The Tennessee Titans have officially started over, announcing the signing of new head coach, Ken Whisenhunt. With more changes surely to come on both sides of the ball and elsewhere on the coaching staff, Titans fans understandably are left wondering about the quarterback position.
More specifically, is Jake Locker still the starting quarterback?
Whisenhunt didn’t say either way whether or not Locker would be under center come week one (although, per ESPN‘s Ed Werder, Whisenhunt did reveal a “favorable impression” of Locker), and no one should have really expected him to. After all, Tennessee still holds the #11 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, while Locker is coming off of a season marred by injuries.
Locker did seem to progress as a passer in his third season, but dealt with hip and foot injuries that only allowed him to play in seven games. Considering he missed six games the year before and has never been a consistent performer, the new regime will wisely take it’s time in assessing what it has and what it needs to do in regards to the quarterback position.
When asked specifically if the Titans would draft a quarterback, Whisenhunt merely stated that “anything is possible” according to Jim Wyatt via Twitter.
Yes, Ken, yes it is.
It’d be foolish for the Titans to flat-out say no to that question, anyways, as it could handcuff them to a pick and could hurt their flexibility in regards to draft day trades. However, with only Michael Vick as the top free agent quarterback available, it’s pretty likely Tennessee either goes into 2013 with Locker with little competition, or starts over with a brand new quarterback in the first round. Of course, there’s always the chance they dance around with a move somewhere in the middle.
All that being said, Locker still has the potential to develop into a quality starting NFL quarterback. And given Whisenhunt’s success in helping revive Philip Rivers and get the Arizona Cardinals of all teams to a Super Bowl, he’s not really the kind of coach to bet against. With Locker’s size, arm strength and athleticism, it’s not out of the question that he’s some good coaching and good fortune (when it comes to injuries) from finally meeting up with the hype that made him a top-10 pick three years ago.
For now, though, all we know is that Whisenhunt might kind of, sort of like what he sees in Locker. But that still may not keep him from adding talent and competition to the most important position. And that probably wouldn’t be such a bad thing.