In 2013, the Tennessee Titans have to improve in order to justify not just their offseason moves, but the fundamental decisions this franchise has made in recent years. A lot is on the line but if you look at the football betting lines, not much is expected of them.
Best Offseason Move:
The Titans stuck their necks out as an organization for quarterback Jake Locker, the man who needs to take the next step this season as a professional and lead the Titans to, at the very least, a 9-7 record if not a playoff berth. Locker is the young quarterback this organization has chosen to be its leader for the foreseeable future. Locker has to pan out if the Titans are going to amount to anything in the present tense and, for that matter, the near future. If Locker’s career doesn’t get off the ground, the Titans will be stuck, and they’re going to continue to languish in third place in the AFC South Division, ahead of the Jacksonville Jaguars but behind the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts.
Locker needed help this season, so the Titans went out and got guard Andy Levitre from the Buffalo Bills. Levitre will help with run-blocking for tailback Chris Johnson, but he will form part of an offensive line charged with keeping pass rushers away from Locker as well. Levitre is considered a high-quality acquisition for the Titans. If he is everything that his previous seasons in Buffalo suggest he is, Tennessee should have reason to be cautiously optimistic about the 2013 campaign. The locals in Nashville should be happy, or at least happier.
Worst Offseason Move:
The fact that the Titans signed Ryan Fitzpatrick – another Buffalo Bill – to be their backup quarterback is a head-scratcher. The team lost aging veteran Matt Hasselbeck, so the arrival of Fitzpatrick rates as a definite downgrade at the backup quarterback spot. Fitzpatrick’s career crashed and burned in Buffalo, the product of not just inadequate coaching from the now-departed Chan Gailey, but also because… it’s hard to put this delicately… Fitzpatrick wasn’t any good. He shriveled in important moments and proved to be quite erratic on the field. His decisions weren’t consistently sound, and he did not display anything close to the level of pocket presence the Bills needed from him. When you realize that Fitzpatrick has just suffered a substantial career humiliation, will his psyche be in the right condition to pick up this team if Locker – anything but a sure thing at quarterback in his own right – is unable to get the job done? This team needed a much better insurance policy at quarterback, and with Fitzpatrick, it most certainly did not get it.
How They’ll Finish In The Division:
The Titans just have too many questions surrounding Locker. He did not impress at the University of Washington. He was taken very early in the NFL draft despite a lot of misgivings from a lot of analysts. He has shown brief glimpses of brilliance; he’s a fabulous athlete who can throw, run, stop, start, and make all sorts of plays from all sorts of angles. However, Locker does not process the game well and until he proves that he can change in this regard, Tennessee seems like a break-even NFL betting team and nothing more.
Super Bowl Odds: +6600