There is only so much any player can do in OTAs and minicamp to change his status or seize a role.
Still, in May, OTAs are all they’ve got. It is a time for incremental progress and setting a tone.
The Titans started OTAs today. In their 10 sessions plus a three-day minicamp, quarterback Jake Locker can take another step in seizing control of the team and showing he’s the unquestioned leader of it.
A year ago he was in a competition with Matt Hasselbeck for the starting job. This is the first time Locker is the unquestioned starter at this time of year.
The franchise wants him to lead.
The team wants to follow him.
I believe he wants to lead. But I find him a bit wishy-washy when he’s been presented with questions on the topic, talking about how it’s not for him to declare himself a leader and he’s got to earn it.
Sure, well done is better than well said, as Ben Franklin informed us and Tom Brady likes to repeat.
But there is nothing wrong with stating clear intentions about grabbing the reins and not letting go. Sending a message regarding intent to a group who wants to hear it is a good thing.
I hope Locker will show some of that.
Locker and leadership was one topic I discussed with Mike Munchak this week.
“This time of year it’s building relationships with the offense, with the skill players, with the offensive line, the center," Munchak said. “We want to see him continue that part, with him and the receivers, having a good feel, seeing the same thing, their expectations of each other.
“I think last year it was hard for him to do some of that with him and Matt competing. It’s a lot better this year where we know it’s going to be him. They know who they’ll be working with, they know he’s going to be with that group on Sundays playing.”
Things are different now with Dowell Loggains as the offensive coordinator. He took over for the fired Chris Palmer late last season. The big changes, however, had to wait for the offseason.
Routes and progressions will be a lot different, based less on reacting to coverage.
“A lot of it will be a lot easier so he can play faster,” Munchak said. “I’m looking forward to watching that develop and how he personalizes a lot of stuff with different receivers or what he’s looking it, what he likes. I think that’s the main part as we watch the offense come together.”