Charlie Bernstein: Jake Locker seems like a bit of an enigma to the outside NFL world. He sometimes looks great, sometimes bad, but injured far too often. How do the Titans feel about Locker at this point and is there a better chance of him being on the roster next year or not on the roster next year?
Greg Arias:Jake Locker is the type person that any team would want as their starting quarterback if it were all about the heart, desire and attitude and is very involved in the community. He has all those things and is a good leader and locker room guy, but as you said he can't seem to stay healthy. I think that is the biggest problem for Jake. If he could stay healthy and get some games under his belt we might have a better idea of what he can actually do. I don't think he is the ideal type player that Ken Whisenhunt envisions for his offense and unless Jake can stay healthy and turn this team around then I can't see him being here next season regardless of they type person he is outside the game.
CB: Tennessee has a lot invested in their offensive line, yet they are rated pretty poorly (22nd) according to PFF (Pro Football Focus). Have they been as bad as the rating and which spots are cause for concern?
GA:I read those ratings too and while there is certainly concern with the offensive line, I'm not sure how much faith I put into those ratings personally. That said, the offensive line was supposed to be a strength of this team and they have struggled at times. Brian Schwenke and Chance Warmack, two second year guys have played like young guys at times. Andy Levitire has struggled the most so far and I personally think that his appendectomy surgery that he had during training camp has taken him longer to overcome that the team initially thought it would take for him to be back at full strength. Michael Oher to me has been solid, though he has had some mistakes, but his play is what the team had hoped for overall. Michael Roos has been steady but now there is concern with his injured right knee that he could be lost for the season. We should know more about him as the week goes on but if he is indeed done for the year then rookie first round pick Taylor Lewan will step in. There is no doubt that their play must improve overall, and they were called out publicly this week by Ken Whisenhunt.
CB: The Titans rushing defense is ranked 26th in the league, yet they have one of the most underrated players in the NFL in Jurrell Casey. Is the ranking a product of being behind and having teams attempt more runs to run out the clock?
GA: Jurrell Casey has played well, though if you ask him he will say that he has struggled the last two weeks. As far as the defense they have struggled against the run, especially against Dallas and Cleveland, but not because they were behind. Dallas had their way with the Titans and DeMarco Murray had a great day. They played better against Cincinnati and Indianapolis but over all they have struggled to stop the run against teams that have strong running games. If Jacksonville can come in and have success running the football then their chances of winning go up substantially.
CB: It's probably too soon to tell if Jake Locker will suit up on Sunday, but what's your gut feeling? How much of a drop off is there from Locker to Charlie Whitehurst?
GA:Jake did not practice Wednesday, and we did not see him do anything football related. When he was first injured two weeks ago he was unable to use his right hand at all, and was seen doing everything with his left hand. Today however we saw him doing some things in the locker room and using his injured hand more than the first time. Jake said he thought he would play and he may well, but we will have to see if he improves tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday. If he does not practice either day then I doubt that Whisnhunt will play him with no practice. As far as the drop off between Jake and Charlie, it is definitely mobility. Jake can scramble and make plays with his feet while Charlie is more of a pocket guy who could be an easy target for Jacksonville's outstanding pass rush. Jake also probably has a stronger arm. Charlie knows the offense and is capable of playing good football, as he did last week in relief of Jake, but he will definitely cause some changes in the game plan.
CB: As poorly as the Titans have played, they are still just two games out of first place in the AFC South. Obviously when a winless team comes to your house it's a must-win situation, but how confident are the Titans and their fan base that they can make a run and salvage this season?
GA:The team is saying all the right things and for being in the locker room with them daily I tend to believe them that they are not in panic mode and that the team is still on the same page. This is definitely a must win however, and we only have to go back to last November to remember a winless Jacksonville team coming in here and beating a then 4-4 Titans team. That loss was the key to last season, and the players certainly remember it. As for the fans, that's a totally different story. Fan apathy is perhaps higher than it has ever been since the team arrived here. Through the first two home games (Dallas and Cleveland) the visitor have had as many, or more fans in the stands than the Titans and it was reenforced last week when the Browns took the lead and their fans were louder than the Titans fans were at any point in the game. The majority of callers I get on my radio show are so down on the team right now that some are already calling for a coaching change. Jake is obviously a target of the same comments, and most fans have already conceded this season as over. I'm actually expecting a very sparse crowd Sunday, unless the Jacksonville crowd shows up in force.
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