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Tennessee Titans should turn to Jake Locker now


As we count down the days to training camp, Around the League will examine one player from every team set for a breakout campaign in 2012. Up next: the Tennessee Titans.

Jake Locker will soon take the reins of the Titans' offense

Making the Leap

Around the League will pick from each NFL team one player who's poised for a breakout season in 2012:

AFC East
Bills | Dolphins | Jets | Patriots
AFC North
Bengals | Browns | Ravens | Steelers
AFC South
Colts | Jaguars | Texans | Titans
AFC West
Broncos | Chargers | Chiefs | Raiders
NFC East
Cowboys | Eagles | Giants | Redskins
NFC North
Bears | Lions | Packers | Vikings
NFC South
Buccaneers | Falcons | Panthers | Saints
NFC West
49ers | Cardinals | Rams | Seahawks

If the Titans are Linus from "Peanuts," Matt Hasselbeck is their blue security blanket.

Hasselbeck represents safety -- your classic "game manager" who has a ton of NFL experience. He is neither overrated or underrated. He's just ... well ... Matt Hasselbeck.

The veteran's steadfast nature is what makes him an attractive option for head coaches who pray for consistency from a signal-caller.

But then there's Jake Locker. If Hasselbeck represents experience and a steady hand, Locker is youth and promise. An undeniable talent selected eighth overall in the 2011 draft, Locker already has spent a year behind a good teammate in Hasselbeck, learning the game at the pro level while getting some field time in the second half.

Titans coach Mike Munchak has described an open competition during training camp, though many media members close to the team expect Hasselbeck to retain the job. Locker himself appears to be mentally prepared for that reality, recently telling a radio station that remaining the backup "wouldn't be the end of the world."

Of course, Locker's performance during training camp and in the preseason could easily sway the team's thinking. If that happens, we predict the Titans would end up being happy with their decision.