Lombardi: Jake Locker favorite to start for Titans


We have an early favorite in one of the biggest training camp battles in the NFL.

NFL Network's Michael Lombardi said he's learned Jake Locker is the favorite for the Tennessee Titans' starting quarterback job on "Inside Training Camp Live" on Tuesday. We're out on the left coast this week and caught Lombardi in the hall after his segment.

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Despite Matt Hasselbeck's solid performance last regular season, Locker's explosive skill set can't be denied. The hope and expectation inside the Titans' building is that Locker will take the job. The second-year pro is the man the Titans want leading the team, even with a difficult early schedule.

While this news runs contrary to a number of predictions over the offseason, Lombardi's reporting makes sense. All things being equal, why wouldn't the Titans want their quarterback of the future to become their quarterback of the present?

Of course, being the favorite doesn't mean Locker has the job won. Early reports indicate that Locker has played well at training camp. He'll have to back up his practice performances with a respectable preseason. If Locker tanks in August, the Titans still could delay the changing of the guard.

Barring major struggles by Locker in preseason games, look for the Washington product to start Week 1 against the New England Patriots in Nashville. Suddenly, that looks like the most compelling 1 p.m. ET game on the board.