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Locker enters Titans' QB race aiming to 'earn respect'

We just took a look at Ryan Tannehill down in Miami, a young quarterback who appears on the fast track to play sooner than later. Not a surprise. In 2012, it's almost unheard of to draft a rookie passer in the first round, only to put him through the sit-and-watch treatment ala Aaron Rodgers.

Jake Locker is the exception to that rule, spending his rookie year on the bench behind Matt Hasselbeck, the 36-year-old veteran who started all 16 games for the Tennessee Titans.

One year later, Locker and Hasselbeck will go head-to-head for the starting job. Last summer, Locker found himself in an abyss, prevented from working with his coaches during the NFL lockout. The benefit of a full offseason has helped.

"Just knowing a routine -- I know what to expect now, somewhat," Locker told the Tennessean this week. "I know what to expect out of camp. I know what to expect out of our first road game, our first preseason game. It is not all new to me now, and there is a sense of comfort in that."

"... My goal is to earn the respect of the guys around me. Not to ask for it, but how you go out and work and how you prepare yourself, they can tell it means something to you."

Hasselbeck isn't conceding the job, but we'd be surprised if Locker sits for long. Coach Mike Munchak was part of the regime that drafted Locker eighth overall and the Titans have been more patient than most. It won't receive the attention of Tannehill vs. Matt Moore down in Miami, but this is one quarterback race we're looking forward to as we move into summer.

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