by Jimmy Morris
1. The Titans have had a somewhat rocky off-season, centered around the whole Pacman Jones extravaganza and suspension. Do you think not having Pacman around for the season will help the team build some unity, an "us against the world" mentatlity, or will the loss of a player as talented as he have a negative effect on the team?
The loss of Pacman on the field will obviously hurt the team. He was a
solid defensive player and a great return man. It is nearly impossible
to replace that.
The locker room will be stronger this year but not by forming an "us
against the world mentality." It will be stronger because the Pacman
Jones circus will not be present. There will be fewer distractions that
will allow for more focus on football.
2. The Titans lost arguably their best player overall in Pacman Jones for the season, their best receiver in Drew Bennett, and their best running back in Travis Henry. How do they overcome those losses and try to build on the strong finish of 2006?
Those losses are not going to be easy to overcome. It is going to take
some young players on the roster stepping up. The Titans did a lot
towards replacing Pacman on defense by signing Nick Harper and Kelly Herndon. They also drafted Michael Griffin in the first round. Those
three guys as well as a couple of guys already on the roster are having
some great training camp battles. The secondary will be fine.
The toughest place to replace Pacman is in the return game. There are
only a couple of guys in the entire league that could replace him there.
The Titans have some candidates but none of them can bring to the table
what Pacman did.
Drew Bennett will be replaced by a committee of receivers. The Titans
recently added Eric Moulds who actually had more catches than Bennett in
2006. The Titans will look to Brandon Jones, Courtney Roby, and host of
rookies to pick up the slack as well.
LenDale White will have the assignment of replacing Travis Henry. White
is actually similar in style to Henry. He had some weight problems early
in the offseason but has gotten himself in good shape at this point. He is
having a strong camp and will get plenty of touches when the season starts.
If he can stay healthy, which is a big if, he can come close to the
numbers Henry put up last season.
3. The Titans won some football games last season with "smoke and mirrors," and many are predicting the Titans record to take a tumble with some of those key losses. If they do finish wiht a disappointing year (fewer wins than last season), is Jeff Fisher's job safe?
Fisher's job is very safe. Titans' owner Bud Adams has full confidence
that Fisher is the guy to lead this team out of the rebuilding process.
He proved last year that he knows how to motivate a young team. He will
get every opportunity to bring the Titans back to the playoffs.
4. Vince Young cleary needs to work on his passing, as he finished as the 30th ranked passer in the NFL (66.7 rating). How is he going to improve as a passer without Drew Bennett, and especially now that teams have film on him?
Vince Young was a rookie last season. Peyton Manning's rating was just
over 70 in his rookie season. Troy Aikman's rating was 55.7 in his
rookie season and 66.6 in his 2nd year. Both of those guys turned out to
be decent quarterbacks in this league. Vince Young will continue to get
better as he plays more. Young has spent a lot of time with the receivers
Teams had film on Vince last year. His college career was a pretty good
indicator of what his pro career would be like. Most teams still didn't
do a very good job of stopping him. Vince is a special player that has
the ability to raise the level of play from everyone around him. The
loss of Bennett isn't going to hurt as much as most people think.
5. The Titans finished with the best division record (4-2) in the AFC South in 2006. With all the losses they sustained, and the improvements that Houston and Jacksonville made in the off-season, can the Titans repeat that same 4-2 division record?
I think so. The Titans are going to be a better team in 2007 than they were in 2006. Most people are going to read that and laugh. I don't blame them, but I think Vince Young has the ability to lead this team to great things. I am not saying the Titans are going to win the Super Bowl, but I do think they will make strides to be a better team in 2007.
Behind Enemy Lines: Titans
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