Archive for May, 2007

Titans tab Davis to play in slot

May 31, 2007

Two years ago the Titans selected three receivers in the draft and repeated that in this year’s draft. The best of those 2005 receivers turned out to be the second one selected, Brandon Jones, and it won’t surprise me if the same will hold true this year.
Chris Davis was the second receiver selected this year, after Paul Williams and before Joel Filani, and is a guy I think can make some contributions for the Titans this year.
Davis is a natural slot receiver and should take over that position, replacing free agent departure Bobby Wade. While Jones and Roydell Williams can play all three receiver positions, they’re better suited to play outside, where Williams will compete for playing time. Filani should get a look both in the slot and outside. (more…)

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Remembering True Heroes

May 28, 2007

Total Titans wishes all of you a happy and safe Memorial Day. Many people will celebrate the three-day weekend with picnics, backyard cookouts, days on the lake, and other festive activities.
In the midst of your holiday celebration, I urge you to remember Pat Tillman and others like him who gave true meaning to the reason why we recognize this special day.
Tillman and twenty-five other former NFL members are among the many thousands who have given their lives in service to our country. Pat Tillman walked away from a multimillion dollar contract with the Arizona Cardinals to enlist in the Army Rangers, one of the most unselfish acts I have witnessed in the sports world. (more…)

Titans snagged best center in the draft

May 26, 2007

I’m fairly impressed by the Titans’ fourth draft pick, center/guard Leroy Harris. Although he played both positions at NC State, it looks like the Titans will use him primarily as a backup to Kevin Mawae, and possibly to be his eventual replacement.
The Titans have Harris listed only as a center on their roster and Jeff Fisher said they had him rated as the best center in the draft. That’s saying something when you consider that Ryan Kalil and Samson Satele were selected back to back in the second round. It probably also explains why the Titans leaped at the chance to draft him when he was still available in the fourth round.
I won’t be a bit surprised to see o-line coach Mike Munchak give Harris plenty of work at guard as well. Munch believes in having well-rounded linemen, which is why he’s worked all of the new ones at multiple positions. (more…)

Why Titans, NFL fans are fanatic

May 24, 2007

It’s a sad day for sports fans in Nashville and in the middle Tennessee area. I’m not much of a hockey fan, but the news that the Nashville Predators are being sold leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
The worst part of the news is that the buyer seems to want to move the team. (He tried to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins a year ago to move them to Ontario, where he lives.)
While the Titans have a lengthy waiting list for season tickets, have sold out every game since the stadium was built in Nashville, and enjoy tremendous fan support, other local sports have not done as well. There are various reasons why the other teams/sports haven’t enjoyed a comparable level of fan support but I don’t intend to go into those issues here.
What I will address is the mixed emotions fans have when franchises are moved. If the Predators are moved, there will be many Nashville fans saddened and even angry. On the other hand, an equal number of fans, if not more, will be delighted in Ontario. (more…)

Expectations high for rookie WR Williams

May 23, 2007

Receiver was a position of drastic need for Tennessee in the draft and as the first receiver selected by the Titans, Paul Williams will have to meet some lofty expectations. Along with fellow draft picks Chris Davis and Joel Filani, they’ll have to replace Drew Bennett and Bobby Wade, the Titans’ leading receivers last year.
That’s asking a lot of any rookie receiver, but Williams has the measurables to be a good NFL player. He’s also got the bloodline, following his older brother J.D., a defensive back, into the league.
At 6′ 1″ and 209 pounds, Williams has good size to complement his athleticism and 4.41 speed. (more…)

Keyshawn to visit Titans

May 18, 2007

Receiver Dwayne Jarrett was someone the Titans had an opportunity to draft this April, but the Carolina Panthers selected him instead. Shortly thereafter, the Panthers released veteran receiver Keyshawn Johnson, who is scheduled to visit the Titans this afternoon.
The free agent eleven-year veteran could be a big help to the Titans, who are very inexperienced at receiver.

“I know Jeff, but I don’t know the organization, and I don’t know the makeup of the team and the coaching staff,” Johnson told the Associated Press. “I know a little bit about Norm Chow. I know Norm from college. At the same time, I want to make sure everything’s the right fit.
“I was in a situation last year I thought was the right situation, and wind up a year later going in another direction. I want to make sure it’s something everybody is committed to for the next couple of years. They’re committed to me, and I’m committed to them, whoever it is I go play for.”

Johnson does carry some baggage with him. The number one overall pick in the 1996 draft, he soon had a reputation as a brash, selfish, outspoken player who was known as Me-Shawn, and wrote a book, Just Give Me the Damn Ball, in which he criticized teammates. (more…)

Second thoughts on Titans’ second pick

May 17, 2007

After all my earlier disappointment with the Titans for using their second-round draft pick on a running back, I’m now looking for the positives that may come from this move.
I remind myself that while the Titans certainly needed to shore up their defense, a good running game can be a defense’s best friend, not to mention a young quarterback’s best friend as well. In one game last year the Titans’ defensive coaches voted Travis Henry as their defensive player of the game. All he did was have another of his strong rushing games which consumed minutes off the clock and kept the defense off the field.
Now that Henry is no longer here, someone will have to fill that void, which LenDale White isn’t capable of doing alone. (more…)

Graves getting tough on receivers

May 14, 2007

New receivers coach Fred Graves is getting tough on his charges and I’m liking what I’m hearing.
Last week Paul Kuharsky blogged that three of the Titans receivers might be a little too soft for Graves. Courtney Roby, Jonathan Orr and Justin Gage were the ones named.
An article by Kuharsky on Sunday related the news he is throwing bricks at the receivers as one of several new drills he’s putting them through.
Not that these are “new” drills; they’ve been around for a while, although they’re probably new to most of the Titans’ receivers.
Maybe not to Roydell Williams, whose position coach at Tulane was Trooper Taylor, who’s now at the University of Tennessee, where he throws bricks and other things at his guys. I don’t know if Taylor did that to Williams at Tulane or not. (more…)

Givens injury, Titans minicamp and other tidbits

May 10, 2007
  • David Givens revealed some interesting news to Tennessean reporter Jim Wyatt and the news is not good for Titans fans. Givens said his recovery is progressing slower than the Titans hoped for and he had to undergo a second knee operation. I’m not really surprised by this, I haven’t expected much, if anything, from Givens this year. Jeff Fisher has a history of giving overly optimistic prognoses of players’ return to action. If memory serves correctly, last summer Dr. Fisher predicted Erron Kinney would be back for practice in training camp and able to play in September.
  • In the same article, Wyatt wrote that LenDale White missed practice Thursday after straining a hamstring in OTAs earlier this week. White was overweight and out of shape to start OTAs, although Fisher tried to downplay the issue. The same thing happened last year, so White is showing some consistency if nothing else.
  • White has been penciled in as the starting back this year, but he’s not acting like he wants the job. His main competition should come from second-round draft pick Chris Henry, a real workout warrior. I’d like to see Henry push White and would also like to see someone light a fire under White’s rear. He had a chance to get himself in shape during the offseason and show he wanted to play this year. I wonder how serious he is about football. (more…)

Feeling better about Griffin

May 9, 2007

After my initial disappointment in the Titans’ selection of Michael Griffin as their first draft pick, I’m beginning to become more encouraged.
While I still believe a defensive end first and receiver second were more pressing needs, that wasn’t my gripe against Griffin. I thought then that if the Titans wanted a corner they could have had a true corner and better one from among several still on the board.
I’ve also moved off that position after finding out more about Griffin. (more…)