It took Jake Locker all of one informal workout to show that things are going to be different when it comes to the quarterback position with the Tennessee Titans.
After his first workout on Tuesday with his new teammates at Father Ryan High School, the rookie quarterback politely asked the media not to make such a big fuss over his arrival in Nashville during the lockout.
“I don't want this to come off wrong or sound bad, but I'm not sure how this works out here, but I hope you guys won't be here everyday because I don't want my teammates to see me getting a lot of attention and have everything focused on me during these workouts,” Locker told the media present at his initial workout.
That’s a far cry from the way his predecessor Vince Young operated while he was the Titans quarterback. Young might say that the focus wasn't about him, but his actions and ego spoke otherwise. Young had his times when he didn’t want to talk to the media either, but more often than not, it was because he didn’t want to be held accountable for his shortcomings and mistakes - often treating media sessions with the same zeal he treated extra film study.
In truth, Young loved the celebrity that he and his legacy in Texas created, but he didn’t love the work involved to ascend to the top of his profession. Locker appears to be just the opposite, and for the Titans players, coaches and front office – even though the lockout has everything on hold right now – that has to be a refreshing sign of change.
“He's a good kid, he's smart and a fun guy,” said receiver Damian Williams, who is putting Locker up at his house for the time he is in Nashville. “It seems like he's ready to learn. From the ride home from the airport he was picking my brain asking questions, asking about the teammates and he really wants to get involved.”
Added receiver Marc Mariani, “I wasn't surprised at all he showed up to these workouts. I've heard too many good things about him and I know he's a great guy. I think there will be a lot of positive things to come with this whole group.”
Locker has a long way to go before coming a polished NFL quarterback, but if first impressions are meaningful, he is already a step ahead of where the Titans have been for the past few years.