August 31st is the first roster cut deadline for teams to shrink their overburdened rosters down to 75 players, which means this weeks preseason match against the Arizona Cardinals on ESPN’s Monday Night Football is going to be a highly important game to many veterans and rookies looking to make the Titans roster for 2010. You can never judge a roster by the first preseason game some say, but I beg to differ, there are just some things players should instinctively know. For example, a QB should know that you never throw across your body to the middle of the field when your intended receiver is running away from you (cough cough Chris Simms). A player should also know that there is a reason the phrase goes as such “keep the play in front of you so you can make the tackle”, now granted Ryan Mouton made up for that busted play with an interception but that touchdown meant the difference between winning and losing and in the world of roster cuts it could mean the difference between livin and dyin. Here is a short list of players I think need to step up in this weeks game in order to make it past the first roster cuts.
Alvin Pearman-HB/KR/PR- Alvin was brought in last season to patch a broken Kick and Punt Return game but ended up injured and replaced by then rookie wide out Kenny Britt. With the emergence of rookie receiver Marc Mariani in last weeks matchup and Damian Williams making his debut this week after an injury and drafted not only for the spectacular catches he has shown in camp but also for his kick return ability. Alvin took only one KR against the Seahawks and didn’t appear at all in the PR game before Marc Mariani took over the duties.
Colin Allred-LB- Allred came to the Titans as an undrafted free agent in 2006 and has mainly been used on special teams and as a back up in case anyone sustains a boo boo. Last season Colin filled in for an injured for now Giants Linebacker Keith Bulluck with a less then stellar performance. For someone as intelligent as Colin, who deferred on an acceptance to University of California at Berkley’s School of Law to pursue his football career, Colin should know that this preseason could be his last with the Titans if he doesn’t show consistency with big plays in the defensive backfield.
Paul Williams-WR- The Titans are looking to keep their receiving corps as strong as possible as to surround Vince with only the best talent available to him without breaking open the bank in free agency or trades. Williams has had only brief flashes in pre-season, caught only one pass last season for 7 yards and 5 the previous year. Aside from special teams Williams hasn’t lived up to the 3rd round selection potential we had for him. Even though Paul’s story is a touching one the days of dragging along dead weight seem to be over as proven with the non signings this off season.
Ricky Schmitt-K/P- I expect us to cut Ricky but not because of anything he has done wrong, only due to the fact that we are full at the Kicker and Punter position. Don’t be surprised to see Ricky kicking for another team.
Rusty Smith-QB- The Titans will keep Rusty on the practice squad this season in case of an injury (everyone knock on wood). With the Titans already securing the second string QB spot for Kerry Collins, look for Rusty to be the new number two when Kerry decides to retire.
The list could go on and on with names for the upcoming roster cuts with players that were drafted or brought in to fill a training camp dummy spot. As always Coach Fisher has the final say over all player development decisions and this list could be completely wrong, and as fans and media all we can do is sit back and watch our 2010 Titans be groomed and trimmed into a playoff contending team.