Stock Up, Stock Down for Key Tennessee Titans Heading into Camp
Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE
The usual pre-training camp excitement has been blunted by Kenny Britt's most recent arrest. The optimism of a young team on the rise with a coaching staff getting their first crack at a full offseason could be doomed by the actions of one player.
Training camp begins on July 27 regardless of Britt's status. No matter what happens with one player, the rest of the team needs to be ready for opening day. Here are the players whose stocks are on the rise or fall as we wait for the start of training camp.
This is not just because rumors that he was with Kenny Britt on the night of Britt's arrest turned out to be untrue. He's the 2011 rookie with the most room to grow, and he's going to get a shot to prove himself by earning the nickel corner role.
Proof of his exceptional athleticism has trumped pre-draft talk of him being soft and not initiating contact. Like Campbell, he may not start but will play significant snaps as a rookie.
He's been a mainstay at practice and has showed leadership. He's also talked nonstop of returning to his 2009 level of production. Chris is still the cornerstone of the offense.
The front office made Griffin a long-term contract offer soon after giving him the franchise tag. Griffin's turning into a leader. Now Jerry Gray needs to turn him into a more consistent performer on the field.
The drafting of Kendall Wright made a Cook breakout seem less likely. With Britt possibly getting suspended to start the 2012 season, Cook has an opportunity to carve a major role in the offense that he won't give up.
After the lockout last season, the team was bereft of veteran leadership. Hasselbeck offered that and his best play since 2007. At the same time, it's obviously the sunset of his career. The team has been built for the Jake Locker Era, coming soon.
Constant kudos for Zach Brown means that this will be the last year for Witherspoon in a Titans uniform. This will be Witherspoon's 11th year in the league.
Bleacher Report's own Nate Dunlevy commented that the Titans might be better off with third-year pro Kevin Matthews as the 2012 starting center. The front office has made more attempts to upgrade from Amano this offseason than they did with any other position. Matthews got plenty of snaps in OTAs as Amano recovered from surgery, so it's going to be a battle.
Pushed from left guard to right guard by the Steve Hutchinson signing, Harris has to prove that he's worthy to remain a starter. Fourth-year player Fernando Velasco's going to push him in camp.
Two knee surgeries and one arrest have made this an offseason to forget. Britt showed such promise early in 2011, making fans forget his offseason transgressions. He has a lot of work to do to earn the fans' trust and to be considered a long-term part of the franchise.
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