I was recently interview by Andrew Tellijohn, of Zoneblitz.com for the “NFL: In depth” series. They’re going through all the NFL teams and finding out how the past season went, how people feel about their teams now, and what the future may hold.
Andrew picked my brain about how I felt about the Tennessee Titans past season and what the future looks like. Here are a few excerpts. To read the full article, click here: FULL ARTICLE.
“Zoneblitz: Did you see enough of Jake Locker to get a sense for his future as the Titans’ quarterback? Will it be his job in 2012?
Stewart: In the time Jake Locker did get on the field, it was impressive. He showed that he still has a lot to learn, but he also showed the ability to move the ball down field. He led the Titans to a great comeback against the Falcons late in the game, after an injury to Hasselbeck, though the Titans fell just short. He also showed some impressive play against the Saints. Locker’s deep ball has people drooling. He just has to improve on a couple of things, such as decision making.
Whether or not it’ll be his job in 2012 remains to be seen. It’ll be an open competition between him and Hasselbeck. I’d guess Hasselbeck is the starter for the first two to five games and then Locker will be handed the keys to the kingdom….
Zoneblitz: With Johnson, Britt, Jared Cook and others, the offense appears to have pretty good talent. How are the Titans set on defense? Are there areas where playmakers are needed?
Stewart: The Titans defense is a work in progress. Our defensive line is the biggest question right now. We’ve got amazing talent at defensive tackle with rookies Karl Klug and Jurrell Casey each shining in their first year. Defensive end Derrick Morgan is a question mark as of now. He looked great in his first year before we lost him to a torn ACL. This year he was also bugged by injuries, which lead to a rather lack luster performance. Hopefully this next season he’ll remain healthy and we’ll be able to see the player we were only able to glimpse in his rookie year.
The Titans will still be looking to bring in a new end on the other side of Morgan. Moving Jason Jones there was a miserable experiment and the Titans need somebody who’ll help them get some sacks. That’s the biggest need right now, a playmaking defensive end.
The Titans also need at least one safety. Chris Hope will be gone and Michael Griffin may not be brought back either. The Titans could look at drafting this year’s best safety in the draft, Mark Barron. He’s a big hitter who’d help rejuvenate an aging position. Cornerback is probably the most solid position on the defense, along with the linebackers. Alterraun Verner and Jason McCourty have both proven to be a handful and the Titans also have an intriguing prospect in Tommie Campbell, waiting on the sidelines….
Zoneblitz: What would you like to see the Titans do in free agency and the draft?
Stewart: In free agency, there are a few interesting prospects the Titans could look to bring in. Free safety LaRon Landry, defensive end Cliff Avril, and guard Carl Nicks are the biggest ones that come to mind. Landry is the only one that scares me. His injury history doesn’t give you a lot of hope that he can be out there for all 16 games.
In the draft I’d hope the Titans would take strong looks at the safety and center position. As I said up above, I’d like to see Mark Barron brought in to bring a new young playmaker to the safety position. The Titans also obviously need to address the line as well and I think center is where they need to start. They’ll also need to look at the defensive end, outside linebacker and probably even wide receiver positions in the draft. This defense is going to undergo a lot of change this offseason.
Zoneblitz: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Stewart: Don’t count out the Titans this next season. Everyone tried to do it this last season and the Titans just barely missed the playoffs. They also came real close to beating the Falcons, Bengals, and Saints. A healthy Titans team is one to watch out for …”
You can also find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart