Archive for July, 2009

Tennessee Titans Positional analysis: RB

July 22, 2009

Next up in our series of Tennessee Titans positional analyses is the running back position.

Smash and Dash reigned supreme in 2008, as Chris Johnson and LenDale White combined to give the Titans one of the league’s most dynamic duos at RB.

In 2009, will Chris Johnson continue to develop into one of the game’s best runners, or will he experience a sophomore slump? Will a trimmer LenDale White blossom during his contract year?

I’ll take a look at these questions and more regarding the team’s running backs, after the jump.

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Tennessee Titans positional analysis: DT

July 21, 2009

We continue our preseason positional analyses by moving across the line of scrimmage to take a look at the defensive tackles.
 
Although Albert Haynesworth has left Tennessee I am mindful of the old adage about clouds and silver linings. The depth at DT is much deeper this year, which is a very good thing when viewed in the context of the Week 5 game with the Ratbirds last year. Only three DTs dressed for that game and when starters Big Al and Tony Brown got banged up, defensive end Dave Ball had to move inside. He actually played fairly well considering he wasn’t at his natural position.
 
Continuing with the cloud and the silver lining theme, serendipity has transpired for the Titans in this regard. Brown is more comfortable at RDT, where he’ll be the starter in the spot occupied by Big Albert for the last seven seasons. Brown has blossomed in Tennessee after being picked up as a street free agent and if he feels better on the right side than he does on the left, he may continue to improve.

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Tennessee Titans Positional analysis: QB

July 19, 2009

We’re less than two weeks away from the beginning of Tennessee Titans training camp, which means that the dog daze of the seemingly endless NFL offseason are thankfully almost over.

The onset of another NFL year also means that it’s time for the writers of Total Titans to conduct our annual pre-training camp positional analyses. Over the next several weeks, we’ll take a look at the current state of affairs at each position.

Let’s get things rolling by discussing the quarterback position.

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What’s your plan for Titans tickets?

July 17, 2009

I had the opportunity Thursday afternoon to swing by LP Field and chat with a few fans who were lined up to buy single-game tickets going on sale Saturday morning. The first ones in line arrived Monday, the latest just minutes before I got there.
 
One fan from the Bristol area, whom I’ve chatted with in past years, enjoys the annual ritual. He said most of the people in line are regulars who do this every year. They enjoy each other’s company and the camaraderie, something he also mentioned a year or two ago. Due to his family’s work, school and family schedules, he said they’d only be able to attend the Bills game this year.
 
That’s a real fan. He and his family drove 300 miles to sleep in a tent for several days, waiting for tickets for just one game.
 
Another man and his wife are looking forward to the Cardinals game. It seemed like everyone had their favorite games targeted for various reasons.

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Will Sen’Derrick leave his mark in 2009?

July 16, 2009

Prior to being selected by the Tennessee Titans in the second round on draft day, Sen’Derrick Marks was already enthusiastic about the potential of his NFL playing career unfolding in Nashville:

“The Tennessee Titans flew me in for a visit. They didn’t spend much time making physical assessments, though, and seemed more interested in getting to know me as a person. I guess they wanted to see how I act around people, how well I can relate with people.”

“I really liked it there. Everyone from (head coach) Jeff Fisher on down acted like normal people the whole time, which was really cool.”

Now that he’s joined the Titans, how long will it take for the Auburn alum to leave his mark as a valuable member of the team’s defensive line rotation?

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Should the Tennessee Titans retire Steve McNair’s #9?

July 14, 2009

Last fall, during the halftime ceremony of the Tennessee Titans’ memorable 31-21 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, Steve McNair, Eddie George and Frank Wycheck were inducted into the team’s newly created Ring of Honor.

However, despite the recognition, the jerseys of the aforementioned Titan greats were not retired. As a matter of fact, a set of criteria was established that requires guys such as McNair, George and Wycheck to meet three stipulations in order for their numbers to be retired:

Adams also created a set of criteria for future players to have their jersey numbers retired. Players would have to meet three benchmarks to attain this honor, including entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, recognition as achieving their greatest success with the Titans/Oilers franchise and play the majority of their career with the Oilers/Titans franchise.

Should the Titans make an exception to their policy by immediately retiring the late Steve McNair’s #9 jersey?

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Questions for Football Outsiders

July 13, 2009

Pardon the non-forthcoming McNair post-my copy of that playoff game ended up not being very cooperative.

Anyway, I will be doing a Q&A with Football Outsiders on their projections for the 2009 season (Titans 9.5 wins, “fringe playoff contender”).  If you have any questions you’d like to see me ask, please post them in the comments.  Otherwise, you’ll get what I come up with.

For those of you not familiar with Football Outsiders, check out their website.  In addition to providing content to ESPN.com, they publish what for my money is the best preseason annual for the serious football fan, what used to be called Pro Football Prospectus and is now called Football Outsiders Almanac.  For more on what that book is, see my review of PFP08 and their page on FOA 2009.

A long week for the Tennessee Titans

July 12, 2009

Instead of focusing solely on the celebration of Independence Day and enjoying the beautiful summer weather during the doldrums of the NFL offseason, the Tennessee Titans were faced with the cruel reality of losing one of the franchise’s iconic performers.

Steve McNair’s untimely and unfortunate passing has dominated the headlines for the Titans over the course of the last week. The usual emphasis on preparing for the upcoming season was replaced by the tears of frustration and sadness that fell as a result of losing such a beloved former player.  

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Steve McNair is already in the Hall of Fame

July 9, 2009
I hadn’t planned to write much more about the passing of Steve McNair but have had a change of heart, wanting to share some moments from his funeral service earlier this evening.
 
“Highlights” may not sound appropriate, perhaps even bordering on the macabre, but it was a celebration of his life. Several speakers said Steve had scored a final touchdown.
 
Derrick Mason spoke of his love for Steve and finished his comments by thumping his chest twice and pointing to the heavens.
 
Likewise, Eddie George spoke of love, for Steve and all his teammates. He also said people asked him if Steve would someday be in the Hall of Fame. Eddie drew resounding applause when he said Steve was already there. Eddie finished by reading a poem he had composed about Steve, about warriors.

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Saying goodbye to Mac9

July 7, 2009

Three writers, three similar but different perspectives.  Unlike Drexel, I never met Steve McNair in person.  Unlike Andrew, actually getting to see Steve (or, for that matter, the rest of his teammates) play was a rare experience-living outside the Nashville area, in NFC markets, and without Sunday Ticket, the Titans actually being on TV was a pleasant but disappointingly irregular event.  No, on Sunday afternoons I tended to be glued to the computer, listening to Mike Keith and Pat Ryan or later Frank Wycheck on Titans Radio.

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