It's a new era for the Tennessee Titans at the quarterback position.
The veteran/youngster combination of Kerry Collins and Vince Young has been replaced by the duo of Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker. The veteran (Hasselbeck) is expected to hold down the fort for at least a year, while the youngster (Locker) patiently awaits his opportunity as he's groomed to become the team's future starting signal-caller.
How will the Tennessee Titans fare at the QB position in 2011, you ask? My answer and more...after the jump in the first installment of our annual training camp positional analyses.
The established vet
Former Seattle Seahawk Matt Hasselbeck emerged as the winner of the Titans' offseason search for a veteran quarterback sweepstakes. His intangibles and veteran leadership were enticing qualities that made him an appealing candidate and despite a subpar performance during the 2010 regular season, his stellar play in the postseason demonstrated that he still had something left in the tank.
Through two games of the preseason, it's been so far so good for the Hasselbeck experiment. He's as good as advertised when it comes to his ability to lead the troops. He's displayed nice accuracy and a command in the huddle this franchise hasn't seen since a fella named Steve McNair was barking out the signals.
As long as he stays healthy, Hasselbeck should serve as the perfect bridge to the era of the next guy we're going to take a look at in this article.
The talented rookie
In addition to their search for a veteran, the Titans were also on the prowl for a youngster to groom as the team's future franchise quarterback.
With the 8th overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans picked Jake Locker to be that guy. Locker has all the tools to develop into a solid future franchise QB in this league: strong work ethic, excellent athleticism and arm strength and great leadership potential. In two preseason appearances, those traits have been on display as he's showed flashes of his impressive skillset.
Regardless of how well he performs in the preseason, it's holding the clipboard duty for Jake Locker once the season starts. However, judging by what I've seen so far, we should be in for quite a treat once it's time for him to step up as the starter.
The rest of the bunch
Rusty Smith and Brett Ratliff are the remaining quarterbacks on the team's roster.
After a disastrous performance in limited playing time as a rookie, "Rusty" should be able to win the competition with Ratliff as the team's #3 QB. Despite last year's troubles, it's Smith's job to lose.
Well folks, that's a wrap for the Titans' QB positional analysis. Any opinions/thoughts?
I will not be surprised if the Titans decide to go with only two QBs this year. I think it's important to note that the guy who saw potential in Rusty and was responsible for him being here (Dinger) is no longer here himself. Maybe Rusty will clear waivers and be signed to the practice squad so he can run the scout team offense every week.