2012 Season Rewind: Quarterbacks



Quarterbacks |Click here to view other position reviews.Quarterbacks Jake Locker, Matt Hasselbeck and Rusty Smith relied on their strong relationships this season when adversity struck.

Locker, a second-year pro, won the starting job over Hasselbeck, the 2011 starter, during training camp but the Titans needed both quarterbacks this season, beginning with the opening game against New England.

Early in the fourth quarter Locker threw a pass to Nate Washington. It was initially ruled a fumble recovered and returned 49 yards by Patrick Chung until Locker tackled the Patriots' safety. Locker suffered an injury to his left, non-throwing shoulder on the play that was reviewed and determined to be an incomplete pass.

Locker made the next two starts, which included his first career victory when he threw for 378 yards and two touchdowns against Detroit, but re-injured his shoulder in Week 4 at Houston. The injury knocked him from that game before he could complete a pass against the Texans and forced him to miss the next five games. Hasselbeck went 2-3 in the five starts he made in relief of Locker, leading game-winning drives against Pittsburgh (click here for video highlights) and at Buffalo (watch highlights). 

The chart below shows the stats this season for Locker and Hasselbeck and the stats that Hasselbeck posted in 2001, his first season as Seattle's starting QB. The win-loss column only refers to games that each player started. Additionally, Smith relieved Hasselbeck late at Minnesota and was 3-for-5 for 34 yards.





Comp. %






Locker 2012










Hasselbeck 2012










Hasselbeck 2001










In his year-end press conference Mike Munchak said "people get caught up in numbers way too much."

The reason for that is probably because they are so accessible, but Munchak said it's more important to figure out why numbers are what they are.

Munchak said he hopes gearing the offense specifically toward Locker's strengths will lead to more consistent execution, take out the "gray" areas between quarterback and receivers that occurred by using option routes in Chris Palmer's system and allow Tennessee's offense to play faster. Dowell Loggains was promoted from quarterbacks coach to replace Palmer as offensive coordinator in the final five games of the season.


Click here for a slideshow of Titans QBs
Jake Locker, Matt Hasselbeck and Rusty Smith.

"When I say you're not playing fast, when you're doing too many of those things, then obviously you're waiting to see what the receiver is doing," Munchak said. "You're hoping he sees it the same way and then you get into some bad habits, and that takes a while to develop. So I think going forward, what we'll ask him to do, and some of the things Dowell is starting to do is taking the gray out of the deal, and unfortunately it's hard to measure any of this other than what we see in house because again, there's times in games we'll look real good, and then the production wasn't there.

"We missed some guys wide open, which scheme-wise, there's plays to be made," Munchak added. "It wasn't like there weren't some plays there. It's either a drop, a bad throw, there's pressure on the quarterback, or he's getting hit."

Locker is scheduled to undergo surgery on his shoulder next week and is hoping that the recovery will not cause him to miss any work when the team conducts its offseason program this spring.

Locker plans to study the games from this season while he is on the mend to identify "some areas that I had difficulty, whether it was when I had to move in the pocket or when I wasn't able to completely step into the throw," and improve on those areas. Locker said he gained meaningful experience that sometimes can't be fully simulated in practice.

Hasselbeck, who just finished the second year of his three-year contract, said Monday that it is time to "focus on the future" to make next season better than this year. Hasselbeck said he looks forward to returning and pushing Locker through continued friendly competition.

"The best thing we can do if you're not the starter is compete as if you're trying to be and pushing the guy ahead of you," Hasselbeck said. "That's kind of the situation here, and I think that's the challenge whether it's Jake, myself, Rusty, whoever, you know we're friends and all that, really pushing each other that way."

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