NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans quarterback Jake Locker said Monday that his recovery from Lisfranc surgery is "probably a little ahead of schedule" for this point on the calendar.
Locker, who suffered the foot injury in November, participated in a media session as the Titans returned to Saint Thomas Sports Park for the opening of their 2014 offseason program.
"My foot is feeling really good, and responding to all the treatment that we've done, and as we've increased (the load) week-to-week, it hasn't added soreness or any pain, so things are going well," Locker said.
The fourth-year QB and new Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt are optimistic that Locker will be able to participate in on-field activities at some point next month.
"We've been able to do some things the last couple of weeks that we didn't think we'd be able to do this quick, so I'm hoping we continue on that trend and it could be even earlier than we think," Locker said.
One example of such a test is putting "explosive force" on his foot by jumping or lunging back and forth, but Locker is not ready for drop-back passing drills.
"That was something we thought we wouldn't get into until the end of this week or next and we were able to do it this week," Locker said. "It's one of those things where, not only were we able to do it, but the foot wasn't sore to the point where I couldn't do anything the next day. It's responded well day-after-day to the treatment that we've done."
Although Whisenhunt would like Locker back sooner than later to take reps in the Titans' new offensive system, the coach said the team will proceed with caution.
"Jake is a guy who is going to work hard and push it, which is an important part of rehab, but there's a fine line and we just have to make sure we're conservative on that," Whisenhunt said.
Monday marked the first time that Whisenhunt and Titans coaches were able to meet with players as a large group and in position groups. While discussing team policies and expectations and distributing new iPad playbooks, Whisenhunt also processed information.
"I think you could see the respect that the team has for Jake. They like him," Whisenhunt said. "He stood up today in front of the group to do part of, one of the things you work with on the first day is cadence because it's a new cadence and you're trying to get everybody on the same page. It's not always the easiest thing to do, but the interaction, you could tell was good. I think they understand that message."
Titans cornerback Jason McCourty said he thinks that once Locker is healthy, he'll return to the form that helped Tennessee start last season 3-1. McCourty said he saw Locker working out on his own in the weight room during a visit to the team's facility this offseason and said defensive players appreciate a quarterback with a work ethic like Locker's.
"I know that guy works his butt off and last year, before he got hurt, he was managing the game, zero turnovers, putting us in position to win football games," McCourty said. "I feel like when he gets back healthy, he's going to be able to pick up where he left off last year, so I'm excited for him."
THREE PLUS ONE?: In addition to Locker, the Titans have veteran backup QB Charlie Whitehurst, who signed as a free agent after spending six of his previous eight pro seasons in San Diego, and second-year pro Tyler Wilson, a 2013 fourth-round pick by Oakland who was signed off the Raiders' practice squad in December.
Whisenhunt said the Titans may or may not look to add another quarterback between now and when training camp opens in July.
"It depends on what opportunities are there," Whisenhunt said. "I don't know as much about these guys. I don't know much about Tyler, as far as the load. It worries me a little bit with only three because of the armload it takes in training camp; for mini-camp, for OTAs, you can get by. We'll probably look at the opportunity to have a fourth one in camp and see. A lot of it is making sure we get enough reps for Jake and Charlie, as well as giving Tyler an opportunity, too."
WIMBLEY RETURNING: Kamerion Wimbley, who joined the Titans as a free agent in 2012, will remain with Tennessee after re-working his multi-year contract, which was reported Monday.
Whisenhunt has discussed wanting to send waves of pass rushers at quarterbacks this season and recalled preparing for Wimbley last season as the Chargers' offensive coordinator when San Diego visited Tennessee in Week 3.
"All I know is what I'm judging from what I saw off the tape and what I know from when we played them. I thought he was a good football player," Whisenhunt said. "We had concerns about protection with him last year, and from what I've seen on tape, I think he's a good player, so yes I'm excited to have him on our team because I think he brings something to us."
Wimbley has played outside linebacker in a 3-4 and moved to defensive end in the 4-3 that Tennessee during his two seasons with the Titans. It remains to be seen exactly how he'll be deployed in defensive coordinator Ray Horton's hybrid system, but Whisenhunt said he likes what he's heard about Wimbley.
"I don't really know Kamerion. All I know is of him, and from the people I've talked to, I've been very impressed by him," Whisenhunt said. "If I was making a judgment off somebody and what I know about Kamerion, that's the kind of guy you want on your football team. He wants to be here and is excited about this team and I'm certainly excited to have him on my team."