Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker threw for two touchdowns in a… (Wade Payne / Associated…)
Jake Locker did not start any games during his rookie season with the Tennessee Titans last year and was just named the team's 2012 starter a few days ago.
But he certainly acted like a team leader on Thursday night, throwing for a pair of touchdowns and earning a passer rating of 109.2 in the Titans' 32-27 preseason victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
“He's our leader,” Titans tight end Jared Cook said of Locker, who was drafted eighth overall by Tennessee in 2011. “We had all the confidence in him. He made plays out there.”
Titans Coach Mike Munchak added: "He does things that people wouldn't notice he was doing that most young quarterbacks wouldn't even think of being able to handle. Most young quarterbacks are coming out, even some veterans, they're more concerned about the coverage. He's adjusted protections and then getting into coverage. He's way ahead at the line of a lot of guys.”
Locker threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Kendall Wright and a 28-yard touchdown pass to Nate Washington to cap an 80-yard drive. The quarterback completed 11 of 20 passes for 134 yards and a 23-10 lead before leaving the game late in the third quarter.
"It was cool to be able to have the first start here in Tennessee and be welcomed the way I was,” Locker said. “I've always appreciated this support, and I will continue to.”
Meanwhile, the Cardinals' quarterback situation appears as muddled as ever. John Skelton, who appeared to some as the emerging lead candidate, had a rough outing. He completed four of 10 passes for 41 yards with one interception for a passer rating of 12.9.
Fellow Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb completed 17 of 22 passes for 156 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions for a passer rating of 73.3.
Arizona star receiver Larry Fitzgerald called the team's quarterback competition "neck and neck."
L.A. boasts unmatched lineup of star power
USADA strips Lance Armstrong's Tour de France victories
UFC's Greg Jackson defends Jon Jones' refusal to fight Chael Sonnen