This time last year, Jake Locker started the process of competing for and eventually winning the starting quarterback job for the Tennessee Titans.

It was bound to happen sooner or later. After all, the former University of Washington quarterback had been deemed the franchise’s heir apparent at the position after being made the No. 8 overall pick in the 2011 draft. So, after sitting behind veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck as a rookie and working under then-offensive coordinator Chris Palmer and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains, Titans coach Mike Munchak eventually named him the starter during training camp.

The future had finally arrived at the position for the Titans, who were still reeling at the position from the implosion on and off the field by former starter Vince Young.

Locker’s debut as a starter last year was a dubious one. In the 11 games he played — four to start the season and seven to close after sitting out five games in the middle with a shoulder injury — he was inconsistent at best. The jury is still out on him as he enters his third season, one in which he is expected to not only take the offensive leadership reins and run with them, but to be a key reason for a turnaround from last season’s disappointing 6-10 record.

And what a difference a year makes for Locker.

Palmer was fired before last season could run its course, Hasselbeck signed with the Indianapolis Colts after not being re-signed by the Titans, and Loggains has been promoted to offensive coordinator and put in charge of implementing a new offensive philosophy that plays to Locker’s skill set.