The sample size from Jake Locker was small last season. He played just five full games and parts of two others.
In an examination of quarterbacks in dropbacks, rollouts and scrambles from Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus, there are more numbers than I could possibly know what to do with.
But a few struck me with regard to Locker, and to a lesser extent the since-departed Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The Titans didn’t get the line play they should have last season considering what they invested in the positions. Under a new staff, and with Michael Oher and Taylor Lewan now in the tackle mix, Locker has to have more time to throw.
Fitzpatrick found more time -- 2.64 seconds on average.
2) Locker had one of the highest average dropback depths in the league at 8.1 yards. The only guys with an average as high or higher: Matt McGloin, Geno Smith, Case Keenum, Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell. (Fitzpatrick’s number was 7.7.)
The Titans avoided the quick game and three-step drops for Locker. He’s 6-foot-3, which isn’t short but doesn’t qualify as tall for an NFL quarterback. In order to see things better, "Shorter" guys need to get some distance between them and pass-rushers looking to bat balls down.
So the Titans ran more five- and seven-step drops, which are supposed to be 7 and 9 yards deep, respectively.
3) Locker scrambled only 11 times, and was certainly limited in that regard when he returned from knee and hip injuries to play in three games before he suffered the season-ending foot injury.
Locker rolled out only 10 times, and completed just two of seven attempts on those plays. That is ridiculously low, even factoring in that once he was hurt they were more reluctant to put him on the move. Though Locker made good game-to-game progress in the first four games of the season (getting hurt in the fourth), the Titans should have rolled him out more often.
His skill set dictates that he get out to the edge and throw on the move more often. The conflict is that an injury-prone quarterback is more apt to get hurt when sent out into space in such a fashion.