Jake Ends Preseason On High Note

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Often times young quarterbacks in the NFL must take advantage of the extended playing time the final Preseason Game typically brings. Not only did Jake get significant time Thursday night, he made sure his performance wouldn’t disappoint, either.

Jake led the Titans to an impressive 32-9 victory over the Saints in New Orleans, connecting on 15 of 17 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown. He also led the team in rushing with 39 yards on 3 carries, including a 22 yard scramble for a touchdown that helped catpult the Titans to a 22-0 halftime lead.

“It was great to get a lot of work,” Jake said. “I thought we played well as a unit. The more snaps I get as a rookie, the better. I can’t wait for the regular season to start so it counts for real.”

For the Preseason, Jake ended with 32 of 49 passing for 316 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception. He also ran for 64 yards and a touchdown on 8 carries.

Jake Enjoys Successful First NFL Game; Titans Win 14-3

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It may have not been how they designed it, but Jake’s first touchdown in the first game of his NFL career went from bad to good in the blink of an eye. After a bumbled snap from center Jake quickly recovered, rolled to his right and hit wideout Yamon Figurs with a 45-yard dart for a touchdown to break open a 7-0 lead.

After the game, Jake felt good about his first pro t.d.

“I wish that’s how we drew it up, but yeah I wasn’t ready for that snap count. Luckily we got a fortunate bounce and it went our way,” Jake said. “At first, I just wanted to get the ball back. Once I picked it up, I felt that we had really good protection and I kind of got outside the pocket a little bit. I was looking to either run or throw it away and I saw Yamon (Figurs) waving his arms back there by himself.”

It was the first of two scoring drives that Jake led in the evening, propelling the Titans to a 14-3 win over the visiting Minnesota Vikings. For the night Jake was 7-10 for 89 yards and the touchdown. He played in 5 series, leading the team to two touchdowns and a long drive that ended in a missed field goal. Overall, a solid showing for the first year player and Titans first year coach Mike Munchak agreed.

“The one he threw (on) the touchdown, I think he actually fumbled the snap, but goes and makes the play. That’s what we saw in him. That’s the kind of things he can do.”

Jake and the Titans will face the Rams next weekend in their second preseason game. The game will be a 7:00 kick-off CDT.

Here is a link of Jake’s post-game interview.

Jake Signs 4-Year Contract With Titans

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It seems like April’s NFL draft was long ago and many wondered if this season would ever get off the ground because of the ongoing labor dispute between the owners and players. But, earlier this week the NFLPA agreed to terms with Team Owners and the race towards the season commenced at a frenzied pace.

Meanwhile, Jake has been keeping himself ready to go and once both sides reached an agreement it was finally time to negotiate his player contract with Tennessee. Almost 90 days after the draft and 4 days into the new collective bargaining agreement, Jake signed his deal: a 4 year contract with an option for a 5th year. Jake’s contract comes just in time for the start of an abbreviated training camp as he will be on the field for Tennessee’s first official practice Saturday.

Jake will be joined by new teammate Matt Hasselbeck, former 10-year starting quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks. Tennessee acquired Hasselbeck earlier this week to mentor Jake which will allow him to gradually grow into becoming Tennessee’s franchise quarterback.

Jake and Hasselbeck are familiar with each other as they worked out together at the University of Washington’s practice facilities during the offseason.

Last “Three for the Show” Episode Airs Tonight

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A quick reminder that “Three for the Show”, a 3-part documentary that chronicles Jake’s journey from college football to a pro career, will be on tonight at 5:00 p.m. A clip of the last episode can be found here.

A replay can be found on ESPN2 tomorrow evening.

Jake Speaks About NFL Opportunity, Titans

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In case you missed it, here is a transcript of Jake’s introduction press conference on Friday, his first appearance as the newest addition of the Tennessee Titans. Jake boarded a red-eye flight to get out to Tennessee for the press conference, only to return to Washington later that day.

And, here is an interview with ESPN Radio where he admitted he was even a little surprised that he was chosen so soon by Tennessee.

“I knew there was some interest,” Jake said of the Titans. “I just didn’t know there was enough to take me with that number eight pick.”

He went on to say that he is excited for the challenge of playing professional football and that he is looking forward to earning the trust of his coaches and teammates.

Tennessee Takes Jake at #8

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While there was some uncertainty where Jake was going to be selected in the 2011 NFL Draft, it didn’t take long to get the answer many have tried to ‘mock’ up the last few months.

In what appears to be a perfect fit for Jake, the Tennessee Titans selected him with the 8th pick–the second quarterback taken in the draft (Auburn Q.B. Cam Newton was taken #1 by Carolina). Less than an hour in, the dream of becoming an NFL Quarterback became realized and instantly he became the face of a Pro Football franchise.

For Jake, he has always insisted he never had doubts that his decision to come back for his senior season would impact him in his draft standing and that his confidence has never wavered. Those feelings were validated quickly by a team that is known to have valued his leadership qualities and competitive nature.

“I know what I’m capable of and I always have. I’ll believe in that forever, no matter what anybody says. And I think that’s what Tennessee sees in me,” Jake said at his news conference from the Ferndale High gym.

“I never had the doubts other people had. I knew what I was capable of and was confident in myself. So to be able to see somebody else have that same confidence means a lot to you. It’s a dream come true. It’s something I’ve thought about since I was a young kid and now to live it out, it’s rewarding.”

Jake will be taking a red-eye flight to Tennessee to be a part of a news conference in Nashville on Friday. And after all the interviews and questions over the last few months, this media event will surely be the sweetest one of all.

Commentary: Jake Awaits Imminent Culmination of Football Dream

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It has been 5 long collegiate seasons leading up to this moment, a stint that saw 2 different head coaches, ambitious schedules against stiff opponents and various physical setbacks. The road undoubtedly hasn’t been easy, and for Jake’s last 5 years it never went as scripted, either. The years of his college career was a roller coaster ride of highs and lows, an exhibit of perseverance, faith and character.

That ride ended the way it should have: on a Holiday Bowl high note. The loyal Senior deserved to taste the peak of success, and it was fitting that he was able to experience an impressive winning streak at the end of his last season along with sweet redemption in the biggest game of his college career. The storybook ending was tailor made for the determined leader who never waned in his approach or in his confidence.

Since that brisk December evening in San Diego, Jake has been front and center in every sports publication across the nation and a topic of every pundit and proclaimed expert from print, radio and t.v. There have been special articles worthy of a clip and save as well as t.v. productions that have provided a glimpse of who Jake Locker the person really is. Without question, Jake has been one of the most talked about pro prospects over the last 4 months. 

From the Senior Bowl to the Combine and from his Pro-day to a myriad of individual team workouts, there have been countless interviews, evaluations and auditions. All of it has been a journey to today, the start of the 2011 NFL Draft. As most people would have wilted under such a glaring light, Jake has embraced it with the same appreciative and positive attitude that has carried him throughout the last half-decade.

“It’s been fun, a dream come true and an opportunity. I’m lucky I get to experience it,” Jake has simply stated.

The over-analyzed portions of draft previews are soon to be just a memory and the dream of becoming a professional quarterback in the NFL will start to come into focus–a realization that could be as soon as tonight if he is taken in the first round. Regardless of what happens during the draft one thing is for sure: the winding path to today has brought a great opportunity, a well deserved and promising new beginning of what will likely be a bright NFL future.

See Jake’s Segment on ESPN’s E:60

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In case you missed it, here is the E:60 feature on Jake, “Money Comes Second,” televised earlier this afternoon on ESPN.

Jake To Be Part of ESPN’s ‘E:60′ Show Tuesday

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As the final stage of Jake’s progression from college football to the pros will come to a close on Thursday night during the NFL Draft, there will be a little more attention on him beforehand as he will be featured on ESPN’s in depth show ‘E:60′ tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. P.S.T.  The show will focus on Jake’s decision to forego entering the 2010 NFL draft and his level of commitment inside and outside of football. Here is a clip of the program:

Following the hour long program, the second part of ESPN’s series “Three For the Show” will air at 5 p.m. P.S.T. The 3 part documentary follows Jake (along with Tyrod Taylor and Cam Newton) from 2010′s preseason through February’s combine as he makes the transition to a career in pro football. The show features behind the scenes footage along with interviews from coaches, family and Jake himself.

Don’t Miss Jake in “Three for the Show”

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Jake had a very interesting year in his Senior Year at the University of Washington, and now everyone will get to see the behind the scenes action for themselves.

ESPN will be unveiling their “Three for the Show” program on ESPN this Tuesday night at 8 p.m. EST (check local listings), a mini documentary of Jake’s season as he takes the Huskies through the regular season and caps it with a Holiday Bowl victory over Nebraska.

If you would like to see a preview of the show, you can view it here. Jake will be one of three Quarterbacks featured in the program as part of ESPN’s ‘Year of the Quarterback’.