NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans know that center
“We’re not really leaning any way; it’s just that Jake (Locker) has done well,” Munchak said. “He was better today; did everything we wanted him to do, and now we need to spend some time with him, talk as an offense, and decide what we think is best for Sunday.”
Munchak said Locker will have a “big say” in the decision that will be based largely on what the quarterback and team think he can do and any limitations that may still exist, particularly with his mobility.
“That’s the thing we have to be comfortable with; that’s the stuff you look at to see how much we had him to do this week and if that would affect our game plan,” Munchak said. “Those are the factors you have to think about that maybe we like what we’re seeing, and, ‘Hey, he got through practice, but ultimately, we don’t think it’s in his best interest to play right now because of these things.’
“That’s where we’ll make that decision and let him know we decided not to play him for this reason or this reason,” Munchak continued. “So, that’s the hard part of this because there’s only so much you can find out in practice. The good thing is he didn’t have a major problem where it was easy to say he can’t play. So, at least that’s a good thing, but that doesn’t mean you’re ready to play 70 plays on Sunday either. You kind of have to weigh the other factors, and it’s hard.”
Locker is 69-of-111 passing for 721 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions for a passer rating of 99.0. Locker had a career-high three TD passes against the New York Jets before leaving the game in the third quarter after he was pinballed on hits by Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples.
Munchak said the Titans (3-3) added reps this week so that Locker and Fitzpatrick could feel as prepared as possible to face the 49ers (4-2).
The Titans used Thursday to put the most physical stress on Locker to challenge his mobility and see how his body responded, and he took a considerable amount of throws to the end zone during the part of practice that is open to the media. Munchak said the amount of Friday’s total reps were “pretty close.”
He said Locker’s recovery accelerated this week (click here for the transcript of Munchak’s practice report).
As for Schwenke’s part in the exchange, the fourth-round pick hasn’t done many snaps with Locker or Fitzpatrick but said he felt like he’s already developed a familiarity with both. The Titans are moving Schwenke into the role after starting
“I don’t know what the whole situation is, and honestly I don’t know who is playing, so it’s really a matter of getting that feel down,” Schwenke said. “I haven’t snapped to Jake that much at all through the year, so just getting comfortable with him at all, you kind of hold on to that, because I haven’t snapped to Fitz in weeks and it’s the same thing, you still have that connection and feel. I feel like after a few snaps now, I’m completely comfortable with either of them.”
Schwenke played collegiately at California, across the bay from San Francisco, where he was surrounded by 49ers fans. He’s expecting a challenge from the defending NFC champs, but is excited about the opportunity. Schwenke and right guard
“It’s going to make it fun,” Schwenke said. “I don’t know if it’s going to help us play football any better but we’re going to have that attitude that we’re out there to have fun and beat up on people.”