Tennessee Titans Offseason State of the Union
It's been a very busy offseason for the Tennessee Titans, full of changes and uncertainty.
New head coach Ken Whisenhunt will bring a different style of play to both sides of the ball as this team tries to end a lengthy playoff drought. A largely new coaching staff leaves a lot of question marks surrounding where this team stands in the AFC South.
The fans are growing impatient, and rightfully so. Here is a state of the union on where this team stands with training camp less than two months away.
The Titans have put a ton of attention toward their offensive line over the past few seasons, and it's the main reason why it's the biggest strength of their team.
Taylor Lewan was a surprising draft pick in the first round, but he adds depth to an already solid offensive line.
The starters might already be in place with Michael Roos and Michael Oher being the front-runners at tackle.
Building the foundation from the offensive line seems to be the priority of this organization.
You also can't discount how much improvement the receiving corps is showing. Kendall Wright is the leader of this group, but Justin Hunter has the skills to make a big jump in his second NFL season.
It's hard to pinpoint the strengths of this team that has changed so much since the last time we saw them. With that said, the Titans will have to lean on their ability to control the line of scrimmage on offense with a powerful offensive line.
Until stability is found at quarterback for the Titans, it will remain a nagging weakness. It's the main reason this team hasn't seen the postseason since 2008.
Jake Locker is getting one more chance to prove he's the guy who can be the franchise quarterback that can take the Titans back to the postseason.
Another weakness that the Titans have to show improvement in is special teams. It's often overlooked, but special teams is so vital. The Titans started off the 2013 season with a major blunder against the Steelers, and it was a continuing trend.
The Titans should see improvement in this area with Dexter McCluster being added to the roster, and some important draft picks will look to be effective special teams contributors.
It's hard to know what to expect from the Titans right now thanks to all of the new faces on their roster, including head coach Ken Whisenhunt.
The Titans added several new faces through the draft and free agency. Perhaps the most talked-about addition was the drafting of a new quarterback, Zach Mettenberger.
A lot of the new faces probably won't make immediate impacts.
The biggest additions came on defense with Shaun Phillips and Wesley Woodyard. It was a bad year for Titans linebackers in 2013, and the shift to a 3-4 defense will be an interesting thing to keep an eye on with this team.
Bishop Sankey and Dexter McCluster will help at running back as the Titans try to get used to life without Chris Johnson.
Sankey will have a legitimate shot at pushing for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. He will see plenty of offensive touches.
What to Expect in 2014
Expectations need to be similar to what they were heading into last season. The Titans have a brutal first four games that include three playoff teams.
If the Titans manage to split those first four games, then optimism of a playoff push will be fair to have.
Ken Whisenhunt will need time to get this team on the same page. It's not a complete overhaul, but it's pretty close.
One thing that is in favor of the Titans is a weak division. I don't expect much from the Houston Texans or the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2014. It gives the Titans a chance to build some very important wins within the division.
There will be two or three swing games that will seal the Titans' fate one way or the other. In the end, I see the Titans coming up just short at 9-7.