There was some hope that when the Tennessee Titans promoted Tim Kelly, it meant that the identity of the team might move away from the offensive failures of Todd Downing. That is possible, but don't expect a big step into the 21st century.
This week was the first time that the Tennessee Titans' rookies got to share the field with some of the team's vets. Everyone wants to hear about the first impressions that some of the veteran players are getting from the rookies, but it is probably too early for any of that to matter too much.
What is interesting is that this was the first time that the Tennessee Titans have really had enough people to play through some more realistic football situations. For example, when you have 20-30 rookies by themselves for the first week, how much real football are you getting to see? The majority of the time was probably spent running through drills and teaching techniques in individual periods, with some 7-on-7 stuff taking place towards the end.
Now that the rookies have had more time and there are more veterans on the field, coaches and players are getting a chance to take the first steps toward running the offense and defense.
The bulk of the Tennessee Titans' defense is a known commodity. Expect hybrid fronts with three 285+ lb. DLs and an EDGE on base downs and then expect to see Denico Autry, Jeffery Simmons, Harold Landry, and Arden Key on passing downs. Pick your two favorite linebackers and your favorite nickel CB (Kristian Fulton, Roger McCreary, Kevin Byard, and Amani Hooker will be the other DBs) and you have your defense.
Most of the changes and unpredictability are on the offensive side of the ball. We don't have any idea what the impact of Tim Kelly, Charles London, and Justin Outten could be. Also, even though we should all feel pretty confident that we know the starters, nothing is set in stone at TE2, WR2, or possibly center.
One thing we do know is that this team is still going to be a team that lives or dies based on the running game.
No drastic changes to the Tennessee Titans offense
When people hear offensive players talk about tempo, they usually think of spread offenses that try to get on the ball as quickly as they can to snap it and take advantage of defenses that haven't gotten fully set. However, that isn't how the Tennessee Titans are going to employ tempo.
Look no further than guard Daniel Brunskill who reminded everyone of what the tenets of a Mike Vrabel team are. In his portion of the press conference, he was asked about why the Titans are being more aggressive with their offseason workouts than other teams and Brunskill said this,
"This team is a run-the-ball team, a play-hard defense team, and then we are going to take our shots down the field. We have playmakers at the receiver position and if we can get them in space then we can make big plays."
He went on to emphasize how the tempo of the offense wasn't to spread everyone out and use finesse. Instead, it was to emphasize their toughness and physical style while the defense is on their heels.
The reality is that it would be almost impossible for the Tennessee Titans to be worse on offense this year than they were last year. They mixed another record-setting year of injuries with inept coaching and a head coach that refused to step in no matter what foolish decision the OC was making.
I have been very pessimistic about the direction of the team over the last 6 months, and I don't think the roster is better now than it was this time last year. With an easier schedule and a better coaching staff on offense, they should be able to put up more points than last season. However, at their core, the Tennessee Titans are still committed to being a run-first team that asks the quarterback to step up and make big plays in obvious passing downs. I think that is a flawed way of thinking, but Mike Vrabel and Ran Carthon seem committed to that path so don't expect this offense to look much different in 2023.