This part of the offseason is always intriguing for a fan. Free agency is on the back burner, the draft has passed and most teams and fans are the most optimistic and excited that they will be all year long. The Tennessee Titans have good reason to be excited as they had one of the most active offseasons in team history. This urgency should be viewed as a positive, even though many point to the activeness as a “panic” from head coach Mike Munchak and company to save their jobs, and for owner Bud Adams to win a championship before he passes.
Now lets take a look at some of the marquee offseason moves:
Not as much noise was made as many Titans fans hoped but smart moves were made. The promotion of Dowell Loggains from QB coach to offensive coordinator stuck after the change was made last season. After a full offseason to install his own playbook and system, look for a different product on the field. The Titans have publicly stated they want to be a “run-first” team and the moves they have made suggest this will be true. The offense should look much more like it did when OC Mike Heimerdinger was calling the plays.
The other notable coaching move was the hiring of Gregg Williams to help assist defensive coordinator Jerry Gray run the defense. Coach Williams was with the Titans when they made a run to the Superbowl and he also was the DC in New Orleans when they made their Superbowl run. He is loud, nasty and brings an attitude adjustment to a defense that greatly needed one. The defense will consist of more elaborate looks and much more blitzing from backers Akeem Ayers and Zach Brown. Look for the defense to possibly make a huge step with key young players growing into their own, the additions of proven veterans on the field to provide leadership, and a cleaner product on the field.
The Titans were one of the most active, if not the most active team in free agency this offseason. Some of their more notable moves included signing G Andy Levitre, TE Delanie Walker, DT Sammie Lee Hill, safeties Bernard Pollard and George Wilson, and RB Shonn Green. The Titans made a point to to get more physical on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. They also have made it clear that they are serious about running the ball this upcoming season.
The Titans got their man G Chance Warmack from Alabama in the first round. He looks to be a physical presence in the interior of the Titans line. In the second round, they traded up to take WR Justin Hunter from Tennessee. Hunter is another playmaker for Jake Locker to throw too. Look for Hunter to bring a vertical presence to the offense as his speed and range will help stretch the field. In the third round, the Titans took CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson from UConn. He is a tall corner who the Titans will use in press coverage, enabling them to blitz more often. One sleeper pick that I liked was DE Lavar Edwards out of LSU. Look for him to be in the defensive end rotation, and provide a solid pass rush.
The Titans have done everything in their power to improve the the team around Locker on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. The team will be improved, but how much? This all comes down to the development of Locker. If he flourishes the Titans are a possible playoff team. If not, then look for mediocrity and possibly many changes next offseason.
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