With the Tennessee Titans decision to go with young Jake Locker as their 2012 starting quarterback, their future has offically begun.
In short glimpses of action last year, Locker gave fans just enough of a taste to be optimistic for his long term potential. In relief appearances of injured Matt Hasslebeck, Locker came close to completing comebacks against the Falcons and Saints before falling just short. His stats in those games totaled 22-48 with 422 yards, 3 touchdowns, and very importantly, zero interceptions.
While those numbers aren't going to blow anyone away, he showed tools that make him capable of succeeding for many years to come. In recent years, quarterbacks such as Roehtlisberger and Rodgers have shown a new mold of being able to extend plays through heavy pass rush, and in certain cases, scramble to pick up yards along the way. Locker was a great running quarterback during his time at Washington, but given that he will not be doing as much of that at the pro level, his legs are still a great tool he has at his disposal. Also, YouTube the highlights of the Saints game and watch the touchdown pass Locker has to Nate Washington. The ball could not be anymore perfectly placed.
The Titans have made their choice for the future with Locker and given how he came on in limited duty last season, one can only hope he continues it for the 2012 campaign. Hasslebeck is a given for what his production would be, and for a team that is likely not headed to the playoffs, Locker's potential needed to be tapped. And what better way to see him put to the test than Week 1 against Tom Brady and the Patriots.