Tennessee Titans

Stadium: LP Field | Coach: Ken Whisenhunt
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense29th90.4 (26th)213.2 (22nd)
Defense27th137.2 (31st)235.8 (15th)

Collins might not return to Titans

The Sports Xchange
Strategy And Personnel · Notes, Quotes · Collins might not return to Titans

Quarterback Kerry Collins might not be interested in returning to the Tennessee Titans to serve as a mentor to rookie Jake Locker. He will become a free agent once the lockout ends.

"I'm not sure Kerry isn't going to say, 'I'm done,' and ride off into the sunset," offensive lineman Jake Scott told Sirius XM NFL Radio. "I don't think he wants to come back and be a nursemaid to a young kid. Money's not an issue to him."

The next quarterback on the depth chart is second-year player Rusty Smith, meaning the Titans would likely seek to bring in another veteran for the 2011 season, although Locker could take over the starting job at some point depending on how quickly he picks up the offense and make the transition to the NFL.

After enduring five years of ups and downs with Vince Young, the Titans turned the page on that era of frustration when they drafted Locker.

There was no player in the draft that the Titans scrutinized more than Locker, who had endured an inconsistent senior season with the Huskies after he was projected as a potential top overall pick had he entered the draft in 2010.

The Titans spent more time with Locker than any other player in this draft, spending time with him at the Senior Bowl and Combine, then attending his pro day and staying over to hold a private workout with him. They then hosted him for a visit a couple of weeks before the draft.

"They stayed in touch with me throughout the process, and it was an awesome process to go through. I feel fortunate to have ended up with them," Locker said.

It was during the private workout that the Titans apparently became sold on Locker and decided that, despite some issues with footwork and accuracy, that he merited the eighth pick and the chance to direct the future of the franchise.

"When we went out to Washington to spend some time with him, and when I saw him work out with (offensive coordinator) Chris (Palmer), how he was responding to it and how competitive he was, just eyeballing how intense he was, I pictured myself being in the huddle with this guy and I thought, 'Man, these guys will love playing for this guy,'" new Titans coach Mike Munchak said of his first-ever pick as head coach.

In selecting Locker, the Titans not only bypassed Missouri's Blaine Gabbert, who was selected by AFC South rival Jacksonville two picks later, but also decided against Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley, who was regarded as almost a perfect fit for a defense that has plenty of holes to fill.

In the end, the combination of talent and intangibles were too much for the Titans to pass up, even as some draft experts projected Locker only to be worth a late first- or early second-round pick.

"We have a new culture here at the quarterback spot, a guy that's gonna be the first one in here, the last one out," Palmer said.

Vice president of player personnel Ruston Webster said Locker had everything the Titans were looking for in a new on-field leader.

"I think it was his leadership, his toughness, his smarts and his talent. He's a very talented young man with a lot of makeup," Webster said. "When everybody talks about him, they talk about his intangibles, but he's a very talented player. And that combination is going to bode well for him. He's got a great work ethic."

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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