The NFL is a copycat league. The “read-option” has exploded at the NFL level, with Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III all finding almost immediate success employing it. The Titans have a highly athletic quarterback in Jake Locker, whose rare flashes at the NFL level have often been a result of him making plays with his legs.
Naturally, Titans new offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains will include some option elements in the Tennessee offense in 2013, right?
Don’t bet on it.
The way we hear it, the Titans want to get Locker outside the pocket — but they want to do so carefully, while protecting him, fully aware of his surgically-repaired left shoulder and the durability issues that could arise as a result. Remember, Locker had a history of injuries at the collegiate level, too.
Locker regressed in the second half of 2012 after missing five-plus games because of the torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. Thus, Loggains likely will be looking for ways to simplify rather than further confuse his young QB, we hear. Locker’s biggest issue was his poor accuracy when confined inside the pocket, largely a result of his footwork and lower-body mechanics needing further refining.
He is also still learning how to read defenses and play sound situational football, though. For instance, the play on which Locker was first injured, a safety blitz against the Texans, he failed to recognize Texans FS Glover Quin screaming upfield, untouched, on the front side of the play. Locker failed to recognize it and missed the next month as a result.
Locker has good size and athleticism — and the Titans love his mobility — but we hear the risk of him exposing himself to big hits downfield currently outweighs the potential reward of incorporating many option looks into the Titans’ offense.