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

Adrian PetersonApr 16 02:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has been informed that he will be reinstated from the commissioner exempt list starting Friday, April 17.

Sammy WatkinsApr 15 11:33p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (hip) is able to work out in some capacity during the team's offseason program, although head coach Rex Ryan indicated Wednesday, April 15, that [ More ]

Kai ForbathApr 15 10:53p

Washington Redskins restricted free-agent PK Kai Forbath posted on social media Wednesday, April 15, that he has re-signed with the team. The club has not yet confirmed the signing.

George JohnsonApr 15 08:33a

Detroit Lions DE George Johnson was acquired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, April 15. Tampa signed Johnson to an offer sheet that was disputed by Detroit, but the [ More ]

Philip RiversApr 15 12:13a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers is under contract for one more season, and he has expressed a desire to play out his deal. However, the Chargers might be [ More ]

Josh GordyApr 14 06:03p

Free-agent CB Josh Gordy (Colts) signed a veteran minimum deal with the New York Giants Tuesday, April 14, according to a source.

Ricardo LocketteApr 14 05:23p

Seattle Seahawks WR Ricardo Lockette signed his exclusive-rights tender Tuesday, April 14.

Ike TaylorApr 14 09:32a

Free-agent CB Ike Taylor (Steelers) announced his retirement Tuesday, April 14.

Wade SmithApr 14 02:12a

Free-agent OG Wade Smith (Eagles) announced his retirement after 12 years in the National Football League.

Michael CrabtreeApr 14 01:13a

The Oakland Raiders are giving free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) a one-year, $3 million deal with another $2 million in incentives, a source said Monday, April 13.

Eben BrittonApr 14 01:03a

Free-agent OT Eben Britton (Bears) has been suspended four games by the NFL for an unspecified violation.

Matt ForteApr 13 08:02p

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte was not present for the start of the offseason workouts Monday, April 13, according to sources. Forte is entering the final year of his [ More ]

Cody LatimerApr 13 08:02p

Denver Broncos WR Cody Latimer, who is expected to line up across from WR Demaryius Thomas in 2015, has been praised by WR Emmanuel Sanders, who figures to move [ More ]

Joe MaysApr 13 04:32p

Free-agent LB Joe Mays (Chiefs) signed an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Monday, April 13.

Zackary BowmanApr 13 02:22p

Free-agent CB Zack Bowman (Giants) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Monday, April 13.

Sean RichardsonApr 13 02:02p

Green Bay Packers restricted free-agent SS Sean Richardson will remain with the Packers after the team decided to match the one-year, $2.55 million offer he signed with the Oakland Raiders, according to a source.

Sean RichardsonApr 12 10:02a

Green Bay Packers restricted free-agent SS Sean Richardson signed an offer sheet with the Oakland Raiders, and the Packers have until Monday, April 13, to inform him if they [ More ]

Jason CampbellApr 12 07:02a

Free-agent QB Jason Campbell (Bengals) is considering retirement, according to sources close to the team. Campbell has rejected multiple opportunities to sign a contract for 2015, including offers from [ More ]

James CaseyApr 11 01:02p

Free-agent TE James Casey (Eagles) agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Saturday, April 11. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Johnny ManzielApr 11 12:22p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel has been released from his rehab facility.

Victor ButlerApr 10 03:22p

New York Giants LB Victor Butler has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing drugs.

Anthony SpencerApr 10 01:12p

Free-agent DE Anthony Spencer (Cowboys) signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints Friday, April 10. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Charles TillmanApr 9 04:02p

Free-agent CB Charles Tillman (Bears) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Thursday, April 9. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rob HouslerApr 9 12:42p

Free-agent TE Rob Housler (Cardinals) has agreed to terms with the Cleveland Browns on a one-year deal, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Le'Veon BellApr 9 09:52a

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell was suspended three games and fined an additional game check after violating the league's substance abuse policy, according to league sources. He has appealed.

Stevan RidleyApr 8 07:53p

New York Jets RB Stevan Ridley signed a one-year deal with the team.

Amobi OkoyeApr 8 04:53p

Dallas Cowboys DT Amobi Okoye was released Wednesday, April 8.

Emmanuel LamurApr 8 03:43p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Emmanuel Lamur officially re-signed Wednesday, April 8, to a one-year, $2.356 million deal.

Adrian PetersonApr 8 01:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is 'highly unlikely' to face more suspension from the league when he's finally off the Commissioner's Exempt List, according to a source. Peterson's next [ More ]

George JohnsonApr 7 10:23p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed restricted free-agent DE George Johnson (Lions) to a three-year offer sheet Tuesday, April 7. Financial terms are undisclosed. The Lions have five days to match the offer.

Le'Veon BellApr 7 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell is expected to be suspended for the first two games of next season, according to sources. Bell is being suspended following an arrest last [ More ]

Erin HendersonApr 7 05:13p

Free-agent LB Erin Henderson (Vikings) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Tuesday, April 7, according to a source. Henderson didn't play last year [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group