NFL Season Preview: Tennessee Titans Totally Transform Their Team
The Tennessee Titans have a new look, and few people know what to expect from them in 2013. Oh Jake Locker is still the QB, but his backups have changed: now it is former $59.5 Million man in Buffalo, Ryan Fitzpatrick, instead of cagey veteran, Matthew Hasselbeck. Shonn Greene was brought in to back up Chris Johnson at RB. Kenny Britt and Nate Washington head a very questionable WR corps that is neither vastly talented, nor deep. Additionally, Britt cannot seem to stay healthy. As a result, the Titans went out to draft Justin Hunter (Tennessee), Travis Harvey (Florida A&M) and Dontel Watkins (Murray State). Former starting TE Jared Cook signed with the St. Louis Rams, which left a gaping hole at a position where the Titans received a great amount of production in 2012. Craig Stevens and Delanie Walker – late of the San Francisco 49ers – are going to duke it out for the starting job in Tennessee.
The Titans have been pretty nondescript since cutting or trading away their name stars before 2012. Zach Brown and Akeem Ayers came into their own late in the 2012 season, but players such as former 1st Round bust Derrick Morgan and newly acquired Kamerion Wimbley will have to step up and contribute. Additionally, the team acquired Moise Fokou from the Colts. If the Titans are unable to get consistent push from the relatively no-name front seven, it will place more pressure on the secondary, which features such players as Jason McCourty, Coty Sensabaugh, veteran Michael Griffin, and newly signed Bernard Pollard. George Wilson was also acquired from the Buffalo Bills via free agency. These could prove to be “glue guy” moves, or just more of the same from the Titans of late; their free agents have not proven to be difference-makers (outside of a stretch of games by Matthew Hasselbeck late in 2011 when Jake Locker was injured).
Mike Munchak is on a short leash with this team. He made a number of desperate moves last season by shaking up the coaching staff with the hopes of igniting the sputtering offense. It did not work at the time. It also remains to be seen if the changes will have an effect on the 2013 season. The Titans as a whole appear to be a rudderless ship on both sides of the football. There is also a question of morale and buy-in from key players such as RB Chris Johnson, who openly wonders what the direction the team is heading, as well as his role in the future plans of the team with the acquisitions made by the team at his position. There were open questions within the team as a whole, and that is not the position that a team wants to find themselves entering a new season. The Titans hope that youth pays dividends and not drawbacks, because they will have to rely upon their young players extensively in 2013.
” It Is Only A Game, Until You Bet It “