Archive for January, 2007

Titans Offseason Positional Analysis – Defensive Ends

January 30, 2007

One definite position of need this offseason is defensive end. Kyle Vanden Bosch earned a trip to the Pro Bowl after the 2005 season and had perhaps even a better year in 2006, but the play on the other side was not up to par. KVB’s sacks dropped to 6 last year when opponents doubled him, not worried about a rush from the other side, which underscores the need for a new RDE.
The Titans’ defensive line had two big problems last year — getting a pass rush and stopping the run — as Tennessee was 29th in the league last year in sacks. A pass-rushing end who could also help against the run would be a boon for the entire defense. Whether they pursue someone in free agency or address the need early in the draft remains to be seen.
If Tennessee doesn’t sign a defensive end in free agency, I fully expect that to be their number one priority in April’s draft. (more…)

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Titans Offseason Positional Analysis – Offensive Line

January 28, 2007

Now we’re talking. These are my favorite guys. The kind of everyday Joes who do the grunt work so their teammates at the so-called “skill positions” can get the glory. They’re usually unsung and unnoticed.
They deserve to be noticed for the work they did last year. The Titans’ offensive line paved the way for 2,214 rushing yards in 2006, fifth best in the league, with 1,211 by Travis Henry. It was a much-needed upgrade over 2005, when the Titans rushed for only 1,525 yards, without a 1,000-yard rusher or a 100-yard game rusher.
There were some big differences between the 2005 and 2006 lines. Kevin Mawae replaced Justin Hartwig at center. Michael Roos moved from right to left tackle. Jacob Bell stepped in at left guard and David Stewart at right tackle. The only constant in the two years was right guard Benji Olson. (more…)

Titans Offseason Positional Analysis – Tight Ends

January 26, 2007

When I did this analysis a year ago, I wrote that tight ends coach George Henshaw would have fewer headaches than any other position coach for the Titans. His group seemed to be the strongest, most stable of any on the team. The 2005 Titans tight ends caught 149 passes, the second-best of all time, behind only the 1984 Chargers tight ends featuring Kellen Winslow.
How wrong that prediction was.
Shortly thereafter, Henshaw was informed his contract would not be renewed and the 2006 tight ends would go on to have a miserable season. The top three would all end the season on Injured Reserve. (more…)

DB Coach Withers Leaves

January 24, 2007

Defensive backs coach Everett Withers has accepted a position with the University of Minnesota as their defensive coordinator. As the Titans defensive backs coach, Withers has been with the team since 2001, and has been responsible for coaching the cornerbacks.
Withers will join new Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster, whom he worked with at the University of Texas prior to joining the Titans.
Under Withers’ guidance, Samari Rolle and Andre Dyson received Pro Bowl honors, and Pacman Jones has developed into one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. (more…)

Titans Offseason Positional Analysis – Receivers

January 24, 2007

The Titans’ receiving game sucks. That’s pretty plain, simple, and straightforward.
Tennessee ranked 31st in the NFL in receiving yards last year, 31st in receptions, tied for 30th in receiving touchdowns, and tied for 28th in first down receptions. I didn’t have to look those stats up to know that the Titans’ receiving game sucked, only to see how badly. Looks like hind teat, as suspected.
Here’s the stat that really hits home and puts things in perspective. The Titans had only one reception of over 40 yards last year, dead last in the league. Contrast that with New Orleans, who had 20.
(more…)

Titans Offseason Positional Analysis – Running Backs

January 22, 2007

For the third time in his six-year career, Travis Henry gained over 1,200 yards rushing, accumulating 1,211 in a comeback performance last season. After not starting in the first game and not playing in the second, Henry got the start in Week 3 and won the starting job for the rest of the season with a 123-yard effort in Week 5.
With the addition of rookie LenDale White, drafted in the second round last year, it looks like the Titans could have a solid one-two punch at running back for the next several years.

Player Gms GS Att Yards Avg Lg TDs 20+ 1stD
Travis Henry 14 13 270 1211 4.5 70 7 9 48
LenDale White 13 0 61 244 4.0 26 0 1 13
Chris Brown 5 3 41 156 3.8 21 0 1 8
Ahmard Hall 14 7 7 21 3.0 11 0 0 3

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Titans Offseason Positional Analysis – Quarterbacks

January 20, 2007

As promised, I’m now about ready to start the Titans’ offseason positional reviews for 2007. Strengths and weaknesses will be addressed, as will projected departures and anticipated needs. Although the Titans are healthy cap-wise, in several instances a player’s cap number will be an issue and will therefore be addressed accordingly.
We’ll start with the most important position, quarterback, which of course means Vince Young.
There’s no question about the starting position. Vince signed a contract for five years, with an option for a sixth, last year. The deal could reach $58 million with incentives, and $26M is guaranteed, so he’s not going anywhere for a while. (more…)

Titans GM Search Underway

January 19, 2007

I like what the Titans are doing in making their GM search somewhat public. It’s a refreshing change from the old days of secret meetings that used to go on around the league. Eight names have now been reported as potential candidates for the Titans’ general manager position.
The Titans have received permission to interview Packers director of pro personnel Reggie McKenzie and Jaguars director of pro personnel Charles Bailey. They have also reportedly asked for permission to talk to Dolphins GM Randy Mueller, Seahawks vice president/football administration Mike Reinfeldt and Seahawks vice president/player personnel Ruston Webster.
In-house personnel rumored to be potential candidates include Titans director of player personnel Rich Snead, director of college scouting Mike Ackerley, and scout Blake Beddingfield. (more…)

Players the Titans Need to Re-Sign

January 18, 2007

Fans are already speculating about the NFL Draft, which won’t be held for more than another three months. They’re also looking forward to the combine in Indianapolis, which is still more than a month away.
I’m not looking forward to either of them, at least not yet.
First things first. The date I’m looking forward to is March 2, the start of the new NFL calendar year. More specifically, I’m looking forward to the activities which will take place between now and then. The Titans have until March 1 to re-sign their players who will otherwise become free agents March 2. (more…)

Eddie George Staying Active

January 16, 2007

Eddie George still hasn’t officially announced his retirement, although he’s been pursuing other activities since he last played. Besides his restaurant and landscape business, Eddie’s been doing TV work, most recently as an analyst for the Ohio State/Florida national championship game.
George has also become involved in politics, as a protege of Nashville Vice-Mayor and mayoral candidate Howard Gentry. Governor Phil Bredesen has appointed George to Get Fit Tennessee, a new statewide campaign to increase awareness of health and fitness.
Monday night he took to the stage in a theater production of God’s Trombones. And he wore a robe, not a dress. (more…)