August 17, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker (10) throws a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Griffith-US PRESSWIRE
That was rough. It was supposed to be the night that the Jake Locker era started in Tennessee. He was supposed to go out there and light up the Buccaneers, be awarded the starting job after the first drive, lead the Titans to 10 Super Bowl titles in the next 12 years, and ride off into the sunset- at least that was how I imagined it.
Before we go any further let's make one thing clear, this was just one preseason game. Locker has had a very good camp, and he looked good in limited action last night. This in no way means that we should be worried about his long term future.
It does mean, however, that we should be worried about whether or not he is ready to take over this team in week one of this season. He sure didn't look ready last night. While Jared Cook didn't help him out any by dropping catchable balls, Locker did plenty to hurt himself. He was inaccurate and made some really bad reads. He was lucky to end the game with just one pick.The Buccaneers should have had second when Locker tried to force a ball into Kendall Wright in the end zone. Wright was double covered. There was a window there for a second, but it closed about 2.5 seconds before the ball got there.
This is a bump in the road that should not be a huge surprise from a second year guy who has never started an NFL game. The big question now is how does Jake Locker bounce back from this? Does he follow it up with a bad week of practice, or is he the first person in the building this week trying to make sure it doesn't happen again?
Locker hasn't been here very long, but it is safe to say that he is going to do the latter. That is what will make him a quality starting quarterback in this league. Keep the faith.