A review of the Titan WR crew: Dinger-style


In The Tennessean, old/new offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger provides an excellent analysis of the wide receivers on the Titans’ roster.
The critique, which excluded injured WR Roydell Williams and undrafted free agents, gives insight into Dinger’s first impressions of the much-maligned Tennessee Titan wide receiver unit.

Justin McCareins is by far making the best impression on Dinger, which should be no surprise considering the history between the two. Despite floundering during his tenure as a New York Jet, McCareins appears to be rejuvenated while operating in the familiar surroundings of Heimerdinger’s offense.
Justin Gage is also making a positive first impression. Gage parlayed a solid year into a contract extension during the offseason, and looks to continue to be one of Vince Young’s main targets in the Titans’ offense next season.
Inconsistency has been the road block in the path of Brandon Jones in his efforts to become a solid NFL receiver. His tenure in the league has been filled with injuries and inconsistent performances.
Unfortunately, inconsistency remains a part of Brandon’s game in the eyes of Dinger, who states:

“Brandon makes a big play everyday, but he has to block in the run and he has to be consistent catching the ball…he can’t make a mental mistake everyday.”

A common theme in Dinger’s assessment of the younger Titan receivers is the need for them to continue working hard. Paul Williams, Biren Ealy, Chris Davis and Lavelle Hawkins all appear to have the potential to be factors down the road, but in order for that to occur, they have to continue to work at perfecting their craft.
The battle of conditioning continues to be the biggest obstacle for Mike Williams, as evidenced by Dinger’s assessment of the former first rounder. Dinger states:

“He has great ability…he has to keep on working to stay in shape so he can run more than two routes in a row.”

Judging by the analysis, I think it’s fair to say that Roydell Williams better hope that his ankle heals in time because he is falling behind the pack. Despite his solid 2007 performance, there is a new sheriff in town, and the only way to impress the Dinger is to perform on the field. Roydell’s injury is opening up an opportunity for a guy like McCareins to step up and emerge as a factor in the passing game next season.
Dinger has been known for being a straight-shooter, so his analysis of the Titan receivers is unsurprisingly refreshing. Undoubtedly, the competition for playing time at wide receiver will be one of the most intriguing position battles to watch as we head towards training camp. 


16 Responses to “A review of the Titan WR crew: Dinger-style”

  1. Harrison Says:

    thank you so much for not being Gowyer…
    that guy shouldnt be allowed to contribute on this site

  2. adam Says:

    Roydell also had his 2005 season ended with a rist injury.

  3. adam Says:

    The Titans have 9 WR plus undrafted FAs. They’ll probably keep 6 and put Ealy on the practice squad again this year. That means 2 will be cut. I think it will be Roydell and Brandon. Both are consistently hampered with injuried and both have had problems with drops. They’ve had more time to prove themselves than Ealy, P. Williams, Davis and Hawkins. Gage & McCariens appear to be locks and I suspect Mike W. will make the team.
    I know Roydell had 55 catched last year, but like you said Drexell he’s watching while the others are participating. He hasn’t done enough in 3 years to warrant a guaranteed spot on the roster.

  4. Garland Says:

    Roydell Williams is a lock for this team. There is absolutely no way Chris Davis, Mike Williams, Brandon Jones, or Paul Williams beats him out for a roster spot this year. Roydell is “consistently hampered with injurie[s]”? He broke his ankle 5 months ago and will be back on the field in a few weeks, well before camp starts. Unless this injury is way worse than anyone is saying (and there is no reason to think it is), there is no way I would count him out after the third-year improvement he showed last year. It’s exactly what you should expect from a young mid-round receiver.

  5. Sean Says:

    My guess would be that the two most likely to be cut would be the other two Williams: Paul and most definitely Mike.

  6. Drexel Perry Says:

    Tom’s been a part of this site longer than I have, and he is a valued contributor.
    Roydell’s got his work cut out for him. I don’t think he is in danger of losing a roster spot, but his claim to a starting WR position may be up for grabs.
    As for Brandon Jones, he’s gonna have to become more consistent if he plans on being a contributor in the passing game.
    There’s alot of competition at WR, so I expect a suprise cut or two at that position. They say competition brings out the best in some players, so here’s hoping one or two of the young guys can emerge as potent weapons for Vince Young.
    As always, thanks for the comments guys.

  7. Tom Gower Says:

    Harrison, do me a favor and get the name right; it’s “Gower.” Otherwise, potential future employers, clients, etc. might not be able to find your comment.
    If I had to make a guess based on what Dinger said, Jones and Mike Williams seem like the guys most likely not to make the team, while Ealy, Gage, Hawkins, and McCareins all sound pretty secure.

  8. Scott Says:

    I know that Heimerdinger is suggesting that every receiver has an equal opportunity to make the team, but he is certainly not going to ignore last year’s production when the final cuts are being made. That means, barring injury, Roydell and Gage will be on the team. Whether Roydell will be the second or the third receiver, is the only question that has yet to be determined.
    The fact that McCareins was a free agent pick-up and has a history with Heimerdinger ensures that he will be on the team as well. Hawkins is guaranteed a spot because he was drafted just this year in the fourth round (and he is the pick the Titans received for Pacman).
    I think Paul Williams is also likely to benefit from the fact that he was a third round pick last year (80th over all) and will likely make the team – at least as part of the practice squad.
    That’s five receivers. Which means that Jones, Davis, M. Williams and Ealy are all on the bubble.
    I agree with you Tom that Jones and M. Williams are the most likely to be cut, but Chris Davis might also be a candidate for being pushed out. The Titans brought in other guys (Johnson, Carr and Hawkins) who will be able to return punts and they seem to have a bevy of slot receivers (which is Davis’ likely position).
    As for Ealy, I have not seen enough of him to make an educated guess as to whether he will survive the final cuts. Tom, why are you so high on him?

  9. jerry t Says:

    It will be brandon ealy and paul every body els job
    is secured.

  10. Sean Says:

    Brandon’s inconsistency may catch up with him, but I just don’t see it. There have been flashes when he’s been the best receiver the Titans have.
    Mike Williams has done absolutely nothing with the team, nor with any other team. I don’t see how he makes the team.
    I understand that Paul Williams was a relatively high draft pick, but seeing a total of zero snaps all of last year can’t be a good sign.
    I agree Ealy is likely to end up on the practice squad again. He’s also shown flashes, people were raving about him in camp last year, and Vince seems to be comfortable with him.
    I also agree Chris Davis may be on the bubble with the influx of returners to the Titans this offseason.
    McCareins, Hawkins, Roydell, and Gage all seem to be pretty secure in making the team based on their production and/or new contracts.

  11. Tom Gower Says:

    I don’t know that I’m really high on Ealy; I was surprised to see him make the team out of TC last year (figured he’d go the way of Tramon Douglas). I also didn’t see anything from him that thrilled me last year. I just think Mike Williams has shown by now he’ll never be an NFL WR, and the team’s tired of waiting on Jones. Personally, there’s no way I cut Jones before Ealy, since I think Brandon’s the only WR who can be better than average-quality starter, but Fisher’s the man in charge and I’m not.

  12. jerry t Says:

    Mike williams is on the bubble,but is expected to make the team. he’s a fisher guy. you’llsee.

  13. Matt Says:

    mike williams is a fisher guy and ealy is vy’s guy.
    i expect both of them to make the team along with mccareins, gage, roydell, and hawkins.
    i don’t see much more roster space than that…sorry paul williams, bjones, and chris davis.
    and don’t think that we’re afraid to cut rookies or 2nd year guys. how long did filani have to prove himself last year?

  14. jrtitans Says:

    The only lock here is Gower makes the all-star MVP team. Dont know where that comment from Harrison came from. One of Tom’s points recently was that Roydell had the most drops. Im sure that makes makes Garland( president of Roydells fan club) unhappy –but Im with the first post by Adam.
    Send Brandon and Roydell home—Let Rey Hill drive the car and it will be a great day in Titanville.
    Titans go 12-4 this season –Book it!

  15. jerry t Says:

    jr i agree about rey,but not roydell and i like the way
    12-4 sounds. Titans just needs to stay healthy for a full season.

  16. jason jones Says:

    Tom what did you mean exactlyhe will go the way of tramon douglas ?

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