On Stranger Tides: Titan WR’s


Image courtesy: Titansonline

Like Jack Sparrow in the newest installment of “The Pirates of the Caribbean”, the Tennessee Titans need to go in search of the fountain of youth. Their wide receiver corps is especially in need of a youth movement. Some of the players they currently call “starters” would be no more than a number three wide out on most other NFL rosters.

The first step in getting headed in the right direction is to get rid of the overpaid and underachieving veterans. Justin Gage and Nate Washington are not only taking valuable game time from the young Titan receivers but are hurting the team on the field with their production. Nate Washington was in the top 10 last in deep ball targets in 2010, unfortunately he was also in the top of the league in dropped balls. As far as Gage, he has fought injuries almost every season. He may never fully recover from the broken bones in his back he suffered going for a jump ball across the middle versus the Forty Niners. Between the two, Gage and Washington are due to receive 6.8 million dollars this year. That money would be better served helping the Titans make a bid to shore up a defense that is in desperate need of help.

Once the Titans manage to trim the proverbial fat from their receiving corps they have the young players in place to have a very dangerous offense headed into the future. Everyone knows what Kenny Britt is capable of after his historic second half against the Eagles last season. With Britt it is all a matter of if he can keep his nose clean and remain on the field. Coach Munchak will have to keep a close eye on Britt to ensure that his primary pass catcher lives up to his potential. At this point the only thing stopping Britt is himself, and if he can stay out of his own way the sky is the limit.

Damian Williams is poised to have a break out season, IF he can get the playing time. He has comparable physical stats to Donald Driver from the Green Bay Packers and given the opportunity could reasonably be expected to produce on the same level. For Williams it is all a matter of getting experience and the Titans will have a major contributor on offense for years to come.

The most interesting prospect for the Titans long term is their current Pro Bowl punt and kick returner Marc Mariani. He like current Titan teammate Damian Williams and former Titan great Derrick Mason drew interest from the Titans because of his skills on special teams. Those skills combined with his frame and build lead to comparisons with Patriots wide out Wes Welker who still holds the NCAA record for punt return yards. If the Titans are willing to unleash Mariani in the slot and get him the ball in stride, he can split defenders and break some long plays.

These three young men should be the starters for the Titans if the organization can set aside their pride and admit they are overpaying for veterans who are no longer worth the contracts that they occupy. With a young quarterback in Jake Locker, why not let the rest of the offense grow up with him? Add in tight end Jared Cook and all world running back Chris Johnson and the Titans are on the cusp of having one of the better offenses in the NFL. Not exactly the norm in Nashville.

  • http://titansized.com/author/jagtagonist/ Brandon Clark

    it’s definitely better if the front office admits that now, rather than later

  • http://justinstewartphotography.blogspot.com/ JustinS

    You are killing it with they “Likes.” Nice work. My question is, how are you getting so many???

  • http://mywifemykidsmydogs.blogspot.com Que

    I agree with almost everything you said. I do believe if the Titans are ever going to be in a position to just blow everything up and start over… now is the time. What do they have to lose at this point? The only problem I have is putting Locker out there right at the start. I know the options are VERY slim but for the first 4 games of the season (if there is a season) I would just have him come in for the full 4th quarter. I would do that just to let him get some game experience. Then then next 4 games I would let him come in for the the full 2nd half… and so on and so on.

    But your post was not about Locker. Everything you said about the receivers was more accurate than Tina’s Fey’s Sarah Palin impression. Good stuff, man. Let’s just hope the Titans figure out something this season about receivers that that they refused to learn over the last 15 or so years.

    • http://titansized.com/author/jagtagonist/ Brandon Clark

      i love the sarah palin reference

      I think they need a veteran and I got an article I’m going to write for…hopefully tomorrow about that

      hopefully it’s good haha

  • http://justinstewartphotography.blogspot.com/ JustinS

    I agree with Que about the 4th quarter thing. As long as we can get a veteran QB. Gage is the one receiver I don’t like on our team. His hands are rocks. I think part of Washington’s problems were Vince Young’s poorly thrown balls. I still like Washington. He’s one of the fastest receivers in the NFL and has great hands. I’ll defend that to my dying day. I’m also really excited about the youth on our roster. Britt, Williams, Mariani, and Hawkins. I can’t wait to see them all getting more play time.

  • walker thomas

    if washington stays i would move him out of his current position on the outside and into the slot where his speed can be more of an asset. Plus that is the position he flourished in during his time in Pittsburgh. I dont think locker should start from the beginning either. i would be fine with mop up duty, just dont want to see him get David Carr wrecked. I think Locker has the potential to be the real deal in the long term and it all depends on what the team does to support him instead of leaning on him too early and crushing him.

  • walker thomas

    i might also pair washington with mariani on kick offs as they are two of the faster guys on the team

  • walker thomas

    Check out my article ‘Back’ to the Future for how i feel about Locker

  • http://mywifemykidsmydogs.blogspot.com Que

    The “wait and see” game is horrible. The Titans are one of the teams who can ill afford this off-season turmoil. We have new coaches. We have new players. This down time has costing more than money for a franchise with a lot of “what ifs”. And on the outside looking in we don’t even have a clue if the Titans are going to play for next season or try to go for broke with the talent they have now. I’m really just ready for them to straighten this out so we can have a little idea of what this NEW Titans team brings to the table.

    • http://titansized.com/author/jagtagonist/ Brandon Clark

      Que,
      I’m not sure if they know

  • http://mywifemykidsmydogs.blogspot.com Que

    @BC – Tis true.

    • http://titansized.com/author/jagtagonist/ Brandon Clark

      unfortunately

      by the way, thanks for commenting on the site. It’s great to have a good conversation

  • http://mywifemykidsmydogs.blogspot.com Que

    Well, I guess Britt just answered the question (again) about keeping his nose clean.