There's been no official indication that the Tennessee Titans are ready to make a decision at quarterback in the battle between second-year heir apparent Jake Locker and the veteran Matt Hasselbeck, but Nashville Tennessean reporter Jim Wyatt is giving a substantial edge to Locker, saying that the job is his to lose this Friday night against Tampa Bay:
Friday night’s game in Tampa Bay is huge for Locker, who will be making his first NFL start. If he plays well, I think he’s going to end up being the guy for the Titans this fall. If Locker lays an egg, then all bets are off. It would open up a new round of questions for the Titans about their immediate future.
Wyatt goes on to back up his opinion with some revealing stats. Granted, all are from training camp drills and scrimmages, but they certainly support the argument that Locker's time is now:
... a few numbers have been revealing – nine interceptions for Hasselbeck, three for Locker. And that’s not counting the two interceptions Hasselbeck threw in a practice last week with the Falcons.
Perhaps the most telling sign that Locker is poised to become the starter? Wyatt reports that when news that Locker would start the preseason game on Friday hit the team, it was met with exclamations of joy from at least one unnamed teammate.
If Locker does get the job, he'll have no grace period. Tennessee opens with Patriots, and play two top defenses in Detroit and Houston in the first four games.
For more on the quarterback battle between Jake Locker and Matt Hasselbeck, check out SB Nation Titans blog Music City Miracles.