Report: Titans starting quarterback gig is 'Jake Locker's job to lose'

Titans gig is reportedly 'Jake Locker's to lose.' (US Presswire)

The most intriguing quarterback battle in training camp is, hands-down, the Titans. Despite Matt Hasselbeck showing up top on the first unofficial team depth chart, the Titans maintain the two players are dead even.

But perhaps not: Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network reported on Tuesday that, despite the veteran looking like the early favorite, the Titans gig is "Jake Locker's job to lose."

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"Once they didn't get Peyton Manning I think this organization has sort of taken a reflective mode, and sources inside the building there tell me this is Jake Locker's job to lose," Lombardi said Tuesday. "That Mike Munchak is prepared to play Jake Locker. That unless Jake Locker falls completely flat on his face, we'll begin the Jake Locker administration and playing career against the New England Patriots on opening day in Nashville.

"I was also told that Matt Hasselbeck was the best quarterback at OTAs. But I think they're protecting the future."

The funny thing about this report is that it was believed the Titans were taking the opposite approach: that the Tennessee job was Hasselbeck's to lose and that Munchak would only play Locker once a) Hasselbeck got hurt, b) Hasselbeck struggled, or c) the Titans lost a few games early.

Instead, if Lombardi's right, Locker really just has to keep things relatively even to win the job coming out of training camp and into the preseason. There was always the possibility that this could happen anyway, but it's surprising to hear that Locker's the default, even if it makes more sense.

Tennessee invested a first-round pick in Locker before the 2011 season, Locker would help newly-signed wide receiver and 2012 first-round pick Kendall Wright to have a bigger impact, and starting Locker would create more of an up-tempo offense for Tennessee, which would give the Titans a much bigger shot of making noise in the AFC South.

So even though the process -- defaulting to one guy just because he's younger -- is a little flawed, the outcome could end up being beneficial for the Titans.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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