Tennessee Titans: next up…team chemistry


The Tennessee Titans did a masterful job of executing their 2015 offseason game plan. They decided to address their defensive issues primarily through free agency, while focusing on their offensive issues primarily through the draft.

They even threw in a much-needed new identity, and face of the franchise as a bonus. The buzz of excitement has returned to Nashville, and that’s great for Titans fans.

Now it’s time to see how it all comes together.

By choosing to address the defense in free agency, you would think that gelling as a unit would be a little easier on that side of the ball. After all, you are bringing in veteran players that have already tasted success in this league. They know what it takes to win.

Its just a matter of trusting their new teammates, and the more comfortable they become, the easier that will be. The presence of Dick LeBeau should also aid in speeding up that process.

But on the offensive side of the ball, coach Ken Whisenhunt may have his hands full this year in that regard.

And it started on draft night.

Right after Tennessee’s selection of Mariota, rumors began to circulate that incumbent starting qb Zach Mettenberger had asked to be traded. Around that same time in downtown Nashville, Titans receivers Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter were caught on camera shaking their heads at the live announcement…in what appeared to be disproval.

On Friday, starting left tackle Taylor Lewan was at the Titans facility. Paul Kuharsky of ESPN reported that Lewan, who is an admitted close friend of Mettenberger, reiterated that has no issue with Mariota being brought in. He was just backing a friend that he believed in when asked about Mettenberger being given another chance this year.

And it doesn’t end at a possible qb controversy.

The above mentioned Wright and Hunter have their own “new kid on the block” to deal with, after Tennessee selected Dorial Green-Beckham with the 40th overall pick. Now that selection is the one I would’ve hoped to see their live reaction to.

But I digress.

Dexter McCluster and Bishop Sankey, two running backs entering their second season as Titans, must make room for newcomers David Cobb and Jalston Fowler.

With the lack of success that Tennessee had on offense last season, there will be tremendous pressure to put the rookies on the field right away. Even to the chagrin of the returning starters who may feel like scapegoats.

On the field, the rookies’ presence should provide the Titans with some much needed competition at their skill positions. That in itself should lead to a better product this fall.

The question now becomes how their presence will affect the locker room. A locker room full of primarily young offensive players looking to establish their own names and careers.

If the young core on offense can lay aside their feelings and personal rooting interests, and embrace the challenge before them in a healthy and competitive way, then Tennessee could be laying the foundation for a really talented offense.

Not just for this season, but for years to come.

But if this season turns into a battle of “freshmen vs sophomores” on offense, then…well….you know the rest.

They will come together for the first time on May 26th, when OTA’s are scheduled to begin.

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