Tennessee Titans' Complete 2012 NFL Preseason & Training Camp Guide

Marlon MaloneyCorrespondent IJuly 20, 2012

Tennessee Titans' Complete 2012 NFL Preseason & Training Camp Guide

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    The Titans surprised a lot of people by going 9-7 last season. The team's brass had arguably the best draft of 2011, finding several productive players able to start or provide quality depth.

    The new coaching regime transitioned out of a staple of Tennessee Titans football—smash-mouth-run-it-down-your-throat football—to today's more modern pass-heavy approach.

    The team continued that trend with it's offensive selections in the 2012 draft and hope to develop the talent brought in last season.

    With training camp right around the corner, it's time for the second-year coaching regime to find out what kind of progress some of their key players have made and give answers to a few questions about the team.

    This primer is every Titans comprehensive training camp information guide to get every Titans fan amped up for preseason and beyond.

The Biggest Question Marks

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    Every team has the typical questions of what players to keep as depth and perhaps a starting roster spot or two up for grabs, but there are also some queries that are unique to each club.

    Here are the biggest questions that need to be answered as the Tennessee Titans prepare to enter training camp:

     

    1) Who will be the starting quarterback when Week 1 rolls around?

    Fans started screaming for Jake Locker to take over as the Titans' signal caller after a long rough patch from starter Matt Hasselbeck toward the end of last season. After Locker sat for all of last season, and some impressive performances in spot-duty, there are even more fans calling for there to be a switch in the starting lineup. The argument essentially comes down to experience versus potential.

    2) Will we see the Chris Johnson of old or more of the filthy-rich-2011-version?

    Last season was far from Chris Johnson's best. Just two years removed from his amazing 2,006 yard rushing campaign in 2009, CJ2k was barely able to break the millennium mark in 2011. Johnson held out for a big-money contract and appeared to be out of shape and lethargic for much of the year. So far this offseason the reports have been good, we'll have to wait and see if they're true.

    3) Will the coaching of pass-rush specialist Keith Millard and the addition of Kamerion Wimbley to the defensive line spark an improved sack rate?

    28. That's the total amount of sacks the Tennessee defense was able to muster up through the entire 2011-12 season. So, of course, when free agency and the NFL draft came and went fans were shocked to see that Millard and Wimbley were the only changes to a mediocre pass-rush. Wimbley is expected to improve on the failed experiment that was shifting Jason Jones out to end and the rest is on Millard to improve the roster's rushing technique.

    4) Will Eugene Amano remain the team's starting center and, if not, who will it be?

    Many were left scratching their heads when the Titans time on the NFL draft clock came and went and top offensive line prospects David DeCastro and Peter Konz remained on the board. The team brought in a slew of free agent centers but failed to sign any of them, opting instead to sign Steve Hutchinson at guard. Amano has been a subpar talent at center since entering the starting lineup, but there is very little competition to replace him.

    5) How will the secondary perform after the departure of Cortland Finnegan? 

    Losing a top-10, maybe top-five, corner back is tough for any team to cover for. Luckily, the Titans have a very underrated starter in Jason McCourty and Alterraun Verner has been a solid contributor as well. The biggest questions coming into play are: Is Verner ready to take over the role of playing inside on Nickel package plays?, Is there enough quality depth on the roster? Who will play outside on Nickel package plays?  

Players on the Roster Bubble

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    The NFL roster cutdown date is still a ways off (Aug. 28), and even then it's only down to 80 players. That doesn't mean we can't take an early look at the players who need to play their tails off to make the Titans 53-man roster come Sept. 2.

    • LB Will Witherspoon - If second-round pick Zach Brown proves to be a capable enough player early on, Witherspoon could be given his walking papers as a cost-cutting move. Witherspoon is the decline at age 32 and is set to make $3.5 million.

     

    • WR Marc Mariani - Kenny Britt, Nate Washington, Kendall Wright, Damian Williams and Lavelle Hawkins all sit above Mariani on the depth chart and Mariani's ability as a punt and kick returner aren't enough to warrant keeping him on the roster.

     

    • DT Shaun Smith - Smith joined the Titans after playing several seasons as a 3-4 nose tackle and was ill-prepared for the transition to the Titans 4-3 scheme. He had a mediocre 2011-12 season and is in a serious battle to remain on the roster through the preseason.

     

    • DT SenDerrick Marks - Marks has been an average, at best, player for the Titans since being drafted in 2009. He will be battling Smith for a roster spot as the two were both underwhelming last year.

     

    • FB Collin Mooney - The Titans may be skewing toward the pass under the new coaching regime, but they still intend to have a fullback on the roster. Mooney is reminiscent of Ahmard Hall, but he has competition.

     

    • FB Quinn Johnson - Johnson had a short stint as the team's starting fullback when Hall was suspended last season, ultimately the team went with Hall when given the choice. Johnson has more veteran experience than Mooney and isn't three years removed from last playing football either.

     

    • CB Ryan Mouton - Before missing the entire 2011-12 season with an Achilles tear, Mouton was on his way to being a quality depth corner for the Titans. He's competing with Alterraun Verner for snaps at nickel and faces some stiff competition as well. 

     

    • CB Terrance Wheatley - Is the more likely candidate at cornerback to be cut. He has almost never been even a minor contributor in his playing career, but a strong offseason could allow him to leapfrog Mouton.

     

    • LB Gerald McRath - McRath saw his opportunity to become a starting linebacker come and go in his sophomore season in the NFL. He hasn't been the same player since being suspended for having steroids in is system.

     

    • DE Scott Solomon - The seventh-round pick is a hard-nosed defensive end with a high motor, but he lacks any exceptional talents to beat the names above him on the depth chart. Solomon will likely end up on the team's practice squad for further development.

Players to Watch

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    No one really gets excited for preseason football, but with those four half-heartedly played games comes some clues into the development of a team's young and upcoming players.

    • CB Tommie Campbell - The second-year cornerback could see a major increase in playing time due to the departure of Cortland Finnegan. Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray touted Campbell as the team's second-best corner technique-wise and has him working outside in nickel package plays. The team has a lot riding on him to be a success, as the team doesn't have much experience behind its starters.

     

    • QB Jake Locker - There's a quarterback battle still underway in Tennessee, and the best news for Titans fans would be to see marked improvement in Locker's accuracy. Locker offers more big-play ability than Matt Hasselbeck, but lacks consistency. If Locker is able to showcase his talents during the preseason, the Titans' offense of the future can be seen in full in 2012.

     

    • WR Kenny Britt - The first two games of last season had people believing the Titans had finally found themselves a bonafide stud at wide receiver. Then came a very sudden freak ACL and MCL injury, ending Britt's season.

     

    • TE Jared Cook - Entering the final year of his rookie contract, Cook is faced with the task of not even reaching the potential that has been ranted about since he was drafted, but simply becoming a consistent contributor. The Titans are transitioning to a much more pass-oriented offense under the new coaching regime, Cook's development will be key to the passing game.

     

    • LB Zach Brown - Brown has been maligned by analysts for his perceived fear of contact, yet his college tackle totals seem to tell a different story. Brown brings an unusual amount of speed to the linebacker position and would provide the team with some of the added versatility that defensive coordinator Jerry Gray seeks if he can contribute early on.

     

    • DE Derrick Morgan - Morgan tore his ACL during Week 4 of the 2010 season and managed just 2.5 sacks while wearing a knee brace in 2011. He says he was only 75-80 percent, now the former first-round pick says he's at 100 percent and feeling no pain. A finally healthy Morgan should help a mediocre pass rush.

     

    • LB Kamerion Wimbley - Wimbley has essentially been a 3-4 outside linebacker for most of his career, but he will play end in Tennessee's 4-3 defense. He's racked up 6.5-plus sacks each of the past three seasons. The Titans have a lot of potential for improving its anemic pass rush, with Morgan fully recovered and Wimbley rushing off the weak side.

     

    • RB Chris Johnson - All the reports about CJ2k through the offseason have been unequivocally positive. He's bulked up, in shape, and running hard. One can't expect Johnson to return to the form that allowed him to become the NFL's sixth 2,000 yard rusher. But if a lethargic Johnson could still gain 1,000 yards in 2011, any kind of improvement will pay huge dividends.

     

    • WR Kendall Wright - The Titans surprised a lot of people by taking Wright in the first round. Many felt the team had bigger concerns to take care of, but the Titans are ready to become an elite offense by having serious talent at all the skill positions. The team initially planned to teach him the X position only, but he ended up learning the Z and F spots as well. Expect Wright to have a major role early, even if Britt is ready by Week 1.

     

    • DT Mike Martin - At 6-foot-1, 306 pounds, Martin played nose tackle at Michigan, but projects more as a three-technique tackle in the NFL. Martin boasts a variety of moves, but is more of a high motor guy than a skilled rusher. His strength and wrestling background have allowed him to win many one-on-one battles. He will battle for snaps with Shaun Smith and SenDerrick Marks and likely replace one of them on the roster.

     

    • LB Akeem Ayers - Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray touted Ayers as a playmaker last offseason, claiming that Ayers would move to being a down lineman on obvious passing situations. The lack of an offseason may have hurt his development a bit, but the Titans need him to help apply more pressure to opposing quarterbacks.

Best Depth Chart Battles

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    Competition from within is key at this time of year. Here are the biggest positional battles on the Titans' roster as we head into training camp.

    Quarterback: Jake Locker vs. Matt Hasselbeck 

    Anytime there's a quarterback battle it's the biggest position battle for that respective team. Sometimes it's good to have a battle at quarterback, other times it's because all of a team's options are underwhelming. Luckily for the Tennessee Titans, Locker and Hasselbeck both appear to be quality options at the position. 

    Heading into training camp, the starting job looks like it's Hasselbeck’s. Coach Mike Munchak said that the early season schedule (Patriots, Chargers, Lions and Texans) will factor into his decision for who the Week 1 starter will be. Hasselbeck's experience gives him the advantage in that scenario, as he has seen every defense there is in his 13-year career.

    The team will be Locker's to lead at some point, but it will be exciting to see if he can surpass, or at least equal, Hasselbeck's play Locker will be given the reigns. The preseason will be the proving ground for this major position battle.

    Linebacker: Zach Brown vs. Will Witherspoon 

    Witherspoon has been with the Titans for two seasons now, and has not been a quality starter since. Brown brings elite speed to the position and should be able to be an early contributor even if he fails to win the starting job. Brown has a lot of Witherspoon's characteristics. Both are capable of playing all three linebacker positions, have above-average speed and better suited for coverage than run stopping. 

    Keeping Witherspoon on the team would maintain a veteran presence at the position after Colin McCarty and Akeem Ayers both managed to takeover starting positions during their rookie seasons. Unfortunately for Witherspoon his $3.5 million price tag will likely factor into the team's decision to keep him if Brown comes close to matching Witherspoon's waning play.

    Center: Eugene Amano vs. Kevin Matthews vs. Fernando Velasco vs. William Vlachos vs Jon Cooper 

    Amano has been a turnstile at center since taking over the position two years ago for the Hall of Fame-worthy Kevin Mawae. He has been an awful run blocker and an average pass blocker who benefits greatly from his supporting cast. The Titans did not bring in much competition for Amano, but Matthews (son of Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews) looks to be his biggest competitor at the moment.

    Nickel Back: Tommie Campbell vs Chris Hawkins vs Coty Sensabaugh vs Ryan Mouton 

    The Titans need one of these four guys to step up and handle nickel back duties—whether that be in the slot or outside—after the departure of Cortland Finnegan. As stated before, Campbell is the leading candidate but things can change a lot over the next few weeks. This will be a key position battle if the Titans want to maintain its tough pass coverage and help out its subpar pass rush.

    Defensive Tackle: Shaun Smith vs SenDerrick Marks vs Mike Martin 

    Smith and Marks were both average at best last season. Smith gets a bit of a pass for switching from being a 3-4 nose tackle to playing in 4-3 defense. Marks on the other hand has never inspired much confidence and is purely a rotational player at this point. Jurrell Casey figures to be locked in at the other starting position with Klug still being a sub-package player that sees an uptick in snaps from his rookie season.

    In my opinion this battle boils down to Martin vs Smith. With a full offseason under his belt, his play should improve enough to give Martin some quality competition for the starting job. 

Full Tennessee Titans Training Camp and Preseason Schedule

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    The Tennessee Titans will be holding training camp at Baptist Sports Park in Nashville, TN and will be heading down to Dalton, GA for a joint practice session with the Atlanta Falcons on August 6.

    Players are scheduled to report back to Baptist Sports Park on July 27 with the first practice set for July 28. All practices are open to the public and free to attend, according to Titansonline.

     

    Date

    Event/Time

    Location

    Sunday, July 29

    Practice: 6:30-8:30 pm

    Baptist Sports Park

    Monday, July 30

    Practice: 3-5 pm

    Baptist Sports Park

    Tuesday, July 31

    Practice: 3:45-5:45 pm

    Baptist Sports Park

    Thursday, Aug. 2

    Practice: 6:30-8:30 pm

    Baptist Sports Park

    Friday, August 3

    Practice: 3-5 pm

    Baptist Sports Park

    Monday, August 6

    Practice: 4:30-7 pm (ET)

    Coahulla Creek H.S., 
    Dalton, GA.

    Tuesday, August 7

    Practice: 6:30-8:30 pm

    Baptist Sports Park

    Wednesday, August 8

    Practice: 3-5 pm

    Baptist Sports Park

    Thursday, August 9

    Practice: 3:15-5:15 pm

    Baptist Sports Park

    Saturday, August 11

    Preseason: 9:00 pm - @ Seattle

    CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA.

    Monday, August 13

    Practice: 3:30-5:30 pm

    Baptist Sports Park

    Tuesday, August 14

    Practice: 6:30-8:30 pm

    Baptist Sports Park

    Wednesday, August 15

    Practice: 3:15-5:15 pm

    Baptist Sports Park

    Friday, August 17

    Preseason: 6:30 pm - @ Tampa Bay

    Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL

    Sunday, August 19

    Practice: 3:30-5:30 pm

    Baptist Sports Park

    Thursday, August 23

    Preseason: 7:00 pm - Arizona

    LP Field

    Thursday, August 30

    Preseason: 6:00 pm - New Orleans

    LP Field

Tennessee Titans Training Camp Info

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    Baptist Sports Park has been the Titans' training camp and practice facility since 1999, one day after the team had concluded training camp and began preparing for its first preseason game of the year. 

    The park is replete with offices and meeting rooms, an auditorium, weight rooms, locker rooms, three outdoor practice fields, an enclosed field and a rehabilitation treatment center.

    Training camp is the only opportunity of the year when the facility becomes available to the public. Fans will have the opportunity to get an early look at the team's 2012 rookie class and receive player autographs.

    Location: 460 Great Circle Road, Nashville, TN 37228

Full Tennessee Titans Camp Roster

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    Quarterback   Defensive End
    Hasselbeck, Matt   Ball, Dave
    Locker, Jake   Dawson, Keyunta
    Smith, Rusty   Egboh, Pannel
    Stephens, Nick   Morgan, Derrick
    Running Back   Solomon, Scott
    Donaldson, Herb   Wimbley, Kemrion
    Harper, Jamie   Defensive Tackle
    Johnson, Chris   Casey, Jurrell
    Johnson, Quinn   Clayton, Zach
    Mooney, Collin   Divens, Lamar
    Ringer, Javon   Douzable, Leger
    Wide Receiver   Harris, DaJohn
    Aguilar, Devin   Klug, Karl
    Britt, Kenny   Marks, Sen'Derrick
    Deadder, Chase   Martin, Mike
    Evans, LaQuinton   Sheppard, Malcolm
    Hawkins, Lavelle   Smith, Shaun
    Kirkendoll, James   Linebacker
    Mariani, Marc   Ayers, Akeem
    Murdock, O.J.   Bailey, Patrick
    Preston, Michael   Brown, Zach
    Reynaud, Darius   Diles, Zac
    Washington, Nate   Malast, Kevin
    Williams, Damian   McCarthy, Colin
    Woods, D.J.   McRath, Gerald
    Wright, Kendall   Shaw, Tim
    Tight End   Watkins, Alex
    Barden, Brandon   Witherspoon, Will
    Cook, Jared   Defensive Back
    Graham, Cameron   Afalava, Al
    Stevens, Craig   Babineaux, Jordan
    Thompson, Taylor   Campbell, Tommie
    Center   Griffin, Michael
    Amano, Eugene   Hawkins, Chris
    Brinkley, Beau   Johnson, Robert
    Cooper, Jon   Martin, Markelle
    Matthews, Kevin   McCourty, Jason
    Vlachos, William   Mouton, Ryan
    Guard   Scott, Christian
    Burden, Chandler   Sensabaugh, Coty
    DeVan, Kyle   Verner, Alterraun
    Durand, Ryan   Wheatley, Terrence
    Harris, Leroy   Special Teams
    Hutchinson, Steve   Bironas, Rob
    Velasco, Fernando   Batson, Will
    Offensive Tackle   Kern, Brett
    Kropog, Troy    
    Otto, Michael    
    Roos, Michael    
    Stewart, David    
    Stingily, Byron    

     

Tennessee Titans 2012 Rookie Class

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    The Titans continued to get younger on defense, while seeking more play-making options on the offensive side of the ball. Last season's draft was arguably the best in the league with the team finding three immediate starters and plenty of quality depth. Here's a closer look at the team's 2012 NFL Draft choices:

    • WR Kendall Wright - A surprise pick for the Titans, Wright projects to make an immediate impact this season as he is already the team's third best receiving option. Wright offers big-play ability due to his very precise route-running and the ability to come out of breaks quickly. The Titans can now field an offense with three quality receivers and has great play-makers at every skill position offensively.

     

    • LB Zach Brown - What Brown brings to the Titans' defense is truly elite speed for the position. Finding a linebacker capable of running the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds is a rarity that was apparently too much for the front office to pass up. The consensus among draft analysts is that he is a bit soft. He excels in coverage, with plenty of speed and size to stay with tight ends downfield, and he is a sideline-to-sideline run defender. The knock against Brown is that he plays football more like an athlete than a linebacker. He lacks aggression and the instincts to diagnose the play in front of him. Expect Brown to push Will Witherspoon for playing time very early in the season. Brown will likely be a situational player throughout the season as a nickel-coverage linebacker.

     

    • DT Mike Martin - Martin comes in at just over 6'1" and weighing 306 pounds, making him a great fit for second-year defensive coordinator Jerry Gray's formula of adding bulk to the team's defense. The Titans rush defense struggled in 2011, giving up 4.5 yards per rush—good for 22nd in the NFL—and allowing a staggering 128.3 yards rushing per game. Martin doesn't possess any great skills as an interior pass rusher, but he does have a nonstop motor and excellent hand and foot quickness, which will allow him to be a constant factor in run defense.

     

    • CB Coty Sensabaugh - Sensabaugh fits into a Titans draft as added depth at an already very young position group for the team. He has not started many games and will need to develop his technique at the next level, but he shown the ability to cover top prospects in his senior year. He will need to work on improving his zone coverage skills to get any real playing time in his rookie season, but he does tackle well enough to contribute on special teams coverage.

     

    • TE Taylor Thompson - Thompson will be a project at tight end. The last time he played the position was in high school. He has great size and speed to make the transition, however, and projects to be the team's third tight end after they cut veteran Daniel Graham. He has looked like a natural at catching the ball and the team hopes he can provide them with another athletic tight end to pair with Jared Cook. I don't expect him to contribute much in his rookie year, but he will make the final roster.

     

    • S Markelle Martin - The Titans don't have any depth on the roster at either safety position. All signs point to Martin being maintaining a roster spot for certain, barring some unlikely development. Martin slipped a few rounds in the draft after suffering a torn meniscus in February. He is a hard hitter, but needs a lot of work on his coverage skills. Expect a special teams role for him in his rookie season.

     

    • DE Scott Solomon - Solomon projects to be a nickel rusher, at best, during his rookie year, but will face a lot of competition for a roster spot. He is a high-motor pass rusher, a la Kyle Vanden Bosch, and does not give up in pursuit. The Titans gave up a sixth round pick in next year's draft to select him, however, so that works in his favor should a roster cut decision come into play.

Tennessee Titans 2012 Undrafted Free Agents

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    WR Devin Aguilar - Aguilar has very limited skills and is not blessed with the speed someone of his size needs to make it in the NFL. He has almost no chance of making the final roster.

    TE Brandon Barden -  According to Sports Illustrated:

    Physical tight end with marginal athletic ability for the next level. Bends knees, plays with leverage and works blocks. Extends his hands and offers the quarterback a nice target as a receiver. Uses his frame to shield away defenders. Finds the open spot in the middle of the field and is a solid short-range target. Lacks a quick release off the line into pass routes. Has poor speed and is not a downfield threat. Lacks agility and strength as a blocker.

    The odds of the Titans keeping a fourth tight end on the roster are slim to none, and with the guys the team has ahead of him on the depth chart it's not likely he makes the team.

    P Will Batson - The Titans like to bring in an extra punter or kicker every offseason to keep their starters fresh. This year Batson is that extra leg.

    OT George Bias - According to Sports Illustrated:

    Works to bend his knees, blocks with good lean and keeps his feet moving throughout the action. Explosive at the point, stays square and turns defenders from the action. Gets movement run blocking, jolts opponents with a punch of his hands and makes good use of body positioning. Lacks top footwork sliding out off the edge. Narrow-based blocker. Must improve his playing balance.

    The Titans are set at tackle and already have quality backups at the position as well. He's a camp body.

    LS Beau Brinkley - Long-time Titans long snapper Ken Amato was cut by the team this offseason and appears the team has found his replacement in Brinkley. He is the only long snapper currently on the roster, so all signs point to him making the final squad.

    G Chandler Burden - According to Sports Illustrated:

    Quickly sets up off the snap, keeps his feet moving and immediately gets his hands into opponents. Makes good use of angles, stays square and seals defenders from the action. Fluid moving on his feet and works blocks until the whistle blows. Easily controls defenders once engaged at the point of attack. Not a natural knee-bender and gets tall in his blocking. Lacks balance and struggles covering a large area.

    The profile reads like a guy with the potential to develop. The Titans have added some veteran depth at guard recently in the form of Kyle DeVan, decreasing Burden's odds of making the roster. I expect him to be on the practice squad.

    WR Chase Deadder - As we all know, the Titans are pretty set at wide receiver after the team drafted Kendall Wright in the first round. Deadder does offer some rare size for the position at 6'6. His size may warrant a practice squad spot, but nothing more.

    WR LaQuinton Evans - According to Sports Illustrated:

    Settles into the open spot of the defense, extends his hands to offer the quarterback a target and nicely adjusts to errant throws. Uses his frame to shield away defenders and protect the pass. Gives effort blocking. Lacks a burst and does not play to his timed speed. Struggles adjusting to the ball in stride. Rounds off routes.

    Won't make the roster due to a crowded wide receiver corps.

    DT DaJohn Harris - According to Sports Illustrated:

    Explodes off the snap, displays strength in his lower body and pushes blockers off the line of scrimmage. Forceful, works his hands throughout the action and keeps his feet moving on contact. Displays solid first-step quickness, consistently doubled by opponents and plays with good pad level. Limited athlete with a marginal closing burst. Not effective rushing the passer or making many plays behind the line of scrimmage.

    The Titans weren't the best at stopping the run last season. An impressive training camp could allow him to make the roster as a fifth defensive tackle.

    FB Collin Mooney - Mooney spent the last three years fulfilling his term of service in the military, but before that he set Army's single-season rushing record. He is in a competition with Quinn Johnson for the Titans' lone fullback roster spot. At this point it looks like a 50/50 shot that he makes the roster.

    DB Christian Scott - According to Sports Illustrated:

    Scott presented himself as an NFL prospect after his junior season yet watched his progress slide last season. He possesses the size, speed and overall skill to get consideration in a zone system.

    The Titans' lack of depth gives Scott a decent shot of making the roster.

    QB Nick Stephens - Stephens finds himself in a battle with Rusty Smith for the Titans' third quarterback spot. Smith will likely win the battle because of his added knowledge of the team's system.

    C William Vlachos - According to Sports Illustrated:

    Works to stays square, keeps opponents in front of him and effectively uses his hands. Plays with consistent knee bend, keeps his head on a swivel and works well with linemates. Steers defenders from their angle of attack or turns them off the line. Explosive at the point. Effectively quarterbacks the offensive line. Gets minimal movement run blocking. Overwhelmed at the point of attack by opponents. Marginally athletic.

    Vlachos will be given a chance to compete for the team's starting center position, but I don't see him winning it in his rookie year. He looks like a developmental talent he may receive a spot on the practice squad.

    LB Alex Watkins - The Titans have a ton of both young and experienced talent at the position. Youth is served in the form of Colin McCarthy, Akeem Ayers, Zach Brown and Gerald McRath while Will Witherspoon, Zac Diles, Patrick Bailey and Tim Shaw. Watkins' chances of making the team are slim.

    WR D.J. Woods - According to Sports Illustrated:

    Quick slot receiver prospect who's displayed flashes of skill the past three years. Smooth releasing off the line, immediately gets to top speed and makes the reception in stride. Nicely redirects or adjusts to grab the errant pass. Extends and makes catches away from his frame. Has good quickness. Comes back to the ball out of breaks and works to make himself an available target. One-speed receiver who does not show burst on the field despite his 40 time. Does not display naturally soft hands and double catches passes.

    Once again, the Titans' receiving corps is too loaded to find room for someone with Woods' limited abilities.

Tennessee Titans 2012 Free Agency and Trade Additions

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    DE Kamerion Wimbley - The Titans made improving its pass rush somewhat of a priority this offseason after fielding a defense that notched just 28 sacks in 2011—good for 31st in the league. Wimbley has essentially been a 3-4 outside linebacker for most of his career, but will make the transition to playing right end in the Titans' 4-3 defense. Over the last three seasons Wimbley has racked up a minimum of 6.5 sacks in each. With Wimbley inserted into the lineup, along with a fully healed Derrick Morgan on the other side, the Titans have the potential to see significant improvement in its pass-rush ability.

    C Jon Cooper - The Titans brought in a parade of free agent centers before the NFL draft, but failed to ink any of them to a deal. Enter Cooper with one career start, the Titans added a player with "experience" to its starting center competition. He faces an uphill battle to make the final roster as he is a bit undersized for the position. 

    G Kyle DeVan - Like Cooper, DeVan is another undersized lineman who was brought up in the old mold of Colts' small and agile blockers. DeVan has been brought in to provide the team with some experienced depth. He began last season as a starter for the Eagles, but quickly succumbed to rookie Danny Watkins' advances. He should be able to stay on the roster as a swing guard.

    LB Zac Diles - Diles was a solid starter for the Houston Texans from 2008-10, before going through a wave of injuries. He is ultimately a backup quality linebacker only at this point in his career, but he offers the team some size similar to that of starter Akeem Ayers and provides some added experience to an increasingly young position group. The deciding factor for him remaining with the team will come down to his ability to contribute on special teams. The Titans have to special teams stalwarts in Patrick Bailey and Tim Shaw. 

    G Steve Hutchinson - “He’s the glue of that offensive line right now,” offensive coordinator Chris Palmer said. “He’s a veteran that’s played a lot of snaps, he knows how to play the game and I think he settles everyone down up front. The interior of the Titans offensive line, namely center Eugene Amano, received much of the blame for Chris Johnson's down year in 2011. The team hopes Hutchinson provides the same boost that the Kevin Mawae signing did back in 2006. He should help add some much needed toughness and communication to the interior of the team's offensive line.

    DL Leger Douzable - According to Pro Football Focus, Douzable was one of the NFL's most effective run stoppers in 2011-12 after the Jacksonville Jaguars increased his snaps toward the end of the season. He provides the size that defensive coordinator Jerry Gray seeks in defensive lineman at 6'4 284 lbs and can play either tackle or end. The Titans have a lot of players competing for roster spots at both positions, but if he can continue his improved play from last season he will make the roster. 

Game-by-Game Preseason Analysis and Predictions

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    Preseason Week 1: Tennessee Titans at Seattle Seahawks

    August 11 will be Titans fans first opportunity to get a look at first-round pick Kendall Wright in action and will be Matt Hasselbeck's first return to his former team. The game would be an early opportunity to see whether the team's run defense, but Seattle's Marshawn Lynch could be facing a suspension for a DUI and the team may go with a different approach for the game. Instead the Titans' test will come in the form of playing a top-10 defense.

    The Titans' secondary will have an average test in the form of Sidney Rice and Dug Baldwin. The Seahawks still don't quite have their quarterback situation figured out, but Tavaris Jackson offers the thrill of stopping a mobile quarterback. Prediction: Titans Win 17-6

    Preseason Week 2: Tennessee Titans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    As bad as the Titans were at picking up sacks last season, the Buccaneers were worse. Also like the Titans, the Bucs were pretty good at protecting their quarterback—albeit, the Titans were still much better. This game provides the Titans with the opportunity to test its new pass rush out against an above-average pass-blocking team.

    Look for the Titans to have a good day running the ball with Tampa Bay having the league's worst run defense last season. Prediction: Titans win 24-10

    Preseason Week 3: Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans

    Week 3 will give Jason McCourty and Alterraun Verner their first true test in coverage in the form of Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals also have rookie Michael Floyd, Early Doucet and Andre Roberts. It's a very strong crop of receivers to test the young Titans' secondary.

    The Titans were one of the league's best pass-blocking teams in 2011, allowing just 24 sacks, while the Cardinals were an excellent at taking down opposing quarterbacks to the tune of 42 times. Let's see how well the Titans' revamped offensive line does against an elite pass rush. Prediction: Titans win 21-20 

    Preseason Week 4: New Orleans Saints at Tennessee Titans

    Finally, the Titans will play a playoff quality opponent and an even truer test of the team's pass defense as they face the NFL's most prolific passing game. Going up against Jimmy Graham will test the team's ability to cover opposing tight ends leading up to its Week 1 game against the New England Patriots.

    More importantly, the Titans will also be facing an offensive line as tough as its own when it comes to pass blocking. This game will be a real opportunity to see how much pressure Tennessee's defense can get against the likes of Drew Brees. Prediction: Saints win 30-22

Projecting the Final 53-Man Roster

12 of 12
    Quarterback
    Defensive End
    Hasselbeck, Matt   Ball, Dave
    Locker, Jake   Morgan, Derrick
    Smith, Rusty   Solomon, Scott

    Running Back

      Wimbley, Kamerion
    Harper, Jamie  

    Defensive Tackle

    Johnson, Chris   Casey, Jurrell
    Mooney, Collin   Douzable, Leger
    Ringer, Javon   Klug, Karl
    Tight End   Martin, Mike
    Cook, Jared   Smith, Shaun
    Steven, Craig   Linebackers
    Thompson, Taylor   Ayers, Akeem
    Wide Receiver   Bailey, Patrick
    Britt, Kenny   Brown, Zach
    Hawkins, Lavelle   McCarthy, Colin
    Washington, Nate   McRath, Gerald
    Williams, Damian   Shaw, Tim
    Wright, Kendall   Will Witherspoon
    Offensive Tackle   Cornerback
    Kropog, Troy   Campbell, Tommie
    Otto, Michael   Hawkins, Chris
    Roos, Michael   McCourty, Jason
    Stewart, David   Sensabaugh, Coty
    Guard   Alterraun Verner
    DeVan, Kyle   Safety
    Harris, Leroy   Babineaux, Jordan
    Hutchinson, Steve   Griffin, Michael
    Velsaco, Fernando   Johnson, Robert
    Center   Martin, Markelle
    Amano, Eugene   Special Teams
    Brinkley, Beau   Bironas, Rob
    Matthews, Kevin   Kern, Brett