On the Titans' trust in Jake Locker

September, 19, 2013
9/19/13
5:29
PM ET
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The way the Tennessee Titans have handled Jake Locker through two games, it’s fair to question just how much trust the team has in him.

Predictably, they say confidence in their quarterback is not an issue.

In the loss at Houston the Titans were constantly backed up near their own goal line, and outside of a change-of-pace hurry-up series that produced a 99-yard touchdown drive, they were stagnant in the first half.

[+] EnlargeJake Locker
AP Photo/Patric SchneiderTennessee quarterback Jake Locker has topped 300 passing yards twice in 13 starts.
Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains didn’t exactly set Locker free to go flip field position or take charge of the game.

“In situations in a game, you don’t just manage the quarterback, you manage everything else that’s going on around him, and at those times we felt we did what was necessary to try to give us the best chance to win the game,” offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. “It had nothing to do with Jake.”

Through two games, the 1-1 Titans rank 32nd in passing offense with 246 net passing yards.

Through two games, the 1-1 Chargers rank 32nd in passing defense with 751 net passing yards allowed.

Loggains said the Titans see matchups to attack and plan to go at them, but the Titans are a run-first team that isn’t going to go wide open unless the opportunities are huge or the game dictates it.

Greg Cosell of NFL Films said on my radio show Wednesday that the Titans on offense are a dinosaur playing to minimize the impact of their quarterback on the game, which tells us a lot about what they think of Locker.

According to Mike Munchak there is a line between protecting Locker and being overly conservative on the quarterback’s behalf that might suggest the team doesn’t have full faith in him.

“Like I’ve said, there’s going to be a game where I stand before you guys after the game and say, ‘Yeah, we threw it 50 times, I told you we’d do it when we had to, or if we’re making yards or doing the right thing and that’s the best way to win a football game.’ We’re going to do that, we feel we can.”

I’m like most people in this department. I’m not sure they can’t. But I’ll be a lot more likely to believe Locker can carry this offense after I’ve seen him carry this offense.

And through 13 starts -- a small sample size for sure -- he’s topped 300 yards twice and been under 200 yards seven times, including his past five games.

The Chargers haven’t defended the pass well so far. But they also haven’t defended the run well either. Giving up an average of 104.8 yards a game and 4.4 yards a carry.

Given a choice, the Titans will lean on Chris Johnson ahead of Locker. Which could leave the trust issue wide open.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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