The Tennessee Titans have had a few players with their heads on the chopping block, according to many a writer. Some of those calls have been a little premature, while some have been dead on. Here’s how I feel about the players thus far, after recent events in training camp.
Impressing So Far
WR Marc Mariani
Mariani was on my list of fringe players headed into camp. After the Titans drafted Wright and spoke of giving him some time in the return game, things looked bad for him. Reports out of camp have been only good. His routes are sharp and he’s making great catches. Mariani sounds like he’s put in the work and wants to see the field this year. As a Mariani supporter, I’m glad to hear it.
DT Sen’Derrick Marks
Marks was a second round pick in 2009 and hasn’t lived up to that. You’d be hard pressed to find a fan who’ll back him up, though I’ve been more a supporter of him than Shaun Smith. It sounds like Marks has also been impressing coaches in camp, though you haven’t heard about him as much.
CB Tommie Campbell
While Tommie hasn’t been on the chopping block, people haven’t been as optimistic about him stepping into a starting role this year as say… me. Well Campbell is putting up a solid camp thus far and seems to be a serious contender for that third spot. I’ve been optimistic about Campbell, but even I hadn’t expected this much. Hopefully he keeps it up through camp.
DE Pannel Egboh
Egboh spent all of last season on the Titans’ practice squad but I remember his impressive performances last preseason and was a little shocked when he didn’t make the roster. I was even more shocked when the Titans’ didn’t bring him up with the DE position getting weakened with injuries. So far in camp he has been splitting first team reps with Derrick Morgan. I won’t talk about Morgan right now because that’s another story, but I like Egboh and expect him to make the final roster this year, perhaps booting a player such as Leger Douzable.
Still On the Block
DT Shaun Smith
Smith didn’t live up to expectations this last year and though he worked through the offseason to get in better shape for camp, I haven’t heard a word about him and wouldn’t be surprised if he gets the axe. The DT position is overflowing with talent for the Titans and Shaun’s one of the older ones. If he doesn’t show he can produce solid numbers this preseason or in camp, he’s going to be out the door, no doubt.
CB Ryan Mouton
Mouton has had a quiet camp so far, not too mention career. While I don’t think he’s necessarily on the verge of getting cut, he’s certainly not helping his future any by getting passed up on the depth chart by 2nd year CB Tommie Campbell and possibly CB Chris Hawkins. He’s got to start making plays if he wants to stick with the Titans, let alone in the NFL.
It’s early in training camp and there’s still a lot of time for these guys to change. The Titans have their first preseason game in Seattle this Saturday. I’m dying to see how everyone performs, especially our rookies.
You can find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart