Nashville, TN - With training camp a mere four days away, Tennessee Titans players are wrapping up their offseason activities and gearing up for what is sure to be a busy preseason. Veterans will be looking to keep their spots, while the new up-and- comers will be vying for playing time right from the start.
It's not all about the players picked in this years' draft; the Titans made some key free agent moves, and at least one position will be fought over by two or more players already established on the Titans' roster.
Heading into training camp, these are the questions that should be on everyone's minds:
Does Kerry Collins have it in him to keep his starting position, or is he rapidly moving into Brett Favre territory—holding on just a little bit too long, trying to recapture the magic that has long since left?
If Collins falters, who will be there, ready, and most importantly, able to fill the void at quarterback? Has Vince Young truly matured into an NFL signal caller, or is he one bad game and a few boos away from yet another meltdown?
His attitude in the offseason seems to indicate that he might not be as mentally tough and stable as some would like to believe, and NFL fans are fickle—one wrong move from VY and the boo-birds are gonna be on him, quick and mercilessly.
And they have long memories.
Two other guys on the TItans roster would most likely LOVE to be considered the No. 2 guy, because Collins is so very long in the tooth. Rookie Alex Mortensen and veteran journeyman Patrick Ramsey both look to dislodge VY, and possibly Collins, from under center.
Who will have a more immediate impact on the receiving corps: Kenny Britt, the wunderkind that the Titans put their hopes on in round one of the NFL Draft, or Nate Washington, a supposedly undersized and under speed veteran receiver who wears two Super Bowl rings—that he personally helped to acquire—from his days in Pittsburgh?
And why is Britt still not signed? The kid was good, but he wasn't THAT good...
Kevin Mawae is another aging veteran; will he have the durability to make it through the whole season, and possibly deep into the post season? He's smart, but is smart gonna be good enough to keep him healthy?
The Titans are taking seven running backs into camp; Chris Johnson is probably safe, but is the "Smash" half of the "Smash and Dash" duo up for the challenge of keeping his position? LenDale White has come out publicly and welcomed the competition, but is it all false bravado? Will he really step up and earn his spot, or expect it to be given to him?
Will he play, or will he pout?
Alge Crumpler plays five years older than his actually is, and Bo Scaife just hired arguably the biggest loudmouth jerk in the agent business—albeit a loudmouth jerk who gets ridiculously large contracts for his clients—Drew Rosenhaus.
Is this an indication that Scaife is about to play hardball to keep his job or get big bucks elsewhere? Does that open the door for one of the three young tight ends coming to camp to make an impression of Coach Fisher and earn a spot?
Back to wide receivers for a minute: Tennessee is taking 10 WR's into camp, looking to fill five, maybe six, positions. Justin Gage is the only receiver who is established in his position; Nate Washington is most likely not going to be threatened for a spot atop the roster.
Everything else is, as they say, up for grabs.
Britt is still unsigned, while the other two draft picks, Dominique Edison and Dudley Guice, are fully on board and ready to rock. He has already underperformed for the Titans in offseason practices; what makes Britt think he's worth enough to hold out?
All these questions, and more, are sure to make this preseason an exciting one to watch. I for one, am anxious to see how the Titans plan to repeat their regular season perofrmance from last year, and work towards going deeper in the playoffs this year.