A few offensive players on the team to pay attention to in week 2 of pre-season action, as the Titans take on the St. Louis Rams.
1. QB Matthew Hasselbeck
Hasselbeck came to the Titans to be, in short, a band-aid. With no one on the team ready to start under this odd off-season, the Titans needed a fill-in. A capable veteran that could be a good locker-room influence and someone to mentor the rookie QB Jake Locker. Hasselbeck fit all of these descriptions and the marriage was made official with roughly a $9 million agreement, that’s a 2011 $9 million agreement. Hasselbeck will likely play with the team in 2012, though whether or not that’s as a starter or backup remains anyone’s guess. In week 1 of pre-season action, Hasselbeck threw 5/6 for 55 yards no TD’s and no INT’s. Let’s see if he keeps up the consistency that could’ve been hidden behind that atrocious offensive line in Seattle.
2. RB’s Jamie Harper and Javon Ringer
Harper was drafted in 2011 to be the “big back”. Essentially, he was supposed to replace LenDale White and be a goal-line and short-yardage running–a role player. Harper may have to see more playing time vs the Rams than anyone originally wanted. Javon Ringer is currently sidelined with a ‘minor hip injury‘ and I’m not sure how much action he will see, if any. Ringer’s injury isn’t supposed to be a major concern. If Ringer is held out, consider it a pre-cautionary step. The good news is that Ringer looked great against the Vikings and gave me confidence that if Chris Johnson doesn’t play week 1, the Titans can still consistently run the ball–just not as amazingly as they did it before.
3. WR Damian Williams
Williams totaled only 16 catches in 2010. In the first pre-season game, he caught 2 passes for 35 yards. The 2010 3rd-round pick from the vaunted Southern Cal football program should begin to make strides this year. Key word–should. Let’s watch and see how he is developing and if he can be a key player for the team throughout the regular season.
And then, of course, everyone will be watching Rookie QB Jake Locker to see if he can botch a snap and recover with a 45-yd TD……again.