How important are mini camps and training camp for Tennessee Titans players? According to Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean, Mike Munchak claimed the following:
Coach Mike Munchak said all starting spots are up for grabs this offseason #tntitans
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) May 31, 2013
All starting spots are up for grabs? That’s a bit of an over-exaggeration. Barring injuries, Jason McCourty and Michael Roos are among players who won’t lose their jobs. But within that over-exaggeration comes the truth that these camps are critical for many players who will try to certify themselves not just as starters but as members of the 53-man roster.
Is there any battle that will create more excitement and competition than at wide receiver? As of June 3, there are eight wide receivers who have a legitimate chance to win a 53-man roster spot. Justin Hunter and Kendall Wright are locks. If Kenny Britt remains healthy and unsuspended, then he’s a lock.
NFL teams rarely keep more than six wide receivers on their depth chart. According to Titansonline.com, the Titans have 13 wide receivers. Five of these players are undrafted free agents or camp bodies who have less than a one-percent chance of making the final cuts. That leaves five receivers who are fighting for two, possibly three roster spots:
Each of these receivers bring a unique skill and/or potential. Over the next week, Titan Sized will take a look at each of these receivers and ask our readers who their favorites are to win a job as the No. 4, No. 5 and possibly No. 6 receiver.
Let’s begin with a player who hasn’t missed a regular-season game since before he joined the Titans during the 2009-10 season: Nate Washington.
Here’s a wide receiver who’s arguably coming off his best two seasons. Despite that, the eight-year veteran has only once recorded more than 47 receptions or 746 receiving yards in a season. His best season came in 2011-12. Washington had 74 receptions for 1,023 yards with seven touchdowns.
Washington is an experienced receiver whose greatest asset comes with his durability. Since becoming a full-time active roster participant with the 2006-07 Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington has never missed a regular-season game. That’s 112 consecutive games played, 64 of which have come with the Titans. That’s valuable depth to have behind two receivers who are less than two years removed from major knee injuries (Britt, Hunter).
The Titans know what they’re getting with Washington. What they’re getting is certainly capable of a No. 4 receiver. At age 30 (in August), Washington is in the prime of his career. Unless the Titans prefer the youth and upside of some of their younger options (Preston, Williams) or they can’t afford him, Washington should make this team.
What do our readers think? Answer in the poll below.