The Tennessee Titans aren't doing away with the wristband entirely, but Jake Locker will need to know the playbook much better if he is going to handle the huddle effectively this season. New offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains will be giving Locker play calls directly via radio this season, according to the Nashville City Paper, challenging the young quarterback to hear and fully comprehend play calls.
The move is somewhat risky. NFL play calls are often convoluted and exceedingly long, making them difficult to remember for a quarterback by the time he enters the huddle. Loggains has worked hard to streamline the verbiage in his offense, but there is no question that Locker will have more to digest before making every call. While the wristband cuts down on lost-in-translation errors, it may also be detrimental to a quarterback's development, according to head coach Mike Munchak. Via the City Paper:
"I think it makes you learn more as a quarterback," coach Mike Munchak said. "I think it makes you learn formations and learn things more. It puts more on you but you have more of a feel for and more of a command of the offense, I think. ... And the way we're doing it - we've cut down on the verbiage, we've taken two or three words out of each play - so it's possible to do that.
"In the past it was pretty hard to say all that a few times."
Locker will still wear a wristband for more involved play calls. There is something to be said for the expediency of hearing a number, finding that number on your wrist and reading off what you find, especially up against a 40-second play clock. The Titans' coaching staff wants their quarterbacks to have absolute command of the playbook, however, and to help the learning process they won't be spoon-feeding play calls.