Locker, a standout with the Washington Huskies, and Hasselbeck, who led the Seahawks to the playoffs six times during his tenure, are currently battling each other in Tennessee for the starting quarterback job with the Titans.
With the start of the regular season about six weeks away, one expert took a look at the two quarterbacks and compared their play styles. Which QB should get the starting spot?
Here's the story from Bucky Brooks on Locker and Hasselbeck.
From a physical standpoint, Hasselbeck still possesses above average arm strength and velocity. He is fairly consistent with his accuracy/ball placement and has the capacity to make all the throws from the pocket. While he is certainly at his best when working the short and intermediate areas of the field, Hasselbeck is not afraid to take his chances on vertical routes. He finished 2011 with 10 completions of 40-plus yards -- the eighth-highest total in the NFL. Although occasionally poor decision making and durability issues rank as concerns, Hasselbeck remains a solid quarterback prospect.
Brooks also likes Hasselbeck because of his previous experience and knowledge of the game.
Here is his take on Locker.
During my evaluation of Locker prior to the 2011 NFL Draft, I thought it would take him some time to transition to the pro game due to his limited experience directing a pro-style offense. He struggled to string together completions at times as a University of Washington signal caller, and didn't appear to have the requisite awareness or anticipation to fit balls into tight windows. While I was certainly impressed with his athleticism, I didn't believe he would pass well enough to consistently direct an offense. After studying his performance from last year, I'll admit that I was wrong in that assessment. Locker is not only better than I expected, but he could be Tennessee's best option at quarterback.
After some great evaluations of both quarterbacks, here is the conclusion Brooks came away with for who should start the season in Tennessee.
The Titans are opening up the quarterback competition to give Locker a legitimate opportunity to win the starting job. Still, I would open the season with Hasselbeck at the helm. The veteran's experience will be needed against a daunting schedule that features heavyweight battles against four playoff teams (New England, Detroit, Houston and Pittsburgh) in the first six weeks of the season. However, Locker's athleticism and improvisational playmaking skills are undeniable. He should be on the field at some point in 2012. Young quarterbacks have been surprisingly effective in recent years, and the Titans should see if Locker will follow the trend.