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Team Preview: Tennessee Titans
- Updated: August 6, 2012
With a surprising 9-7 season in 2011, the Titans have plenty to look for in this upcoming season. Although he had an under-achieving season in 2011, Chris Johnson got his contract extension. There’s also the fun quarterback competition between veteran Matt Hasselbeck and second-year player, last year’s first-round pick Jake Locker. Add in the rookies, and free agent losses/additions, this may be fun to watch.
With no off-season last year head coach Mike Munchak and his staff put together a nice system despite the constant adversity that his team faced. With that being said, it makes sense for the no non-sense Munchak and his people to draft Kendall Wright with the on/off field issues that wide receiver Kenny Britt has displayed ever since entering the league. While Munchak has developed an attitude for this team, now he must install a youth movement on both offense and defense.
Key additions: OG Steve Hutchinson
Key losses: WR Donnie Avery, FB Ahmard Hall
While Hasselbeck should figure to be the early season starter, there is no question that Jake Locker will be the guy by the time the season is over. New guard Steve Hutchinson should help Chris Johnson get back to his elite status, and nice formidable backups in Javon Ringer and Jamie Harper make the running game stable.
Very nice depth at receiver with Nate Washington, Kenny Britt (if he can stay healthy and out of legal trouble), rookie Kendall Wright and even Lavelle Hawkins who also earned himself a contract extension. Tight end Jared Cook has been a hot commodity in pre-season fantasy football drafts, meaning targets must be coming his way.
Player to watch: Kendall Wright, WR.
After a stellar collegiate career at Baylor, ending with the spectacular season of both Wright and Robert Griffin, there will be some high expectations. He’s already being drawn comparisons to Mike Wallace/DeSean Jackson skill levels which gives anyone high expectations but more so the profiled troubles of Kenny Britt could force Wright onto the scene quicker than expected.
Key additions: DE Kamerion Wimbley, LB Zac Diles.
Key losses: CB Cortland Finnegan, S Chris Hope
The addition of Kamerion Wimbley could turn up to be one of this year’s biggest off-season acquisition. Not only will he bring much-needed help to the defensive line but opposing teams giving Wimbley the attention may forget about 2010 first-round pick, Derrick Morgan.
Akeem Ayers will be another young player to thrive off a veteran’s attention in linebacker Will Witherspoon, making for a nice combination of possible tackling machines. Although the team lost Cortland Finnegan to free agency, they have four solid players in the defensive backfield with Alterraun Verner, Jason McCourty, Michael Griffin, and Jordan Babineaux. The team has new faces on defense but shouldn’t miss a beat.
Player to watch: Akeem Ayers, LB.
While his rookie season wasn’t a disappointment, there is certainly room for improvent from Ayers. With that, playing with veterans Barrett Ruud and Will Witherspoon, this young linebacker could show huge leaps of progression in his career this season. He came on late last season and fans should look for him to carry it over into a full season of success this year. The 6’3″ 254-pound bruiser will be looking to solidify his start job, and make a case as one of the best young linebackers in the NFL.
August 11th at Seattle
August 17th at Tampa Bay
August 23rd vs Arizona
August 30th vs New Orleans
September 9th vs New England
September 16th at San Diego
September 23rd vs Detroit
September 30th at Houston
October 7th at Minnesota
October 11th vs Pittsburgh
October 21st at Buffalo
October 28th vs Indianapolis
November 4th vs Chicago
November 11th at Miami
November 25th at Jacksonville
December 2nd vs Houston
December 9th at Indianapolis
December 17th vs NY Jets
December 23rd at Green Bay
December 30th vs Jacksonville
Although the schedule starts off tough for the Titans, they do seem to have a semi-easy schedule. With the only possible challenge in the division coming from the Texans that would be 2 possible sweeps (Colts and Jaguars) meaning four wins just in the division. With that being said, there could be an improvement from last year’s 9-7 season, but not drastic enough to make them better than Houston.
Projected record: 10-6