Kendall Wright, Chris Johnson and Tennessee Titans over-Hyped After Minicamps
While fans get fresh opportunities to see players in minicamps, the hype that results is rarely justified.
Because we're required to get updated news on our teams on a daily, if not hourly basis, sometimes stories are crafted with not a lot of substance behind them.
Rookies are going to get either really good or really bad press. New free agents are immediately deemed "the missing pieces" to a championship run.
Welcome to the over-hyped list:
1. Kendall Wright
Kendall Wright received more press than any player besides Chris Johnson and the quarterbacks.
Wright's a rookie, and rookie receivers almost never start right away, let alone become instant stars. Just because A.J. Green and Julio Jones did it last year doesn't mean this year's rookie crop is as talented.
Wright's getting on the field only for three-WR sets, and with Jared Cook playing a major role in the passing game, that may not happen as often as fans want immediately.
2. Taylor Thompson
Thompson is an intriguing offensive prospect with elite size and speed. The Titans traded up to ensure that he would be on the roster.
But comparisons to Rob Gronkowski are reaching a bit too far.
A best-case scenario might be Antonio Gates, who played college basketball and became an All-Pro performer in his second year.
Thompson still would have to beat Jared Cook and/or Craig Stevens to see significant snaps, and that's a lot to ask of a guy whose only game experience at the position since high school was in a college all-star game.
3. Kamerion Wimbley
Wimbley was the big free agent signed on the defensive side of the ball. He's immediately been pegged as a leader and an inspiration for the mostly young defense.
Wimbley is going to have a lot of pressure playing defensive end—a position he has not played much in his career. Not to mention, he's a bit undersized to be an every-down edge-setter.
No one can say if Derrick Morgan can reach the level of performance he displayed during his brief rookie year, and that will be a huge factor as to how much attention Wimbley gets on third downs from extra blockers.
He has a lot to prove.
4. Chris Johnson
Other than comparing himself to LeBron James and boasting that he's still the best running back in the league, Johnson's had a good minicamp and offseason.
He is training with the team and is poised for a comeback after a couple of relatively flat seasons.
It's not certain that the run-blocking will be any better, as Chris Palmer has already said in the media that his touches will not go up in 2012.
It's good news for his career that Johnson won't see his 2009 workload.
It also means that the Titans expect to move the ball primarily through the air.
5. The Quarterbacks
The old football saying is if you have two starting quarterbacks, you don't have one.
Most minicamp talk has been about the tight battle between Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker. Hasselbeck started 16 games in 2011 but couldn't finish them all. Locker looked good in his limited play, but it was exclusively with the Titans trailing, so he had to pass almost every down.
Steve McNair didn't win the starting QB role until his third year, so Locker shouldn't be considered a bust if he sits the opener.
It only means that with splitting reps, it's going to be tough for one player to get a command of the offense.
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