The 53-man as training camp opens

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UPDATE: I accidentally left off two names from the earlier list, so updated post.

It’s time for a slight diversion from our position analysis series.  The Titans opened training camp today.  Aside from the body and mind shape aspects of training camp, the other big deal is trimming the roster from the current 80 players to the 53 it needs to be come Thursday in Pittsburgh.

You may recall that, before the draft, I did a post on whether or not the Titans had room for all their draft picks.  In that post, I did a preliminary stab at identifying which players had a good chance to make the opening day roster.  With camp opening, it’s time for me to play Jeff Fisher and take my first real crack at who will be among the fortunate 53.


As a reminder, I’ll reprint from this article I did last preseason on what sort of breakdown we’ve see from the Titans in the past:
QB: 2-3
RB: 4-5
TE: 3-4
WR: 6-7
OL: 8-9
DE: 4-5
DT: 4-5
LB: 6-7
CB: 5-6
S: 4-5
Other: 3

So, what’s my prediction:
QB: Kerry Collins, Vince Young
RB: Ahmard Hall, Chris Johnson, Javon Ringer, LenDale White
TE: Jared Cook, Alge Crumpler, Bo Scaife, Craig Stevens
WR: Kenny Britt, Justin Gage, Lavelle Hawkins, Mark Jones, Nate Washington
OL: Eugene Amano, Ryan Durand, Troy Kropog, Leroy Harris, Kevin Mawae, Mike Otto, Michael Roos, Jake Scott, David Stewart
DE: Dave Ball, Jacob Ford, William Hayes, Kyle Vanden Bosch
DT: Tony Brown, Jovan Haye, Jason Jones, Sen’Derrick Marks, Kevin Vickerson
LB: Keith Bulluck, Ryan Fowler, Stanford Keglar, Gerald McRath, Josh Stamer, David Thornton, Stephen Tulloch
CB: DeMarcus Faggins, Cortland Finnegan, Nick Harper, Ryan Mouton, Cary Williams
S: Vinny Fuller, Tuff Harris, Michael Griffin, Chris Hope, Donnie Nickey
K: Rob Bironas
P: Craig Hentrich
LS: Ken Amato

Known/possible issues:
QB: I think the Titans would prefer to keep 3 quarterbacks, but I think VY shows enough in camp to fend off a challenge from Ramsey, and the roster spot is needed elsewhere.
RB: Another place under a space crunch, with my prediction leaving returnees Ganther and Henry off the team.  Ringer looks like the best replacement for LenDale for next season.
TE: Would they really cut Crumpler?  Craig Stevens’ development from last season will answer that question.  I don’t think Crump is much of a special teams guy, and that could be the difference.
WR: 4 TEs leaves this position at 5, which is probably one too short.  Chris Davis needs to win a returning job to make the team.  That could leave Hawkins looking in.
OL: I don’t know when Mawae will be healthy, so they’re forced to keep an extra body here.  My guess is that’s Durand, but I’m not very confident of that.  That would leave Amano as the backup at C if Mawae is out and Harris goes down.  See who replaces Harris at C in the preseason games, and that’s the guy who may get this roster spot.
DE/DT: Eleven players, no more than nine spots.  I went back and forth on whether Kearse or Vickerson got the last spot.  It’ll probably be Kearse, but Vickerson has more of a niche.  For Jevon, it may be if he’s not a starter, he doesn’t make the team, and Ball’s ahead of him there.  Mitch King would have a better shot if the Titans were the Lions or another team that isn’t looking to try to go for it in the next two years.
LB: Starters and backups are chalk.  I don’t have a roster spot for Allred, and think they keep Stamer.
CB: History says they’ll keep at least 5.  I see 2 names I actually like.  3rd round pick means Mouton is 3.  Actually signing Faggins makes 4.
S: 5 returners.  Harris’s spot depends on special teams play and love from Fish.  I probably should have Allred instead of him, and would if I had 6 CBs.
Other: I wanted to see Hentrich retire, and am worried about his performance falling off a cliff.  Trapasso will get all the work Craig doesn’t want in camp, but Hentrich will make the team.

Ok, have at it.  Who makes the team, and who isn’t around?

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8 Responses to “The 53-man as training camp opens”

  1. Scott Says:

    I have a few issues with your selections for the 53 man roster. I think 4 TEs (add Crumpler) and 4 RBs (add Little) make this team. The following players on your list don’t make the team:
    – Otto (there’s no way they keep 9 offensive linemen on the 53 man roster, and may only keep 7, Durand could be on the practice squad)
    – Vickerson (they drafted Marks to be the Big man and King will be on the practice squad)
    – Fowler (his salary is too high for a special teams player – Keglar and McRath are the backup LBs)
    – Harris or Nickey do not make this team (there is no way both make it).

  2. BurheadTitans Says:

    Quarterback – 3
    Kerry Collins
    Vince Young
    Patrick Ramsey
    Running Back – 4/5
    Chris Johnson
    LenDale White
    Ahmard Hall
    Javon Ringer
    ————
    Rafale Little
    Tight End – 4
    Alge Crumpler
    Bo Scaife
    Jared Cook
    Craig Stevens
    Wide Receiver – 5/6
    Justin Gage
    Nate Washington
    Kenny Britt
    Lavelle Hawkins
    Mark Jones
    ———-
    Dominique Edison
    Dudley Guice
    Free Agent Veteran
    Offensive Line – 7
    Kevin Mawae
    Eugene Amano
    Jack Scott
    Michael Roos
    David Stewart
    Leroy Harris
    Troy Kropog
    Total Offense: 23
    Defensive Tackle – 6
    Jovan Haye
    Tony Brown
    Jason Jones
    Sen’Derrick Marks
    Kevin Vickerson
    Mitch King
    Defensive End – 5
    Kyle Vanden Bosch
    Jevon Kearse
    Dave Ball
    Jacob Ford
    William Hayes
    Linebacker – 6
    Keith Bulluck
    David Thornton
    Stephen Tulloch
    Ryan Fowler
    Gerald McRath
    Stanford Keglar
    Cornerback – 6
    Cortland Finnegan
    Nick Harper
    DeMarcus Faggins
    Cary Williams
    Jason McCourty
    Ryan Mouton
    Safeties – 4
    Chris Hope
    Michael Griffin
    Vincent Fuller
    Donnie Nickey
    Defensive Total: 27
    Special Teams – 3
    Rob Bironas
    Craig Hentrich
    Ken Amanto
    Let me break my roster down;
    QB – If the coaching staff is comfortable with Vince then I could see us carrying only two QBs and saving a roster spot. Realistically I see us carrying three.
    RB – CJ, LW, Sarge and JR are locks in my opinion. I would not be opposed to carrying five running backs into the season. The Little/Ringer tandem could be pretty good; with Little being the CJ and Ringer being the LW of the duo.
    TE – I see us carrying four tight ends no big concern here.
    WR – I am making the case that if Cook is progressing like the coaches are making him out to be we would only have to carry five true receivers on this year’s roster with Cook acting as both a tight end and receiver.
    OL – I think seven o-linemen should suffice this year, if we need to call up more depth as the season goes on that shouldn’t be a problem.
    DT – I honestly see us carrying five DTs into the year (Haye, Marks, Jones, Brown, Vickerson). The final DT slot will come down between whoever wins the Vickerson vs King battle. I won’t lie I’m a big King homer and have been since I looked the guy up after he signed with us after the draft.
    If you coached a team you would want a player with his intensity and fire and ability to play the game on your roster some how. He is most likely fighting with Kevin who will likely make it due to his size and the coaching staff not wanting to let a rookie (Marks) being the only big body in the group. There is no earthly way possible for us to sneak him through waivers and onto the practice. As much as I like King he might be a #s cut sadly.
    DE – We’ll carry what we had from last year into this year.
    LB – Same group with the addition of McRath.
    CB – I have us carrying six CBs into this year. Outside of the top three (Finny, Harper, Faggins) its really going to be interesting for depth. A player I am particularly rooting for is Cary Williams. I believe he could be something special if he can stay healthy this year. Mouton and McCourty should also make it.
    DB – Same group from last year.
    ST – Same group but I’m going to give the kick and punt returner slots to Mark Jones due to his veteran status and not fumbling any kicks last year.
    Thoughts?

  3. Bob Loblaw Says:

    Hey Drex, looks pretty reasonable, but as your list stands now you have 51 – (23/25/3). My guess would be:
    (+1) They keep 5 WR as you have it, but keep 4 TE (add Crumpler to your list) and Cook plays more as a slot receiver this year.
    (+1) Ganther makes the team as backup FB & special teams or Rafael Little makes it as returner/4th RB.
    If they want to keep Ramsey, Ganther/Little doesn’t make it or they go with 8 OL and Otto is out.
    Allred or Stamer makes it and Fowler is cut – he makes too much as a backup. Of course this depends on whether the Titans project McRath as a MLB in the NFL. The depth chart has him at SLB, but if he were to move outside, it would make more sense for Keglar to play sam and McRath to play will.
    I agree that Kearse is the odd-man-out on the DL, but Wyatt & Kuharsky both commented that he looked good today.
    Fisher’s affinity for veteran backups in the secondary means Faggins probably makes the team, but i would rather take my chances with McCourty – at least you don’t know for sure that he’s going to get beat deep. I think Faggins got a 2-yr deal, but he can’t have a prohibitively high signing bonus, so barring injury, hopefully he isn’t on the opening day roster.
    Maybe Schommer challenges Nickey?

  4. Bob Loblaw Says:

    There’s absolutely no way that they keep 7 OL, especially when that includes only one backup interior lineman with Mawae’s injury history. I haven’t heard anything suggesting that Kropog can play inside.

  5. Tom Gower Says:

    Cripes, I had 53 on the Excel file I was using and only copied 51 of them. Alas, I junked the Excel file I was using, so give me, oh, Stamer and Crumpler. Let me take care of that.

  6. Tom Gower Says:

    Comments on your thoughts:
    OL: It’s impossible for me to see them carrying only 7-Mawae may not play before the season opener. If you carry 7 with him, you’re dressing 6 and they want to dress 7. If somebody else goes down, you then have 5 guys. If you have a game like JAX had Week 1 last year, you’re in deep trouble. 8 guys here is a minimum.
    DL: Complete logjam. An injury may help sort things out here, as Kuharsky suggested in Thursday’s chat when I asked him. I have a hard time seeing them keep more than 9-if you take 10, at least 2 of those will be inactive pretty much every week. Pity about Mitch King-he did for Iowa’s defense last year what Gallery did for their offense in 2003.
    LB: What happens if Bulluck or Thornton goes down? Is Keglar ready? I have a hard time seeing them play McRath if that happens. Instead, Tulloch moves outside (he played there W17) and Fowler slots into the middle. Yes, he’s making a lot for a backup, but the Titans can afford it.
    S: Nickey’s cheap and reliable on special teams, plus he’s also the backup holder. He’s a lock in my mind. Tuff Harris was my #53 guy, beating out McCourty on experience and Ganther on distributional grounds. Schommer has a shot at that spot, too.

  7. BurheadTitans Says:

    Tom,
    From what I’m hearing Keglar has improved a lot from last year. The way I see it playing out is that Keglar and McRath are our future at the outside linebacking positions with Tully staying on the inside.
    I also agree that 11 defensive linemen won’t happen but that’s my personal views on the matter. Mitch is a guy you just have to root for like in Rudy.

  8. Bob Loblaw Says:

    Tom, my apologies for addressing my first post to Drexel – was looking at the previous article on DE’s when the page was loading and didn’t pay attention.

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