Ready for the 2013-14 NFL season, Tennessee Titans enthusiasts? Players have reported to training camp and they’re preparing for what they’re hoping is a fantastic season. Of course, “hope” means nothing without “do.” That “doing” starts with winning starting jobs—and 53-man roster spots—during training camp and preseason games.
Here are some projections for the 2013-14 NFL Week 1 roster. These are for offensive players. Defensive players and specialists will come at a later date. Please note that these projections aren’t necessarily what I’m hoping for. Some players who I’d like to see make the team—didn’t make it. These projections include locks, almost locks, questionables, highly questionables and a few areas to watch.
Tennessee Titans 2013-14 NFL Roster Predictions: Offense, July 25
QB: Jake Locker, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Rusty Smith (3-3)
RB: Chris Johnson, Shonn Greene, Jalen Parmele (3-6)
WR: Kenny Britt, Justin Hunter, Kendall Wright, Nate Washington, Damian Williams, Marc Mariani (6-12)
TE: Delanie Walker, Taylor Thompson, Craig Stevens, Jack Doyle (4-16)
OL (Starters): Michael Roos, Andy Levitre, Fernando Velasco, Chance Warmack, David Stewart (5-21)
OL (Reserves): Brian Schwenke, Byron Stingily, Mike Otto, Rob Turner (4-25)
Jake Locker, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Chris Johnson, Shonn Greene, Kenny Britt, Justin Hunter, Kendall Wright, Delanie Walker, Craig Stevens, Taylor Thompson, Michael Roos, Andy Levitre, Fernando Velasco, Chance Warmack, David Stewart, Brian Schwenke, Byron Stingily (17-17)
Mike Otto, Nate Washington (2-19)
Damian Williams (1-20)
Marc Mariani, Jalen Parmele, Rusty Smith, Rob Turner, Jack Doyle (5-25)
Jackie Battle (RB), Darius Reynaud (RB), Collin Mooney (RB), Kevin Walter (WR), Michael Preston (WR), Jack Doyle (TE), Brandon Barden (TE), Martell Webb (TE), DeMarco Cosby (TE), Chris Spencer (OL), Barry Richardson (OL), Kasey Studdard (OL)
No. 1: Do the Titans Need Three Quarterbacks?
That depends on how confident the coaches are in Locker staying healthy. If Jake Locker were to go down and the Titans didn’t have a No. 3 quarterback, then they’re down to Ryan Fitzpatrick and either a free agent or practice squad member.
With Locker’s injury history, starting the season with two quarterbacks is risky. Rusty Smith wins the No. 3 job unless he’s just downright awful during preseason games.
No. 2: Do the Titans Need a True Fullback?
Fullbacks haven’t been a major contributor for the last few seasons. That isn’t expected to change with Dowell Loggains. If management has enough confidence with Craig Stevens or Delanie Walker at fullback/H-back, then the Titans could use that extra roster spot on a second return specialist, a seventh wide receiver, a fourth tight end or a 10th offensive lineman.
It’s fair to assume that special teams will play a role in whether Quinn Johnson or Collin Mooney stay on this roster (or neither). If Delanie Walker‘s injury lingers on, Jack Doyle or one of the other young tight ends could take advantage and stay as a fourth tight end.
No. 3: What do the Titans Want from Wide Receivers No. 4-6?
Do the Titans want youth, veterans or a combination of both behind their three-headed monster that includes Kenny Britt, Justin Hunter and Kendall Wright? How much do they value special teams? Kevin Walter has a huge uphill battle now that a back injury will force him out for at least a month. Do they see Marc Mariani as anything more than a return specialist? Speaking of Mariani…
No. 4: Marc Mariani vs. Darius Reynaud
Coming off a gruesome leg injury, Mariani attempts to win the returner job away from Darius Reynaud. If last season was any indication, Reynaud appeared like the highlight reel specialist. Based on previous seasons, Mariani was the more disciplined returner who better-controlled the football.
The more I’ve read about Mariani, I’ve gotten more of an impression that the coaches don’t want to part ways with him. If this battle is close or Mariani proves himself capable as a bottom-of-the-depth-chart receiver, he’ll win the job.
No. 5: Which Offensive Lineman Grabs that Last Bench Spot?
Backup offensive tackles should include Byron Stingily and Mike Otto. The loser between Fernando Velasco vs. Brian Schwenke will win one of the backup interior linemen positions.
Along with five starters, that’s eight players. Someone like Rob Turner, Chris Spencer or Kasey Studdard would give them another backup interior offensive lineman.
What do our readers think and anticipate? Give your thoughts in the comments, Twitter and Facebook.