When the Tennessee Titans named Jake Locker the starting quarterback despite some so-so preseason performances many surmised the decision was based on his work during last season and this offseason.
Titans coach Mike Munchak confirmed that theory when he joined “NFL AM” on Tuesday morning.
“When Jake came in and played for us in three or four games he came in and played very very well, handled some tough situations well,” he said. “So when the season ended we were we were real excited about his play. Jake just kept getting better and better in everything he did. We were real excited in the direction he was headed and we thought the time was right to make the move.”
Locker now has the starting gig only injury could change, Munchak said.
“We know Jake is going to have some ups and downs, as any quarterback does in the NFL, any young guy will have some,” the second-year head coach told “NFL AM” insider Steve Wyche. “But he’s shown us when he’s had a bad day or bad throw, he’s come back in that same game and made better decisions and made plays. So I think in this situation we’re very confident in him. We feel he’s won the position and he’s ready to go. So, no, we definitely would hang with him unless there was like you said probably an injury situation.”
One reason why the Titans believed Locker was ready to start was the tutelage of veteran Matt Hasselbeck.
“I think Matt is a big reason why Jake is ready to play because their relationship is very unique and that he made a big difference in his career, and I think he will be a big help to him going forward,” he said.
The Titans have no plans to trade Hasseleck, Muchack said, because you can never have too many quality quarterbacks.
“We want him here, we believe in him, he’s a big part of this team,” Munchak said. “Like everyone knows in this league you need two good quarterbacks, usually somehow during the year the quarterback does get bumped up, does miss a game and we feel we have a guy that comes in and we win right away with.”