Team: Tennessee Titans
Record: 13-3 Home: 7-1 Away 6-2 Division: 4-2
Coaching Staff – A+
Head coach Jeff Fisher in his staff are absolutely the best in professional football; end of story! I particularly like defensive line coach Jim Washburn and offensive line coach Mike Munchak, but Marty Galbraith, Earnest Byner, and Chuck Cecil are also fine teachers and excellent motivators.
Offensive Line – B+
Boy, I've really been impressed with left offensive tackle Michael Roos. He has excellent feet, quickness and his pass sets and range were both very good. I can still remember watching him on tape back in 2005 while attending Eastern Washington St and believe he has come light years under the tutelage of the aforementioned Munchak. Center Kevin Mawae, a 15 year veteran, appears to be improving with age. He's strong, extremely smart and experienced. Former Colts starter Jake Scott, isn't a big man by today's standards, but he a very good technician and knee bender. Eugene Amano and David Stewart are two another home grown products that Munchak has helped develop.
Wide Receivers / Tight End – B-
Veteran Alge Crumpler in his eighth season is still a very solid and dependable all around player. I've never been big fans of the Justin boys; McCareins or Gage, but they are veteran players with size and can catch the football. Brandon Jones is a good player, but four years removed from the U of Oklahoma, I felt he would be a much further advanced as a player. Hawkins, Davis and Williams are serviceable back ups.
Running Backs – A
Rookie Chris Johnson has been nothing short of outstanding as both a runner and pass receiver while LenDale White has proven to be a near perfect back up and red zone runner. Fullback Ahmard Hall is a solid blocker with little in the way of running skills.
Quarterback – C+
Kerry Collins looks like a sure thing to capture the NFL comeback player of the year award. They haven't asked him to win a football game, but by the same token he has managed the games very effectively.
Defensive Line – A
The defensive front is a real strength for this football club. Albert Haynesworth is as good as it gets on the inside while veteran Jevon Kearse is no longer a top threat as a pass rusher, but is gives them a strong veteran presence. When Kyle Vanden Bosch is right physically, you don't find many ends that play harder. Journeyman Dave Ball and rookie Jason Jones have played extremely well in reserve roles. Veteran coach Jim Washburn, is one of the very best defensive line coaches in all of football.
Linebackers – B-
Keith Bulluck is an instinctive player with range and good playing instincts. In his 9th season on the job, he is still one of the top outside backers in football. Stephen Tulloch is an undersized tough inside player with a very good nose for the ball. David Thornton is a very solid football player. Depth is a problem in my opinion.
Secondary – A-
Cortland Finnegen an undersized small college safety from Samford, who in three years has developed into one of the best corners in the business, I really liked his ball skills and playing instincts. Nick Harper is a veteran on the left side. Again the starters have played well, but I have some concern regarding the limited depth at the position.
Special Teams – A
The journeyman place kicker Rob Bironas has really been an excellent player in his stint in Nashville. He's deadly accurate and handles game pressure extremely well. It seems like Craig Hentrich, has been around forever. He is the picture of consistency throughout his career and is a real asset in critical situations. The coverage teams have been first rate, but the returns teams featuring the Chris Boys (Johnson, Carr and Davis) has been ordinary.
Injury Factor – Obviously losing your starting quarterback Vince Young and defensive players like Albert Haynesworth and Kyle Vanden Bosch, for varying periods of time hurt, but the Titans were able weather the storm.
Team Offensive MVP – Chris Johnson
Team Defensive MVP – Albert Haynesworth
Top Rookie – Chris Johnson
Top Free Agent – Alge Crumpler
Team Strength – Defensive front, running game
Team Weakness – linebacker depth, wide receiver
Final Word – They are not flashy, but this is a well coached unit. If they can survive this week ends battle against a very talented Ravens squad, look for them to advance to the big game in Tampa Bay.