Titans quarterback question extended by short possessions

Saturday, August 18, 2012 at 6:13pm

Mike Munchak was not willing to say that the Tennessee Titans and the rest of the NFL saw the worst of Jake Locker on Friday.

His contention Saturday afternoon was simply that no one saw enough of Locker.

“It’s not just what we saw in practice or we see in meetings or we see in scrimmages or — in this case — we see in the preseason games,” the Titans coach said. “It’s hard to judge. That’s the hard part about this process. … You have to go on everything, not just on what people see in 20 snaps in a preseason game.

“So we have to get him to play more plays so you can see more. … As an offense, in general, we’ve been inconsistent.”

No doubt, Munchak and his staff did not see what they hoped from their 2011 first-round draft pick, who started a game — regular season or preseason — for the first time in the 30-7 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He played almost the entire first half and completed just four of 11 passes with one interception and no touchdowns.

Only one of eight possessions with Locker under center lasted more than four plays. While he helped convert a pair of second-quarter takeaways into 10 points, half his drives ended without a first down.

Matt Hasselbeck started the preseason opener against Seattle and completed five of nine for 45 yards. His first pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown.

“I just think offensively we haven’t been consistent both games,” Munchak said. “We were hoping this game we’d go in there and have some nice long drives and eat up some clock. We haven’t been able to do that as an offense these first two games. We got better in areas.

“Overall, we’re not just not moving the ball as effectively as we need to as an offense right now.”

Hasselbeck played only sparingly against the Buccaneers and went 4-for-5 for 29 yards.

Munchak said he and the staff — at this point — were not prepared to name a starter for the regular season, or for Thursday’s game against Arizona (7 p.m., LP Field).

“We have two more weeks to see plenty,” he said. “When we feel we’re at that point then we’ll make our announcements when we feel the time is right.”

He’d prefer that at least one of the quarterbacks has a strong showing before he makes that call.

For now, therefore, he’ll continue to wait — and to watch.

“I just think you always want to see more,” Munchak said. “… You flip it and say well if [Locker] had 13 passes and he was 9-for-13, does that mean our decision’s easier? I don’t think it would be. It would be nicer and would make it easier perception-wise of what people saw.

“We want to see more reps with a lot of people and we just have to figure out how to do that.”