issue as people make it out to be. It’s a combination of Jake being on the same page with the receivers, the pass protection holding up and him making the throws that he needs to make. It falls somewhere in between all three of them. When you’re synced up with the receivers and getting protected, it’s your job to make the play and he needs to go do that.”
(on if Titans will incorporate the “pistol” offense like San Francisco used with Colin Kaepernick)
It’s something we’re definitely going to study. It’s not too far off from what we were doing as a coaching staff in 2006 and 2007 with Vince Young. The biggest thing is the quarterback’s ability to run the ball. When you make that kind of commitment that we have a running quarterback and we’re going to do some of that stuff, it can hide the formation a little bit — what side the back is going to and hide what side the zone read is going to be.
(on expectations for Kenny Britt in 2013)
My expectations are very high for Kenny because I know what type of player he can be. He needs to step up and take his game to the next level, both on and off the field because we are expecting a lot from him and he can be a really special football player. When he’s healthy, he’s as good as anyone in the league.
(on things Britt needs to work on)
He needs to work on getting off press (coverage). I think that showed up in the Monday night game against the Jets. He really struggled against Antonio Cromartie. You saw the wiggle that Kendall Wright has, and he separated against Cromartie. That’s the biggest thing that Kenny needs to improve on. Our new wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson is really going to be able to help him with that.
(on his assessment of Kendall Wright’s rookie season)
I thought Kendall played better than what most rookies play. He was a first-year player coming out of the spread offense and gave us a little taste of what he can do. He’s extremely quick and is a really good kid. Football is important to him and we expect him to have a better year than he did last year.
(on getting Chris Johnson back to his 2009 form)
I went back and watched all of our 2008 and 2009 games, and some from 2010 — and the biggest thing for Chris was he was our leading receiver. He had 50 receptions and averaged 10 yards a catch. Watching that film compared to this year, getting him back involved in the passing game will help open up the run game as much as anything. That’s a weapon that is hard to find.
(on potentially adding a bruising running back to compliment Johnson)
I think if you’re going to run to win and you get into the four minute offense where you’re up and you need to start pounding people, it’s really important for us to find that guy that can take a little burden off Chris and maybe play some third down stuff just from the simple fact that’s six or seven collisions that Chris isn’t going to take that will help prolong his career because he’s a smaller guy with speed. During the LenDale White/Chris Johnson “Smash and Dash” season (in 2008), LenDale had 15 touchdowns and took a lot of the burden off Chris. It brings a different element to your offense.
Tags: Chris Johnson, Dowell Loggains, Jake Locker, Kendall Wright, Kenny Britt
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Jake Locker’s 13-yard touchdown run in which he scrambled to the left and followed closely behind offensive tackle Michael Roos en route to the end zone, gave the Titans the go-ahead score late in the third quarter at LP Field.
The touchdown held up in Tennessee’s 14-10 victory over the Jets on Monday Night Football.
Locker completed 3-of-4 passes on the drive, recording his second career rushing touchdown after scoring one as a rookie in 2011. Craig Stevens, Kendall Wright and Chris Johnson also made key blocks during the play.
“My blockers did a great job,” Locker said after the game. “They locked on their guys, stayed on them and allowed me to get into the end zone. It was really well executed by the guys out in front.”
Locker recorded his ninth career start at quarterback, picking up his third win. He completed 13-of-22 passes for 149 yards without throwing an interception (79.5 passer rating). He also rushed for 43 yards and a score on seven carries.
But it was the offense’s efficiency during the scoring drive that he was most pleased with after the game.
“I thought the drive was crisp with a lot of needed tempo,” he said. “There weren’t any mental mistakes and we executed really well. When you do those things, a drive like that is what you are capable of doing. We need to find ways to do that more throughout a game.”
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In his six starts, he has completed 99 of 167 passes for 1,164 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions, computing to a passer rating of 84.5.
Locker has a chance to become the fifth quarterback in franchise history to record a passer rating of 80.0 or greater in their first seven starts with the club. He would join Billy Volek (100.4), Steve McNair (92.6), Hasselbeck (89.2) and Chris Chandler (88.0) on the list. Locker would be the first of that group to accomplish the feat within his first two NFL seasons.
Highest passer rating through a quarterback’s first seven starts, franchise history:
100.4 – Billy Volek (2003-04)
92.6 – Steve McNair (1995-97)
89.2 – Matt Hasselbeck (2011)
88.0 – Chris Chandler (1995)
84.5 – Jake Locker (2012 – through 6 starts)
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Last Sunday vs. Detroit, he did his part to help dispel that notion, completing 29-of-42 passes for 378 yards and no interceptions for a passer rating of 113.0 in picking up his first NFL win as a starting quarterback.
The Titans’ media relations staff reports that quarterbacks have attempted 40 or more passes in a game 112 times in franchise history. Out of those 40 games, Locker’s passer rating against the Lions ranks fourth, trailing only Billy Volek’s 130.6 rating on Dec. 13, 2004 (43 attempts), Warren Moon’s 123.1 rating on Dec. 16, 1990 (45 attempts) and Steve McNair’s 115.8 on Dec. 1, 2002 (43 attempts).
Not bad company for only the third start of Locker’s NFL career.
Passer rating takes into account a player’s completion percentage, touchdown percentage, interception percentage and yards per attempt.
The maximum NFL passer rating is 158.3.
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First, the creative lateral across the field that led to Tommie Campbell’s 65-yard touchdown run. Tennessee’s defense then held the Lions to three-and-out on offense before Jake Locker connected with Jared Cook for a 61-yard touchdown two plays later for a 17-6 Lead in the second quarter at LP Field.
You can see Cook’s touchdown right here!
Locker is 8-of-10 passing for 138 yards and a touchdown. His passer rating is 152.1.
UPDATE: Locker added a career-long 31-yard run in the second quarter. He is 14-of-19 for 170 yards as the Titans lead Detroit 20-9 at halftime.
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Making his first career start, Jake Locker tossed his first touchdown of the season, avoiding pressure and splitting a pair of defenders with a 29-yard strike down the right sideline to Nate Washington.
It was the kind of play that excites Titans coaches, showing Locker’s athleticism and big-play ability when he is on the move.
Coming off a 21-3 halftime deficit, the Titans’ scoring drive covered 80 yards in four plays and pulled them within 21-10 early in the third quarter.
You can see Washington’s touchdown catch right here.
It didn’t take long for Locker to begin moving the offense. Starting at Tennessee’s 20-yard line, Locker found tight end Jared Cook down the middle for a 35-yard gain to New England’s 45 (watch Cook’s reception). Two plays later, Chris Johnson turned a short catch into a 16-yard gain to the 29, setting up Locker’s TD pass to Washington on the next play.
The touchdown was Locker’s fifth of his career and Washington’s 32nd. As a rookie in 2011, Locker completed three of his four touchdown passes to Washington.
Locker completed 23-of-32 passes for 229 yards with one touchdown and one interception before leaving the game with a shoulder injury early in the fourth quarter.
Tags: Jake Locker, Jared Cook, Nate Washington
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Jake Locker is scheduled to make his first career start at quarterback on Sunday against the Patriots. The eighth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft was one of 37 quarterbacks chosen in the first round between 1999 and 2011.
Of the other 36 players:
• 14 won their first start
• 28 made their first start in their rookie season
• 5 made their first start in their second season
• 3 made their first start in their third or fourth seasons
• 12 passed for two or three touchdowns in their first start
Locker will also become the fourth Titans/Oilers quarterback to be drafted in the first round by the organization and start a game for the team. He joins Dan Pastorini (1971 draft pick), Steve McNair (1995) and Vince Young (2006). Jim Everett was also selected by the Oilers in the first round but never played for the team.
In four preseason games, Locker was 31-of-60 passing for 316 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and a passer rating of 71.3. His best game came against Arizona when he completed 11-of-20 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns, a 10-yard pass to Kendall Wright and a 28-yard strike to Nate Washington.
In limited action as a rookie, Locker passed for 542 yards and four touchdowns without an interception, while adding a rushing TD. His 282-yard passing performance vs. New Orleans was the second-highest in franchise history by a rookie signal-caller and the highest since 1960.
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It was a night of near misses for Jake Locker, but the playing time the second-year quarterback received was invaluable as he continued to prepare for the team’s regular season opener vs. New England Sept. 9 at LP Field.
Locker came close on three scoring chances, but couldn’t quite reach the end zone.
His final line included 9-of-16 passing (56%) for 81 yards and a long of 18. He also rushed twice for 22 yards, including a 16-yard run.
Tennessee’s defense gave the offense a break to start the game. Cornerback Alterraun Verner forced and recovered a fumble by Saints running back Travaris Cadet at the New Oreans 24-yard line, and Locker helped advance Tennessee’s offense to the 6. But he threw incomplete on a pass intended for Kendall Wright on third down and Tennessee settled for a 24-yard Rob Bironas field goal.
Later in the second quarter, Locker missed out on a big scoring opportunity, slightly overthrowing a wide open Damian Williams on what would have been a 61-yard touchdown.
Locker also zipped a nice 26-yard pass to Wright that was called back after the rookie wide receiver was flagged for offensive pass interference. Locker responded the next play with an 18-yard strike to Jared Cook, his longest pass of the night.
Then on 2nd-and-10 from the New Orleans 13-yard line, Locker avoided pressure and darted towards the end zone, but he fumbled at the 7-yard line while being tackled by Saints safety Isa Abdul-Quddus.
Head coach Mike Munchak called the turnover a good lesson.
“You hope, if anything, he learns a lesson about tucking that thing away and how good these guys are in this league at hitting that ball out,” Munchak said.
For Locker, it was another experience to learn from as he made the second preseason start of his young NFL career.
“It went good,” Locker said. “We moved the ball a little better today, no three-and-outs. We just couldn’t find ways to put points on the board. That’s something that every week you want to be able to do…there are some things to clean up, but there are also some things to build on.”
Locker was pleased the offense put together some sustained drives this week.
“Last week that is something we didn’t do good, we had a few three-and-outs, but we scored points,” he said. “Tonight we were able to avoid the three-and-outs, but we weren’t able to put the ball in the end zone. So we have to find a way to put those together.”
All in all, it was another night of valuable work for Locker, who will continue working towards opening day vs. New England.
“I’m excited, it’s a great football team,” Locker said. “We have a good week of work ahead. We are going to have to continue to improve this next week, but it’s a good opportunity for us.”
Tags: Jake Locker
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