Locker gets his chance, will start Friday against Tampa Bay

Monday, August 13, 2012 at 9:40pm

Nate Washington knows as well as anyone how important the start to a game can be, preseason or not.

That’s why the veteran wide receiver figures it is notable that quarterback Jake Locker will start for the first time Friday when the Tennessee Titans play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tampa (6:30 p.m., WKRN-TV Ch.2).

“I think that’s the one position that has the most pressure and scrutiny behind it,” Washington said. “There’s no hiding that guy. … He’s in control of everything the offense does. Whether [things] flow or they don’t flow, it’s pretty much going to be on his shoulders.

“So it’s his job to get us going and make sure we’re headed down the right path. I’m pretty sure the first start for him is going to be pretty big.”

Washington, of course, was the intended receiver on the first offensive play of Saturday’s preseason opener at Seattle. Matt Hasselbeck’s low delivery bounced twice off Washington’s hands and then off the back of a defender before it was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. The Titans never led that game and ultimately lost 27-17.

Coach Mike Munchak announced the team’s quarterback plans for the next contest following Monday’s workout.

It will be the first time the team’s top draft pick in 2010 (eighth overall) opens a contest, either in the regular season or preseason. He played the bulk of the time in last year’s final preseason contest, a 32-9 victory at New Orleans. In the regular season, he took over for an injured Hasselbeck in the third quarter of a loss at Atlanta and in the second quarter of a loss at home to the Saints.

“He has not had an opportunity to start a game from the beginning,” Munchak said. “So that is what we will do. We will start the game with him and then Matt Hasselbeck will come in after he is done.”

Locker was not available to the media Monday. He and Hasselbeck both are scheduled to address reporters Tuesday.

“Some guys perform better starting or coming off the bench,” Munchak said. “It’s a position he has not had a chance to be in yet. We want to put him through that drill. We started [Hasselbeck] last week, so we want to do the opposite this weekend.”

Including the unlikely interception at the start, Hasselbeck went 5-for-9 for 45 yards with two interceptions in the 27-17 loss to the Seahawks. Locker was 7-for-13 for 80 yards.

Each had a long completion of 18 yards – Hasselbeck’s to tight end Jared Cook and Locker to wide receiver Kendall Wright.

“When you’re a young man there are a lot of firsts and this is just another one for [Locker],” Munchak said. “He will get a chance to stay in there a little bit longer. Last game he got [to play with] the [starters] for maybe a series; then he got the other guys. You kind of want to see him with the starters for a longer period of time: the tight ends, the receivers and the offensive line.”

16 Comments on this post:

By: TITAN1 on 8/14/12 at 5:06

Looking forward to see what Jake does against the first team. Although it is a preseason game, it is an important step to see who starts the season. On a lighter side I have first pick in our 16 team fantasy league this Saturday. It is a keeper league, so a lot of the top players are spoken for. RB is the most critical pick and I will be choosing between Chris Johnson and Arian Foster. Of course the homer in me says Johnson. Two years ago he was big time stats, last year not so much. I had Foster in another league last year and he struggled because of being out for awhile. I guess I'll watch the Titans Friday night before making my decision. I have to look at a lot more than just the preseason games. Hope everyone has a great day.

By: Jughead on 8/14/12 at 7:02

Yawn........and more yawn.....snzzzzzzz......snzzzzz......

By: Jughead on 8/14/12 at 7:13

Whenever I want to hang out with obnoxious, stupid, and fat drunks, I buy a Titans ticket. Classy way to spend an afternoon.

By: David_S on 8/14/12 at 7:54

So much talk about the quarterback situation, when that's not really the major issue this coming season. The real questions are, will we have any type of significant run game, will our D-line ever get to the quarterback, and will our corners stop anyone now that Finnegan is gone?

By: G.Scout on 8/14/12 at 7:55

"You kind of want to see him with the starters for a longer period of time..." KIND OF?? You KIND OF want to see him with the starters? What the hell, Munchak? If you're going to actually play him then its a no brainer. But we all know you're going to go with the washed up dude yet again. The Titans like it that way -- ala Kerry Collins v. Vince Young days. Another season bites the dust before it even starts.

By: TITAN1 on 8/14/12 at 7:55

Jughead, I believe you are thinking of your family reunion.

By: TITAN1 on 8/14/12 at 8:00

G, Scout, I don't know how this season is going to turn out, but I do know that the coaching staff will put the players on the field that give the team the best chance to win. What would they gain by trying to lose?

By: Jughead on 8/14/12 at 12:05

Why would anyone spend money on a Titans ticket? Boring, awful product--year after year.

Bud's got a great racket going. Step up to the plate, sheeples, and fund Bud's hedgefund.

By: TITAN1 on 8/14/12 at 1:45

Jughead, it is better than being a freak.

By: G.Scout on 8/14/12 at 2:15

Titan1 -- I totally agree they have nothing to gain y trying to lose, but why do they continually have their heads up their arses when it comes to young QB's? Its obvious Hasselbeck is past his prime and here they have this great, young talent available yet they insist on making him ride the pine. Its the same crap they eventually did to Vince. I'm a Titans fan all the way, dont get me wrong. I just think we have the talent available to go better than 8-8 and they won't use it.

By: TITAN1 on 8/14/12 at 3:04

He may still get the starting job. We don't evaluate their practices during the week so we don't know who is performing the best. Locker is the future and they will turn the offense over to him when they think he is ready whether it is this season or after the season starts or next year. I disagree with on your assessment of Hasselbeck. He had his best year last year. I'm glad to have him if Locker is not ready, but I'll like it even better if Locker is ready and we have Hasselbeck backing him up. I don't have a doubt they will put the players on the field who gives the Titans the best chance to win. As for VY,, he had many chances, but when you sulk on the sideline and throw your shoulder pads into the stands and then cuss out your coach in the locker room, he didn't deserve to be on the field. BTW, I got VYs jersey when it was first available and was a huge fan, but he could not get his head straight. That is why he is not a starter in the NFL.

By: Jughead on 8/14/12 at 3:47

@Titan0: Lord, you drank gallons of the Bud Adams kool-aid. Your life must be incredibly boring to waste more than a moment following this awful, boring football team. Just terrible. CJ is done, we have no QB, defense is shaky overall, and no receivers.

Yea--that's gonna end well. Of course, the Jim Jones crew at LP will be--once again--talking about next year while Bud raises prices.

Isn't Tennessee 48th out of 50 for education? Who'd thunk?

By: TITAN1 on 8/14/12 at 5:21

What's this "We" stuff? You don't like the Titans and you said you live in New Mexico. Of course that was just a lie since I know you live in Clarksville and that you are a very sick individual.

By: jwk6179 on 8/14/12 at 9:10

TITAN1, you seem to have a lot of information on a lot of posters on this board, such as where they supposedly live, which NFL they supposedly support, etc. Just how did you obtain this information?

By: TITAN1 on 8/15/12 at 5:00

jw, have you ever wondered who was behind the screen name? I'm sure everyone has. Sometimes you can google the name and get results, sometimes you don't. I wish they would use the Facebook application here like they do at the Tennessean.

By: TITAN1 on 8/15/12 at 12:43

jw, looking back, you and I both had some pretty childish posts. A lot of things are more important to me now than arguing about a football team.