Tennessee Titans coaches are emphasizing classroom work for crucial pieces

Can a great coach develop players with just a whiteboard?
Tennessee Titans Mandatory Minicamp
Tennessee Titans Mandatory Minicamp / Johnnie Izquierdo/GettyImages

You can easily paint a picture that puts the Tennessee Titans right in the mix for the AFC South in Week 18.

For all of the shade thrown at the Titans roster, they still have 10 players who could end up as Pro Bowlers if things bounced the right way.

5 guys have been Pro Bowlers or All-Pros before (Jeffery Simmons, Harold Landry, DeAndre Hopkins, Nick Folk), 3 have been snubs (L'Jarius Sneed, Lloyd Cushenberry, Ryan Stonehouse), and 2 guys who could easily make that leap this year (Peter Skoronski, Roger McCreary).

That isn't even including guys like Will Levis, Tyjae Spears, Tony Pollard, and Chig Okonkwo who are wildcards who could have the stats for a Pro Bowl bid, but they might get hurt by the small market effect.

Having said that, there are some pressure points on this roster that must be fixed, or else the Tennessee Titans will crumble.

I have been more skeptical than anyone else about J.C. Latham, but he has checked every box this offseason and I think he has already proven that he has all of the tools and habits of a guy with a very high floor. So left tackle isn't one of those pressure points anymore.

After OTAs and minicamp, the biggest areas of concern are right tackle, right guard, and T'Vondre Sweat.

Even with a month of on-field practices, the Titans aren't any closer to having an answer at any of those positions. In his final availability before training camp, Bill Callahan was asked several questions about how he thought the situation at right guard and right tackle was shaping up, and here are some quotes that stood out.

(When asked about Saahdiq Charles and John Ojukwu): "First things first, that would be the classroom. They have got tremendous passion...They will text questions in to make sure of their assignments...They study a lot of their own cut-ups that we make for them...they are well engaged, really great eye contact."

(About NPF who hasn't been able to be on the field at all): "He has been great in the classroom, he has been outstanding...he has really good awareness, he asks really good questions...he's been a real pleasure and I'm excited to get him in training camp when he is healthy to see what he can do."

Defensive line coach, Tracy Rocker, about T'Vondre Sweat's very noticeable absence during the offseason: "The biggest stride when he got here was, he caught on fast, he learns very fast in the classroom...then we had to slow it down a little bit and now we will wait until training camp and go from there."

So far the most veteran position coaches on the roster seem content with the work that these crucial players are getting in the classroom, despite missing time on the field. If anyone knows how to develop guys efficiently, it should be those two, but fans are right to be concerned about the lack of clarity in those two spots with the season rapidly approaching.

All we can do is wait and see at this point, but after the 2024 season is over it will be interesting to see whether these guys were really able to develop in the classroom or whether they ultimately crushed this football team.