In case you missed it, David Boclair recently wrote an article questioning Jake Locker's lack of presence at the year end locker room clean out session. The local media had one final chance to meet with players on Monday and Locker wasn't there. A missed opportunity in Boclair's eyes, echoed by Paul Kuharsky.
I have to disagree.
As Boclair said in the article, Locker prefers his play to speak more than his words. He cites Brady and Manning for getting into teamate's faces. For being the vocal leader on their teams. Guess what? Brady and Manning are arguably the two best quarterbacks of this generation. They can do or say whatever they want. They have the chips in the bank to back their words up.
Had Locker showed up, hobbled in on his crutches, and made a stink about how the team needs to get better, I venture to say he would have only gained ill will among his teammates. How dare you tell everyone the "team" needs to get better when you weren't even there on the field? Maybe the media would have applauded the move, but I don't see it being the right thing to do.
As much as some of the local media would like Locker to "talk the talk" he and others know he needs to "walk the walk" first.
Would that have shown the media he's ready to be the vocal leader of the team? Sure. Does that matter to the actual team? Not at all.
Locker has given his all, played hurt, and earned the respect of his teammates. His lack of cache isn't from a lack of heart or effort. If anything, Jake Locker has a disproportionate amount of credibility amongst the team compared to his win/loss record or statistics. That being said he knows you have to stay on the field to truly lead a team.
Kuharsky chimes in to add that he has assumed the demeanor of the head coach. He also says the following:
At a time when he should have asserted himself and let people know he views himself as the team's top leader, I'd venture a guess he didn't even consider it.
Who are the people that need to know this? You? Me? The reporters and media?
I don't see how Locker not asserting himself on locker room clean out day can be seen as a bad thing. If anything, had he done so, I venture to say it would have rung hollow considering the way the season went combined with his injury. There's a time and a place for everything, but this was neither for grandstanding or self promotion. Both he and his teammates know who and what he is, and that's what really matters.