UPDATE: Locker arrived at Father Ryan High School at approximately 9:40 a.m. CT to meet and work out with his teammates.
Jake Locker is on his way to Nashville and hopes to join his new Tennessee Titans teammates for workouts at Father Ryan High School on Tuesday.
Locker, whose flight into Nashville had been delayed a bit on Monday evening, was still hopeful of arriving in town in time to work out. He is staying with receiver Damian Williams, who is also a client of Athletes First.
“Damian and I are represented by the same agency, so we've had a chance to be at some of the same functions and I've been able to talk with him,” Locker told TitanInsider.
Locker, the eighth pick overall in the draft, has been a Titan for a month, but because of the lockout has not been able to spend any time with his new teammates or the coaches. The part about his teammates is about to change come Tuesday.
“I just want to spend some time with the guys and get familiar with them and get comfortable with them and kind of forge a little bit of a relationship with them,” Locker said.
The rookie quarterback will spend 10 days in Nashville, which will allow him to be present for the first day of Cortland Finnegan's informal mini-camp on June 8. He hopes to use this opportunity to familiarize himself with as many things Titans-related as he can.
“I can get out there with some guys that have been in the league for a little while and guys have been with the Titans,” he said .” It's a chance to get out there and work with them for a little bit and get familiar with them.”
Locker is in a situation where, were it not for the work stoppage would be in the middle of off-season work by now. The practices at Father Ryan can help compensate somewhat for that, despite the fact that Locker won't be able to meet with new offensive coordinator Chris Palmer.
“It's a little different, from a mental standpoint,” Locker said. “We're probably not going to be able to get in as much as we would if it was a normal year, but I think it's just kind of (about) getting there and making the best of the situation.”
While the Titans have said they would like to sign a veteran quarterback to mentor Locker, the rookie said he is taking the studious approach to the situation, in order to make the most of his opportunity whenever it comes. There is the chance Locker could go the route of Mark Sanchez, Matt Ryan or Sam Bradford and ear the job right away. Or he could sit behind a veteran until the coaching staff feels he is ready to start. Either way is OK with Locker, though the competitor in him would like sooner rather than later.
“I've said throughout this process that my goal is to be prepared when I get my opportunity and take advantage, whether that's the first game of the year, or the middle of the year or next year, whenever it is,” Locker said. “I'm going to do everything I can to prepare myself when I do get that opportunity and capitalize on it. My goal is to be as competitive as possible throughout the whole process and to give myself the opportunity to play as early as I can.”
The Titans don't yet know who that veteran quarterback to mentor Locker will be, but one potential candidate is Matt Hasselbeck, who is a free agent in Seattle. Actually, Locker and Hasselbeck have already forged a friendship over the past couple of months. Hasselbeck has been working out at the University of Washington during the lockout, and his path has crossed with the Titans' rookie.
“Matt was working out at the school. We've been working out together on and off the last couple of months,” Locker said. “We threw together a couple of times together and spent some time together. I've gotten to know him a little better through this process.”