Here are the Tennessee Titans offensive position battles to watch during camp:
Matt Hasselbeck vs Jake Locker
This will be a close one.
Matt brings the experience and leadership you want from a quarterback. He is still very accurate and still can make every throw. The obvious concerns are his age and his health. Matt has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career, but right now Matt gives the Titans the best chance to win. We’ll have to see what happens during training camp and preseason.
Jake is the future of the franchise. He will be starting sooner or later. He showed some glimpses of what he can do last season specially in the game against the Saints. He showed he can lead a team and make plays under pressure. His composure was amazing, but his accuracy issues can still be seen too often. He will benefit more than any other Titan from having an entire offseason.
In this battle Jake has the edge because a tie gives him the starting job. There is no point in giving old Matt more time on the field if you have a second year player who gives you about the same chance of winning.
Eugene Amano vs Fernando Velasco
Something has to change in the center position and the front office and coaches know it.
Several free agent centers came to Nashville for a visit. I think that is enough of a message for Eugene Amano. He is definitely in the hot seat. There were just too many missed blocks, missed calls and missed assignments for Amano last season. His status will be either starter or fired. He just isn’t playing up to his contract.
Velasco has been consistent and has shown some glimpses of a potential starter in the league. He has had few opportunities to see the field but his versatility has given him some.
Amano clearly has the edge here for his experience, but Velasco will be given every opportunity to upgrade this “painful to watch” running game.
Nate Washington vs Kendall Wright
We all want to see what the rookie will bring to the table. We all want to see him start and burn corners on week one, but let’s be patient. Receiver is one of the most difficult positions to play in the NFL. Rookies don’t usually have an impact in their first season, there are just too many things to learn before the transition to professional football is completed.
Nate stepped up last season and emerged as the top Titans receiver. He had more than 1,000 yards and played through injuries the last several weeks. He was clearly an inspiration and leader for this offense and showed more consistency with his hands.
Wright will definitely be fun to watch. He is an explosive playmaker that has a nice career ahead of him. Separation is the word that defines this player. Coaches are already excited about him and are designing some special plays for this guy.
My take is that Washington is the starter on week one but Wright will be the starter sooner than later.
This battle will depend on Britt’s injury. We may see Washington and Wright as starters Week 1.
Next week we will have Defensive Position Battles.