Through the offseason, the Tennessee Titans have been reluctant to put a time table on their quarterback competition between 2nd year player Jake Locker and veteran Matt Hasselbeck. That plan has worked well for the Titans, keeping controversy at bay and fostering growth for Jake Locker, their QB of the future.
Now that training camp has rolled around and with the start of preseason games just around the corner, the Titans have finally put together a time table.
Head coach Mike Munchak told members of the media that he expects to name a starting quarterback by August 23rd, the Titans' 3rd preseason game, saying, "I think we have no choice but to. We can't wait past that. I mean in any position, again just philosophy wise, you got to do what's best for your team and you got to make a decision."
The timing of the decision should make sense to anyone who regularly follows NFL preseason games. The 3rd preseason game for each team is when the first team units tend to spend a significant amount of time on the field. By making this decision prior to that game, Munchak ensures that his starting quarterback will get valuable game time with the group of players he'll be working with at the start of the regular season.
The Titans would obviously prefer to start Jake Locker moving forward, but they also believe they can compete for a playoff spot. That being the case, there isn't a perception that this season is all about building for the future, and it gives Matt Hasselbeck a fighting chance at retaining the Titans' starting job for at least one more year. The choice isn't easy for Munchak and the rest of the offensive staff, and it makes the Titans' quarterback competition one of the most interesting story lines as the NFL kicks off preseason games in early August.