Michael Preston Is a Hidden Gem for the Tennessee Titans
Aug 24, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Michael Preston (14) catches a pass against Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert Alfrod (23) during the second half at LP Field. The Titans beat the Falcons 27-16. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports
The Tennessee Titans are at full capacity when it comes to their wide-receiving corps. With so much talent at receiver, it’s going to come down to some very hard decisions on who to keep. If you’re a Titans fan, then that’s a good thing.
Preseason is almost over. The training-camp battles should all be won. The Titans have many tough cuts to make. They only have 53 spots to fill their roster. With so many players performing great at the skill position throughout training camp, these will be the toughest cuts the organization will make in years.
The Titans have tons of talent at wide receiver. That will be the main focus point in this article. Five receivers who are locks include Kendall Wright, Kenny Britt, Nate Washington, Justin Hunter, and Damian Williams. Now that looks like a scary group of receivers. With injuries to Kevin Walter and Marc Mariani, the No. 6 spot is up for grabs.
Michael Preston won that spot after his preseason performance. I have been a big fan of Preston ever since the Titans signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2011. He played his college ball at Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio. Preston never got the chance to prove what he could do on the field in the regular season because he spent most of his time on the practice squad.
I said two years ago, “Michael Preston will one day be a star.” Maybe that time is coming. Preston had a 40-yard time of 4.6 seconds. Although this doesn’t blow you away, let’s look deeper into his intangibles. At 6-5 and 206 pounds, Preston has never struggled with major injuries. Another key thing to acknowledge is that he’s only 24 years old.
One of the main factors of Preston not seeing the field is the presence of Britt. These guys could be mistaken for one another if they swapped jerseys during a practice. Britt is also 24 years old, stands at 6-3, weighs 215 pounds and has a 40-yard dash time that was only .1 second faster then Preston’s.
Preston is no Britt, however, with Britt’s injury history and off-field record, this could be a time for Preston to showcase his skills. Britt is in a contract year. With the addition of Hunter and Preston continuing to impress in the preseason, the Titans may cut ties with Britt after this season.
Preston has eight catches for 144 yards and two touchdown’s in three preseason games thus far, including a 56-yard reception from Ryan Fitzpatrick against the Atlanta Falcons. Preston’s downside has been his route-running but that’s something he seems to be working on each year in the offseason. Last season, Preston got the chance to play in four games. He caught five passes for 59 yards and was targeted seven times. Preston has great hands and I can’t recall his last dropped pass.
The Tennessee Titans may have a gem on the sidelines. With Wright, Britt and Hunter all having some sort of injury problems, it’s only a matter of time before Preston gets his chance to shine. The Titans would be foolish to let this kid go as he could provide more of a safety net if they decide to get rid of Britt and Hunter doesn’t perform up to his expectations.
All statistics were sourced from ESPN.COM