After concentrating on the state of affairs at the quarterback position, naturally, we’ll now focus our attention on the players who catch their passes.
In the second installment of our annual offseason positional analyses, we’re going to take a look at how the Tennessee Titans stack up at the wide receiver position.
The Real Deal
Rookie Kenny Britt lived up to his billing as the team’s first WR selected in the draft’s 1st round in over a decade by stepping up with a rather solid performance in his debut season.
Showing the toughness to catch passes over the middle and the speed to get deep, Britt emerged as a valuable member of the Titans’ passing game as he led the team in receiving yards with 701.
The sky appears to be the limit for Britt, who should continue to progress and develop into one helluva receiver in this league.
As several forecasted prior to the beginning of the season, Nate Washington did provide the badly-needed element of speed to the Titans’ passing game in 2009. Unfortunately, his wheels were overshadowed by the nagging recurring theme of failing to hold onto the football.
Washington, who led the team in receiving touchdowns with six, is a solid weapon but if he’s going to take the next step up in his career, one of two things must occur: the league has to re-allow the usage of Stick-um, or Nate has to emerge as a more consistent threat by eliminating the dropsies from his game.
What does the future hold in store for Justin Gage?
Getting his thunder stolen by the likes of Britt and Washington, Justin Gage’s role decreased in the Titan passing game as he only amassed 28 receptions for 383 yards in ’09.
With Kenny and Nate clearly emerging as the team’s present/future starting WR combo, Gage is still a dependable vet who can step up in a pinch by making a big play or two. Of course, considering Coach Fisher’s attitude towards veterans, (cough, cough…Nick Harper) Gage will probably continue to see his share of playing time nonetheless.
More Hawk and Edison, please!
Lavelle Hawkins and Dominique Edison are two players who have failed to turn potential into production during their short NFL tenures. However, due to their abilities, I’m hoping that either one or both of them step up as producers in the passing game in 2010.
The rest of the bunch
Paul Williams- This guy has nine lives, doesn’t he? Unfortunately, the results will probably be the same for the former 2007 third round selection who never panned out.
Phillip Morris- Like his size (6’3″) but he’s still an unknown at this point.
Mark Jones- failed miserably mostly due to injuries in his attempt to replace Chris Carr at KR/PR. I’d be surprised if he makes the roster in 2010.
Due to the overwhelming presence of youth at the position, I’m hoping that the Titans won’t devote a draft choice towards WR this year. However, considering that the team has drafted at least one receiver in each draft since 2005, I wouldn’t be shocked if they picked up another pass-catcher via the middle-late rounds in 2010.
You can also color me pessimistic about the team adding a wideout via free agency. Barring injury, the top three WR’s are going to be some combination of Britt, Washington and Gage and if Edison and Hawkins continue to improve, there’s really no need to bring in another veteran.
That’s it for me, folks. What are your thoughts/opinions regarding the state of affairs at the WR position?