JOE BIDDLE: Jake Locker's debut was all wet - WKRN News 2

JOE BIDDLE: Jake Locker's debut was all wet

Posted: Updated: Aug 09, 2014 10:48 PM

This was supposed to be Titans quarterback Jake Locker's return from his latest injury.

Locker was pronounced 100 percent fit to resume his position as the leader of the Titans offense.

Well, Mother Nature took care of that. Locker didn't have a chance to get his feet wet.

A deluge of rain came down in buckets before kickoff and continued to stifle any enthusiasm from fans that couldn't wait for the football season.

The good news is the Titans beat Green Bay, 20-16. Even better news? No one drowned.

Locker played eight plays before first year coach Ken Whisenhunt wisely removed him from the game. There was no reason to keep a starting quarterback in this sad excuse for even a preseason game, especially one who has been injured as many times as Locker.

In this game Locker didn't need to wear a flak jacket to protect his rib cage. He needed a Red Cross approved flotation device to keep him afloat at LP Field.

Once Locker gave way to backup Charlie Whitehurst, the rain vanished. Call it an omen if you desire.

When he was in, Locker threw two passes, completing one to former Tennessee star Justin Hunter for five yards.

Locker ran once, after he bobbled the snap while in shotgun formation. He picked it off the ground and ran for a two-yard gain.

Locker also fumbled a center snap and recovered it for no gain.

Not a dossier one would forward to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but really, is anyone going to look at this game for anything except what it was.

“It was a lot of water,'' Locker admitted. “We would have liked to do a little better in the passing game, but it's something we know we can work on going forward.''

If it had been a picnic, it would have been rained out. If it had been a baseball game, they would still have the tarp on.

They should have had a charity duck race and at least raise money for a worthy cause.

All it was when it was dumping buckets of water on the field, was a joke. Sure, if it had been a regular season game they would have had to slosh their way through it. But it wasn't, even though season ticket holders had to fork out the same amount of money it costs them for a regular season game that really counts.

It's been frequently documented that as Jake Locker goes, thus goes the Titans season. If he goes down for any length of time, I don't have a ton of confidence in Whitehurst, who has been a nine-year journeyman and career backup. A preseason game as soggy as two-hour old Cheerios is one thing. A regular season game against Kansas City, Dallas or Cincinnati is another matter.

Whitehurst did a solid job running an offense he learned last season in San Diego where Whisenhunt was the Chargers offensive coordinator. He was 10-for-15 for 94 yards and a touchdown, but don't dare whisper there is a quarterback controversy.

Whitehurst has had nine years to prove he is a NFL starting quarterback and hasn't been successful in that endeavor.

That leaves former LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger, the rookie who is better known for getting sucker-punched in a Nashville bar named Losers than for anything he has done on the football field.

Mettenberger is a rookie with raw talent and NFL quarterback size. He showed he has an NFL arm Saturday night, but then we knew that. Mettenberger looked like the best quarterback against the Packers, but the Titans would rather not have to call his name this season.

This is Locker's make or break season and he deserves every chance to prove he has what it takes.

Contact wkrn.com Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at joebiddle11@gmail.com.

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