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Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Locker should wow Whisenhunt from start

By Paul Kuharsky

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Ken Whisenhunt's big assessment of Jake Locker will come after the new coach is in his post, not before.

Locker
At this stage, he's leaning on the opinion of the general manager, Ruston Webster, who picked him out more than the other way around.

"I really trust Ruston and his assessment of our team, and his staff, and I think that's part of the process," Whisenhunt said. "Plus, you can look at some of the things that he had on tape. Hopefully I'll get a chance to sit with him and talk with him, because that's a big piece of the puzzle too.

"Everything I've heard about Jake as far as a student of the game and how he works, has been positive. With the successful guys that I've been around, that's a big piece of it, so that'll help."

The question has never been about whether Locker will be on the roster in 2014 -- he's got a salary of just over $2 million and it's guaranteed. It's more about the quarterbacks Whisenhunt and the Titans are compelled to also have on the roster.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is heading into the second year of a two-year deal and Tyler Wilson was signed late in the season as a developmental guy. Rusty Smith is set to become a free agent.

Locker has said he's OK with competition so long as he's got a shot at claiming the starting job. I think he'd be wise to tell Whisenhunt in their first meeting that he intends to be the starter and will do whatever it takes to earn the role.

"I'm excited about the hire and looking forward to having the opportunity to work with coach Whisenhunt," Locker told Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. "He has always had very successful offenses and I look forward to learning from him."