Tennessee Titans: The Table Is Set for Jake Locker to Have Success in 2014

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Tennessee Titans: The Table Is Set for Jake Locker to Have Success in 2014
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

New head coach Ken Whisenhunt and his staff are currently in the midst of bringing dramatic changes to the Tennessee Titans, and it's maximizing Jake Locker's potential for success more than ever.

Locker has really struggled to live up to his eighth overall selection in the 2011 NFL draft due to constant changes on offense and not being able to stay healthy.

He realistically has one more chance to show his worth as the franchise quarterback for the Titans.

The moves that have been made this offseason have done nothing but increase Locker's chances of enjoying his most successful season coming up in 2014. It starts with the Titans continuing to show attention to their offensive line.

The addition of Michael Oher is a major upgrade over an aging and injury-prone David Stewart. He will provide solid blocking for the Titans' running game as well help the Titans avoid playing behind the chains.

Michael Roos is entering a contract year and Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean suggests that the Titans should do everything in their power to give him an extension this offseason.

Also look for Chance Warmack to improve in his second NFL season and veteran Andy Levitre to play much better, as he'll be 100 percent healthy.

The Titans also added offensive weapon Dexter McCluster in free agency. It's up for debate if the Titans overpaid for McCluster's services, but he'll definitely benefit Locker in the offense. Just simple checkdown throws to McCluster will have the possibility of turning into big plays for the offense.

Most importantly, Locker is getting a fresh start under a much better offensive coaching staff than what he was playing for in his previous seasons. Whisenhunt will maximize Locker's potential and we'll know for certain if he truly is a bust after the upcoming season.

Playing in Whisenhunt's offense should keep Locker from having to run so often, making him less vulnerable to another injury.

Finally, the defense is also going through major changes that will make the Titans much more competitive. Retaining Bernard Pollard and Antonio Johnson was important and Coty Sensabaugh looks to be ready to replace the departed Alterraun Verner.

The free-agency additions of Wesley Woodyard and Al Woods are also small pieces that will make a difference.

Having a stingy defense will in effect help Locker's ability to manage games, as he will not have to win in shootout fashion every week. That's just not the type of quarterback he is at this point in his NFL career. He needs a solid defense backing him up in 2014, much like what Russell Wilson has enjoyed with Seattle.

No one is saying that the Titans defense is anywhere close to that of Seattle, but it is improving into a respected one.

Locker is entering a make-or-break season for his NFL career and his odds of succeeding are getting better as the team around him continues to get better.

It will, of course, be up to Locker to seize the opportunity and play a big role in the Titans returning to postseason.

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