32 to 1: Locker's Titans at No. 31 in 'worst to first' countdown (VIDEO)
Jul 2, 2014 at 12:00a ET
Ruston Webster isn't quitting on Jake Locker.
To the Titans' general manager, Locker isn't a proven franchise quarterback just yet. That's why the team declined to pick up Locker's option for 2015. But that doesn't mean he'll be out as Tennessee's quarterback after this upcoming season -- Locker remains the expected starter and, according to his GM, was doing just fine four games into last season when he had thrown six touchdown passes and zero interceptions for a 3-1 team.
Had it not been for the hip and foot injuries that sidelined him for nine of the team's games, Locker might have more people believing in him right now.
"Had he stayed healthy, that would've made a big difference in our season," Webster told FOX Sports recently. "It's not enough to play well when you're healthy. You've got to be out there every week. But yeah, it was headed toward being a very good year for Jake."
Locker must now stay healthy and click with new coach Ken Whisenhunt, who has done fine work with some quarterbacks in recent years. Locker had a good spring in OTAs and minicamp and figures to hold off new addition Charlie Whitehurst for the starting job come Week 1. Beyond that, it'll depend on Locker's health and caliber of play as to whether he remains in Tennessee for another season and beyond.
Making it a bit more difficult for Locker is the fact Titans cut running back Chris Johnson (after signing the versatile Dexter McCluster) and didn't use their 11th overall pick to address an immediate need. With that selection, they could've taken an offensive weapon in Odell Beckham Jr., who was drafted by the New York Giants one slot behind the Titans, or added one of the defensive prospects who went right after their pick. Instead, they went for value over need by taking offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, who figures to sit behind Michael Oher and Michael Roos.
The Titans certainly have their holes, though Webster isn't convinced quarterback is one of them. Locker will get one more chance to prove him right.