Greetings lovely and loyal fan base. I come to you today with the first in a five-part series to be released over the coming days. I recently had the privilege of interviewing some of our very fine readers, Michael Campbell, Chris Garete, and Patrick Ward. All are die-hard Titans fans like you and I, in addition to being very literate and having sound and fair arguments. Each of them were asked five questions, and we will examine each question in separate articles.
“What are your thoughts on the state of the team heading into Free Agency and the Draft?”
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t more excited for this off-season than I have been since the inception of the Titans. Munchak and company put together a class last season that was the stuff dreams are made of; How often do you get production out of your first five picks? These are the types of things that excite me for the future of the organization – being able to scout players and get the most out of them (Colin McCarthy, anyone?)”
“Can anybody really forget our first round pick in 1999 who went on to set the rookie sack record? With the front office looking hard at defense with the first pick, will another electric end come off the board and land in Nashville?”
“…we are on the edge of doing something special. Unfortunately…we are going to have to wait another year, continue building our defense, and solidify ourselves as a top notch organization first.” – Michael Campbell
I think most of us are on board with what Michael has to say. Regardless of who you are, you have to admit that the Titans Front Office knocked it out of the park with last year’s draft. Knowing you have guys in their positions making all the right calls goes a long way in establishing a culture of confidence and success. Of course, we all remember “The Freak” fondly, and admittedly, the selfish kid in me was happy to see his production fall off in Philly. I know this is a pretty childish response, but to me he was always the face of a fantastic defense. He and Bulluck. I’ll admit to similar feelings when Bulluck went to New York. As for Michael’s last comment, I couldn’t agree more. We finally have reason to be very excited again, but let’s not fool ourselves into thinking we’re ready to take on Green Bay or New England (Can’t wait for that game this year!). I ultimately agree that this season will see us push into the playoffs, but we will still need another year to bring it all together.
“I am hopeful we might finally see this franchise get back to where it was in the early part of the 2000′s. Jake Locker has looked solid nearly every time he has been on the field… he has some serious potential. ”
“The Titans are not known for spending big money in free agency, but this year there are players available that could make a big difference to the team. The Titans are well under the cap and I would like to see them spend some money.”
“I am more optimistic about this off-season than any other in recent memory. The Texans will be the favorite to win the AFC South next year, but the Titans are going to surprise some people and make another run at the playoffs.” – Patrick Ward
I think everybody is on the Jake Locker wagon with Patrick. I haven’t talked to a single fan that didn’t like what they saw out of Locker last year. I also don’t hear the NFL analysts giving our FO nearly enough credit for picking Locker over Gabbert. I remember everybody talking about what a poor decision that was. Also, go back and look at how many “experts” gave us draft grades of C’s and D’s. I’d love for those same people to go back and grade the draft now. And yes, the Titans will continue to be overlooked, and will put opposing teams on notice. Let’s also factor in that we have arguably the most difficult schedule in football this year, and our record will speak to a team that is even better than their record may or may not indicate.
“The majority of key players are locked up at this point. There are some moves to be made, but overall…the team has a fair amount of talent and…is moving in the right direction.”
“I do not see it happening, [but] I think the Titans should make a real run at Mario Williams. He would make an instant difference on the defensive line. If teams try and double team him, hopefully Morgan will become healthy and developed enough to become a complementary force”
“I think a number two wide receiver could be needed as well. I was pleasantly surprised at how well Nate Washington stepped up after Britt went down, but outside of him I thought the WR [corp] were average at best. I don’t think the team needs to go out and sign a premiere WR, but I think a good second level [WR] would be a good insurance policy.” – Chris Garete
I agree with Chris that we really should consider overspending on Super Mario. Adding him and (hopefully) Barron in the draft would be a monster coupe for us, and the rest of the league would know it as well. Additionally, even if Morgan never develops into the player we need him to be, we could use Williams to set up the interior pass rush, which was at times an overlooked aspect of our defensive game. Separating the offensive line for Casey and Klug to wreck havoc upon the backfield is just as effective as Williams putting up double-digit sacks himself, which he would probably still do anyways. As for the WR’s, I’m definitely all for picking up an insurance option. While Washington played with heart and toughness through injury, I just don’t know how long he’ll be able to keep it up. I’d say let’s draft someone to develop, but they’d just end up walking away in free agency by the time they got legit.
A huge thanks to Chris, Patrick, and Michael for their awesome responses. We’ll be back with part 2 soon.
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