2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Jake Locker showing signs of growth as Titans QB

By TERESA M. WALKER - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-26 17:37

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Titans will go as far this season as Jake Locker takes them.

That's been the conventional wisdom since owner Bud Adams approved spending more than $100 million to shore up the defense, better protect the young quarterback and to give Locker more help on offense.

Now Locker is coming off arguably his best game in just his 14th start. Locker, Peyton Manning and Alex Smith are the only starting quarterbacks yet to be intercepted in their first three games.

Behind Locker, the Titans are off to an unexpected 2-1 start with the New York Jets (2-1) up next on Sunday.

Coach Mike Munchak believes it has helped his third-year quarterback knowing he was the starter from Day 1 this year and that Locker has gotten better each game.

``We've been talking about what we think he can do,'' Munchak said. ``He hasn't put in one full season yet. I think he's going to do this a lot more when necessary. Everyone knows how we feel about him, but it has to happen on the field. We get that, we all know that, and so does he. I think he had the opportunity presented to him and went 94 yards.''

Locker's accuracy has been his biggest issue and the reason why so many people questioned Tennessee for making him the eighth overall draft pick in 2011.

This offseason, the Titans brought in three new starters to bolster the offensive line and better protect Locker. They also signed a new tight end in Delanie Walker and drafted another receiver in Justin Hunter to give him as much help as possible.

Against San Diego, Locker got the ball at the Titans 6 with 2:05 left and no timeouts trailing 20-13. Locker completed seven passes to six different receivers and capped the drive by throwing a 34-yard touchdown pass to Hunter with 15 seconds left for a 20-17 victory. It was the second straight week Locker led a successful fourth-quarter drive of 90-plus yards. He took the Titans 99 yards for a TD in a 30-24 overtime loss at Houston

Unlike quarterbacks like Russell Griffin III, Russell Wilson or even Cam Newton, Locker didn't start as a rookie. He won the starting job in training camp going into his second season but hurt his left, non-throwing shoulder in the opener. He missed five games after aggravating the injury and wound up throwing for 2,176 yards with 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions for a 74 passer rating. He completed just 56.4 percent of his passes.

The Titans haven't asked Locker to take over games throwing yet. He is completing more of his passes at a rate of 58.6 percent and has three TD passes.

Jets coach Rex Ryan sees an improving quarterback in Locker.

``Clearly, he's always been great at running when he tucks that ball in and runs,'' Ryan said. ``I think he's averaged about 7 yards a carry throughout his career. He's a dual-threat that way because he can run with it, but he's become more accurate as a passer.''

Locker also is running more, taking advantage of his mobility that helped him run for 29 TDs in college. He had his longest run in the NFL against San Diego, going 39 yards up the middle of the field. He finished with 68 yards, his best rushing performance yet.

``Jake's a playmaker, and that's what we expect of him,'' receiver Nate Washington said. ``He prides himself on anything he can do to help us win he'll do. We're behind him 110 percent.''

Notes: WR Kenny Britt returned to practice Thursday but was limited by a cracked rib. RT David Stewart (right leg) also returned and was limited. TE Delanie Walker (right toe) did not practice but took part in a walk-through. DT Sammie Hill (right ankle), RB Shonn Greene (right knee) and LB Patrick Bailey (hamstring) did not practice.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Tony RomoJul 27 10:59a

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will sit out practice Friday, July 25 as part of a preplanned day off, according to Jason Garrett. Romo is scheduled to take [ More ]

Brian TymsJul 27 10:12a

The New England Patriots signed WR Brian Tyms (Browns) Sunday, July 27. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Geno SmithJul 27 10:05a

New York Jets QB Geno Smith received 16 snaps with the first-team offense during practice Saturday, July 26, while QB Michael Vick received three snaps. Smith has received 42 [ More ]

Davin MeggettJul 27 09:02a

The Indianapolis Colts re-signed RB Davin Meggett (Redskins) Sunday, July 27. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

J.T. ThomasJul 27 01:12a

Jacksonville Jaguars TE D.J. Tialavea (quadriceps) and LB J.T. Thomas (hamstring) left practice early Saturday, July 26, because of injuries. Thomas was carted off the field after suffering his injury.

Darius JohnsonJul 27 01:02a

Free-agent WR Darius Johnson (Falcons) was arrested in May by the Atlanta Police Department for driving under the influence, expired or no driver's license on person, failure to have [ More ]

Willie YoungJul 27 12:32a

Chicago Bears DE Willie Young (quadriceps) left practice early Saturday, July 26, because of a sore quadriceps, according to head coach Marc Trestman.

Quentin GrovesJul 27 12:12a

The Houston Texans will sign free-agent LB Quentin Groves (Browns).

Lawrence SidburyJul 27 12:12a

Updating a previous report, the Houston Texans have signed free-agent LB Lawrence Sidbury (Colts). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Andre JohnsonJul 27 12:02a

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson said he will be moved around to different spots in head coach Bill O'Brien's offensive system.

Brian HoyerJul 27 12:02a

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer (knee) said he will wear a brace on his surgically repaired knee during the entire season. He said he does not believe it will affect his play much.

Cam ThomasJul 26 11:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers DEs Cam Thomas, Brian Arnfelt and Stephon Tuitt all received snaps at left defensive end with the first-team defense during practice Saturday, July 26.

Ben GardnerJul 26 11:12p

Dallas Cowboys DE Ben Gardner (shoulder) suffered a shoulder injury during practice Saturday, July 26, and is scheduled to undergo an MRI.

Mike NealJul 26 11:02p

Green Bay Packers LB Mike Neal (abdomen) and Nick Perry (foot, knee) is close to coming off the Physically Unable to Perform list and participating in practice, according to head coach Mike McCarthy.

Lawrence SidburyJul 26 10:22p

The Houston Texans are expected to sign free-agent LB Lawrence Sidbury (Colts), according to a source.

Tim FuggerJul 26 10:12p

New York Jets WR Quincy Enunwa (hip) and LB Tim Fugger (ankle) did not participate in practice Saturday, July 26.

K. ThompkinsJul 26 10:02p

New England Patriots WR Kenbrell Thompkins (undisclosed) was not able to finish practice Saturday, July 26, after he slid on the ground during the later portions of practice. The [ More ]

Tommy KellyJul 26 10:02p

New England Patriots DT Tommy Kelly (knee) participated in some of the team's walkthrough Saturday, July 26, and has been activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Vince WilforkJul 26 10:02p

New England Patriots DT Vince Wilfork (Achilles') said his surgically repaired Achilles' tendon responded well during one-on-one rush drills during practice Saturday, July 26.

Tyler GaffneyJul 26 09:02p

Carolina Panthers RB Tyler Gaffney (knee) will miss the entire 2014 season because of a torn lateral meniscus in his knee.

Jimmy StatenJul 26 08:32p

Seattle Seahawks OG Nate Isles (hand) suffered a left hand injury during practice Saturday, July 26, while DT Jimmy Staten suffered a leg injury.

Phillip TannerJul 26 07:32p

Free-agent RB William Powell (Eagles), RB Orwin Smith (Packers) and Phillip Tanner (Cowboys) worked out for the Seattle Seahawks Saturday, July 26.

Rokevious WatkinsJul 26 06:52p

The Kansas City Chiefs waived OG Rokevious Watkins (back) with the non-football injury designation.

Alex OkaforJul 26 06:32p

Arizona Cardinals OLB Alex Okafor is filling in for OLB John Abraham (personal) as the starting weakside linebacker.

Mark AsperJul 26 06:12p

The Buffalo Bills released OG Mark Asper.

Tony MoeakiJul 26 06:12p

Buffalo Bills TE Tony Moeaki (hamstring) will be out a significant amount of time with a hamstring injury. TE Chris Gragg (dehydration) is expected back by next week.

Aaron RossJul 26 06:12p

Baltimore Ravens CB Aaron Ross (Achilles') was placed on Injured Reserve with a torn Achilles'.

Dominique JonesJul 26 06:02p

The Buffalo Bills signed free-agent TE Dominique Jones (Chiefs) to an undisclosed deal.

B. RoethlisbergerJul 26 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger concentrated on strengthening his throwing arm in the offseason and said it is the strongest it has been in his career. He also worked [ More ]

Bobby RaineyJul 26 05:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James is working with the second-team offense Saturday, July 26. It's still early, and Bobby Rainey could still figure into the mix at the [ More ]

Sean McGrathJul 26 04:32p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Sean McGrath has decided to retire, according to head coach Andy Reid.

Devon StillJul 26 03:52p

Cincinnati Bengals DT Devon Still (back) has been cleared to practice. Still was listed on the physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group