Jake Locker had to come back from shoulder surgery.
And he still has to prove he can stop throwing picks.
But the Titans quarterback has done something more important during OTAs,, taking control of the locker room and making the job his own.
“The thing I wanted him to do, No. 1, was to take over the team,” offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said, via Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “And this has become his team to the point where he takes over and spreads the message. Watching his interaction with the other players, and how they react to him, he handles himself well and that is his gift.
“Guys respect Jake, and I think the guys know all he cares about is winning.”
He had to display that first in his comeback from surgery on his non-throwing shoulder, and Locker used that as a chance to prove how serious he was.
“Physically he is in the best shape of his life. The dude is a beast,” wide receiver Marc Mariani said. “As a quarterback, he wins every sprint in conditioning drills. He is just an animal.
“And he is a natural-born leader. Jake is a guy people look at as an example, and that is what you look for in your leader, your quarterback.”
For all the moves the Titans have made this offseason, they won’t matter that much if Locker reverts to last year’s form. If he’s truly the kind of quarterback you can build around, they’ll have a chance.