Aug 3, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Darius Reynaud (25) rushes with the ball during training camp at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Round 1 of the NFL roster cuts is complete. The Tennessee Titans have trimmed their roster from 90 players to 75. Among the most noteworthy names who were released: Barry Richardson, Greg Jones and Markelle Martin. Kevin Walter was placed on the physically unable to perform list (PUP).
Four days remain before the final roster cuts on Aug. 31. The Titans must trim their roster from 75 players to 53. At that time, they’ll have to make a decision on Marc Mariani, Darius Reynaud and anyone who’s involved in the duties as a kickoff and punt-return specialist.
Mariani has missed the last two preseason games with a shoulder injury. He won’t play during the Aug. 29 preseason finale. After missing all of the 2012-13 season with a broken leg, one must question Mariani’s long-term durability. Even if Mariani returns at 100 percent, will he re-injure himself?
One coach who isn’t concerned about that: offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. Check out this article from John Glennon of The Tennessean. Loggains made the following comment in support of Mariani:
He’s a guy that if I had my way, he’d be on this roster. He’s a guy I believe in, a guy I know can make plays as a receiver and as a return guy. I know the quarterbacks have great confidence in him. He’s one of the more well-liked players in the locker room. … Every time he gets on the field, he just finds a way to make plays.
Making that 53-man roster will prove difficult. Last season’s return man, Reynaud, hasn’t done anything to lose his job this preseason. Reynaud offers more explosiveness at the positions. With that said, Reynaud is a little more reckless with the football and will occasionally bobble punts.
Who should the Titans keep? Should they keep Mariani, Reynaud, both or neither? Don’t forget that Khalid Wooten and Damian Williams have experience as return specialists. Eliminating Mariani and Reynaud would open another roster spot for—I don’t know—a No. 4 tight end, No. 3 quarterback, or maybe Jonathan Willard?
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