Archive for February, 2008

Titans start free agency with bang silence

February 29, 2008

On the onset of Free Agencypalooza 2008, the Titans were looking to maintain their status as the league’s best defense and upgrade a sometimes lackluster offense. With Free Agency nearly 25 hours old as of when I write these words, the Titans are still looking to do those things, having signed precisely nobody.
Thanks for playing, and we’ll see what tomorrow may bring.

February 29, 2008

The market price for prospective free agent defensive linemen has been set. On Thursday, Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders made Tommy Kelly (who?) the league’s highest paid defensive tackle by granting him a seven year deal worth up to $50 million, with about $18 million guaranteed. That’s an absurd price for a slightly above average defensive lineman coming off of an ACL injury.
As we all know, Titan defensive linemen Antwan Odom and Travis LaBoy are unrestricted free agents this offseason. Their relatively youthful ages and recent production strongly suggest that both players will have their share of suitors during the beginning of the free agent signing period. As Andrew’s recent article regarding the defensive end position points out, the Titans may have a hole or two to fill on their defensive line this offseason.
As a result of Kelly’s record contract, the cost required to re-sign Odom and/or LaBoy has most likely become more expensive.
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Titans prepare for new year with last minute moves

February 28, 2008

Today, February 28, is the last day of this NFL calendar year. Like every other team in the league, the Titans are making some last minute moves before the 12:01 a.m. ET deadline.
Justin Gage signed a new four-year, $14M contract, as was commented on yesterday on Total Titans.
The Titans released David Givens, who played only five games with the Titans before suffering a hellacious knee injury. As I recall, he tore his ACL and meniscus and also broke his kneecap, all on the same play. From what I know about it, it was one of the worst knee injuries in NFL history. Drexel wrote a very good article on Givens recently, which I recommend in case you missed it.
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Under the radar free agents that could help the Titans

February 27, 2008

Names such as Randy Moss, Donte Stallworth and Alge Crumpler will dominate the headlines when free agency begins at the end of this week. Teams looking for the quick fix or the final piece of the puzzle will place numerous phone calls to the agents of high caliber players that will be available to the highest bidder once the clock advances past midnight on Friday.
Coming off of a 10-6 season and a playoff birth, the Titans will be one of those teams searching for the type of help that will allow them to become a member of the league’s elite. Blessed with a tremendous amount of salary cap room, the Titans are in a position to be one of the major players in free agency.
As much as we dream of having a Randy Moss or even an Alge Crumpler in a Titans’ uniform next season, their will also be lesser known free agents available that are more than capable of providing a positive impact on the Titans’ 2008 season.
Here is my list of under the radar free agents that could help the Titans next year.
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LDE is becoming more of a priority for the Titans

February 26, 2008

I doubt if Titans d-line coach Jim Washburn has been sleeping as well lately as he would have liked.
This afternoon I heard from Tennessean beat writer Jim Wyatt on the free agency front about the status of Tennessee’s left defensive ends. It’s not good news for Wash or for Titans fans.
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Titans offseason positional review – kicker and punter

February 25, 2008

The series now turns to the special teams as we near the end of the positional reviews. Today we focus on the kicker and punter positions.
Rob Bironas – Before the 2007 season started I don’t believe anyone could have foreseen Bironas would have a Pro Bowl season. I was a little apprehensive after he missed two PATs in 2005 and I don’t recall a bad snap or poor hold on either of them. I have no idea why Bironas’ consistency improved but I’m not complaining.
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Titans offseason positional review – fullbacks and H-backs

February 24, 2008

I’m combining the reviews of the fullbacks and H-backs because all of them but one are guys who can play multiple positions and it’s nice to have a few guys like that on your team. All of them also contribute on special teams.
The two positions can sometimes be used interchangeably, as well, although I don’t recall Mike Heimerdinger doing a lot of that in his previous OC stint with the Titans.
Here’s my take on the players currently in the mix.
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Donte’ Stallworth is officially available

February 23, 2008

Yesterday, Donte’ Stallworth became the latest entry into the 2008 free agent WR market. The Patriots declined to pick up a combined $8 million option that was due to Stallworth if he remained on the roster through the end of next week.
Adding playmakers is high on the Titans’ agenda as they embark upon free agency. Despite nagging hamstring injuries, Stallworth is one of the league’s better playmakers at the wide receiver position.
He would be a nice addition to a Titan receiving group that is in need of an infusion of talent. 
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Titans offseason positional review – running backs

February 22, 2008

I’ve run across a ridiculous rumor on several websites, claiming Jeff Fisher said in an interview that the Titans would gladly sign Cowboys running back Marion Barber, giving up first and third-round draft picks to do so.
Funny thing is, I couldn’t find it posted on the website of any station that “interviewed” him, if there ever was one to begin with. Another problem with the rumor, among others, is that it could be considered tampering.
Nevertheless, the rumor has apparently received a little credibility from people who believe it and I wonder if that’s because they also believe the Titans need to upgrade their running game, which was the fifth-best in the league last year.
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Titans offseason positional review – quarterbacks

February 21, 2008

Tennessee Titans fans will enter this season with some trepidation as quarterback Vince Young will be trying to improve on a disappointing season last year. Was it due to his injured quadriceps, a sophomore slump or the Madden curse (for those of you who believe in those things)?
How will the change at offensive coordinator affect Vince? Can Mike Heimerdinger help Vince get it turned around or will Vince find it difficult to work with the Dinger?
One thing is certain — the Titans’ offense was ranked at or near the bottom of the league in many passing and passing-related categories last year. That needs to change. It would be nice if the offense were a little more balanced. It would be nice if the offense even had the threat of being more balanced. But until it is, defenses will continue to load up against the run and dare the Titans to beat them passing.
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