Munchak Makes Bad Call: Says Hasselbeck Will Start over Locker

Chase SummersCorrespondent IDecember 20, 2011

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 04: Mike Munchak , head coach of the Tennessee Titans stands on the sidelines against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on December 4, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York.Tennessee won 23-17.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Consider this: A .500 record, up and down performances that get fans' hopes up, followed by a major collapse when the games start to matter.

Add super-conservative play calling and refusing to start young talent over struggling veterans due to some warped sense of loyalty, and ladies and gentlemen, if you ask me, Jeff Fisher is still the head coach of the Tennessee Titans.

Sure, Mike Muchak may seem to be the coach, but I believe that somewhere behind the scenes Fisher is acting as a puppet master, torturing the loyal Titans fanbase with the same old problems that plagued the torturous latter part of the Fisher era.

Deranged conspiracy theories aside, Munchak is truly making every mistake Fisher made, minus the mustache.

Munchak had the nerve to stand up in front of the media—and say with a straight face—that Matt Hasselbeck is healthy and will start Saturday against the Jaguars. He also had the nerve to hide behind the false facades of "veteran leadership," and to act like Hasselbeck gives the Titans "the best chance to win."

Bull crap!

Munchack must have been the only person affiliated with the Titans to not watch the Saints, Falcons, and Colts games. Because if you watched those, you know who gives the Titans the best chance to win.

It's not the 36-year-old "veteran leader," who has thrown one touchdown and five interceptions in the last five games, garnering a passer rating above 80 only once in that stretch. In that game, which was against the Saints, he threw seven passes before being taken out with an injury.


Locker has nearly led three epic comeback attempts, and has proven he has heart and play making ability. Yeah, he has occasionally made rookie mistakes, but he is completing over 50-percent of his passes and has not thrown an interception.

Sure, he may not play as well in a complete game as he has in limited action, but that's not what matters. What matters is that Hasselbeck has looked hapless, and has pretty much taken the Titans out of the playoff hunt.

He threw two interceptions against the Colts, and didn't attempt to throw more than three or four passes longer than ten yards downfield until the fourth quarter. He stunk it up against a winless team and failed to get any offense going at all. His two interceptions were the first of the year by both Jacob Lacey and Pat Angerer, and Lacey has been one of the most maligned cornerbacks in the league.

Hasselbeck actually made more "rookie mistakes" than Locker, throwing a lame duck pass into triple coverage, which all three defensive players could have picked off.

Hasselbeck has proven he can not last a full season, and has faded fast. Locker has shown he has the skills and will to win. Yeah, maybe Locker doesn't set the world on fire if he plays a full game, but he cannot do worse than Hasselbeck.

Locker must start. Playing Hasselbeck increases the chance of losing and gains the team nothing.

The Titans are pretty much out of the playoff picture, and now it is time to focus on the future, which is Locker. Give him playing experience and let him fully adjust to being a NFL quarterback.


Don't tell me I'm overreacting.

Munchak has made stupid calls all year. He said the team could have success with the current offensive line, and thus did not go after any guards in the draft or in free agency. Great call, idiot.

Sunday, against an awful Indianapolis rush defense, Chris Johnson gained only 55 yards, mostly because of all the penetration the interior line was giving up. Heck, there was a play when Eugene Amano got pushed into Johnson five yards in the backfield.

Despite the interior line's spectacularly awful play, Munch has also killed the run game by calling run plays that the line cannot correctly block and that do not utilize Johnson's strengths. One such play is a certain stretch play that I can literally not remember ever gaining positive yardage.

You think I'm joking, but I'm not. I believe that if you totaled up the yardage gained on the play in question it would be in the negatives. I would bet money on it.

There are other run plays that Munchak continues to use that don't work either. The whole running game plan is broken, but whenever Johnson has a good day, Munchak smiles and says he told you so.

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 11:   Quarterback Jake Locker #10 of the Tennessee Titans reaches the ball over the goal line for a touchdown during a game against the New Orleans Saints at LP Field on December 11, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee.  The Saints defea
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Then there was the awful game management against New Orleans, where Munchak took a deep shot on third and inches, then failed to get a first down the next play.

Luckily the Titans got the ball back with no timeouts, but at the 50-yard line. With the clock running, the Titans called a run play and wasted twenty seconds getting on the ball to spike it and stop the clock.

By the way, the run gained maybe two yards.


So yeah, I'm not overreacting. The Titans may not be the best team in the league, but they should be able to easily handle their 0-13 arch rival.

So, step it up, Munchak. Titans fans have had enough of your Jeff Fisher clone stuff. The fans are not going to apathetically sit by and watch you run the team into the ground.

We have seen a Super Bowl, deep playoff runs, and quite a few winning seasons. We know what success is, and whatever the heck you are doing, Munchak, is not successful.