Tennessee Titans: 5 Backups That Could Start for Other Teams
With the Texans coming in strong and one doozy of a schedule, the Titans won't exactly be competing for the Super Bowl next season. The defensive backs are a little green, the interior offensive line is suspect and the pass rush will be better, but not good enough.
They've still got a ways to go as a team, but there's still a lot of talent on the roster at some positions. In fact, several of the Titans' backups, if they were on another team, could be starters.
Here are five Titans players that aren't starters right now, but could be if they were on another team.
I haven't seen much of Jamie Harper on the playing field, but he was fantastic in the 2011 preseason. So much so that on most teams, he would've seen a lot more playing time.
In one game against the Rams, he ran for a total of 83 yards (that's a ton for a preseason game) that included one Chris Johnson-like breakaway for 46 yards and a touchdown (that's even more impressive when you remember that he's 233 lbs).
Now I know that's just the preseason, but it's still something worth looking into. Victor Cruz got playing time based on an impressive preseason game against the Jets, and now he's the team's leading receiver.
With Johnson back in shape, both Harper and Javon Ringer will be seeing limited time on the field. However, if he were playing for someone who needed a good power back or didn't have a true every-down back, he'd be seeing a lot more of the field.
While Kenny Britt's surgeries and likely suspension may make Damian Williams more than a backup right off the bat, he showed flashes of starting potential last season when he was in the regular rotation.
Williams was an early third-round selection in 2010, which means he was snatched off the board before both Eric Decker and Antonio Brown. He's fast and a good route runner, so he's got some potential.
His first season was forgettable, since he saw little playing time, but last season with Britt out, Williams racked up 542 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Furthermore, he averaged over 13 yards per reception. Not bad.
Williams is far from a proven commodity, but considering that he has done quite a bit without being on the field a ton, he would be lining up as a starter on most teams.
The Titans may have the youngest group of corners in the league, but that doesn't mean that they aren't talented. Tommie Campbell is the one to watch for this season, as he'll make a push for more opportunities on the field.
Jason McCourty and Alterraun Verner are entering their fourth and third years in the league, respectively, so they'll be the unquestioned starters. However, Campbell will compete for some of their playing time.
The Titans selected Campbell in the seventh round of 2011 for his athleticism, and he hasn't disappointed so far. He played special teams last year, where he was a consistent contributor and even returned one kickoff for a touchdown.
Where he really shined though, like Harper, was in a preseason game. Against Chicago, Campbell broke up a pass and then snagged an interception that he returned 90 yards for a touchdown.
That athleticism, combined with his improved technique, would make Campbell a starter on a few teams that lack talent at the position.
Jake Locker/Matt Hasselbeck
I put both quarterbacks on the list because I don't know which one will end up being the starter when the season rolls around.
Matt Cassel is still a starting quarterback, so you can see just how tough it is to fill the position nowadays.
The Titans are in the enviable position of having two starting-caliber quarterbacks on the team.
Yes, I know Locker has only shown flashes, but so far, he's looked better than any quarterback in his draft class other than Cam Newton and Andy Dalton.
I've said before—and I still think this is the case—that I think Hasselbeck will still be the starter when the Patriots game rolls around. However, should Locker take the starting position by that time, I think Tennessee will still look pretty good.