July 29, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Michael Preston (14) catches a pass during training camp workout at the Titans training facility at Baptist Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Many of you watching the Tennessee Titans crumble in the second half of the Indianapolis Colts game on Sunday caught a glimpse of the future.
In the final two minutes of the first half, the 6’5″ – 206 lb, wide receiver snagged a ball for an 11 yard gain. It was his first NFL catch. Michael Preston was activated off the practice squad and given a spot on the 53 man roster on Friday before the game. Head coach Mike Munchak said that it was a “reward” for his hard work in practice. Jim Wyatt had said before the game that he caught everything thrown his way while playing the scout team, and that he had a great energy as well. Make no mistake that this activation came the week after the Titans receivers had 8 drops against the Texans.
Just as interesting is the deactivation of Lavelle Hawkins, who was awarded a new contract in the off-season of this year. Hawkins has had a rough year with only 4 catches. With Damien Williams going down with a hamstring injury, Hawkins was supposed to be next in line to step up and play. Regardless of contract, or money spent, Mike Munchak and company played the guy they wanted on the field.
John Glennon later reported that Mike Munchack and the coaching staff thought that Preston was a “good fit” for this game. He plays the same receiver position, “X”, as Kenny Britt, and that basically Preston would be another big target and be able to give Britt a break during the game. Interestingly enough, they also said they would move Cook to the slot in a pinch if necessary.
Maybe this is just part of “evaluation mode”. Maybe Lavelle has been dogging it in practice, or unfocused. We’ll see who’s active this week. This move would say more about the coaching staff’s convictions if they weren’t 4-8 when the decision was made, yet I still like it. They sent a message to the players that hard work, dedication, and execution will be rewarded and ultimately play for this team. Players respect that and it keeps them playing hard, even when there is little to play for.
Do you like the move?
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