With the 2009 NFL season in the books, a Titan's fan like myself is already looking towards next season.
This offseason there are 17 total restricted/unrestricted free agents, who may or may not be with the team next season. Therefore, the Titan’s roster will more than likely be quite different next season.
With that being said, there are several young players who truly stepped up their game's last season, and will only improve in 2010.
Here they are…
Tulloch has been with the Titans for four season now, and received the starting middle linebacker job last season. In his first full season as a starter Tulloch notched 121 tackles, 2 sacks and one pass deflection. Although these were not Pro Bowl stats, Tulloch certainly showed his ability to step up in his first year as a starter. Tulloch is facing restricted free agency this offseason, but after his performance in 2009 I cannot imagine GM Mike Reinfeldt will let this guy walk. After watching starting linebackers Keith Bulluck and David Thornton go down injuries, Tulloch flashed great capability leading the Titan’s linebackers last season. At 5’11” and 235 pounds, Tulloch is by all means an undersized linebacker, but plays much bigger than his size indicates. With the possibility of Bulluck leaving via free agency, retaining Tulloch will be a top priority of the Titan's front office this offseason. In 2010 as a second year starter, Tulloch's game and leadership role are both sure to grow.
It only took 11 years, but the Titans finally selected a wide receiver in the first round of the NFL draft last season. This was the first time since 1998. Kenny Britt came to the Titans with the 30th overall pick, and certainly exceeded expectations. With 42 receptions, 701 yards and 3 touchdowns, Britt was first on the team in receiving yards and first in yards per reception. Britt certainly showed flashes in 2009 of being the number one receiver the Titan’s drafted him to be, and should solidify his role in 2010. One game which truly displayed Britt’s potential in 2009 was the game against the Arizona Cardinals. In that game alone, Britt totaled 7 receptions for 128 yards, as well as the game winning touchdown catch as time expired. If Britt can build off the solid play of his rookie season, work on his chemistry with Vince Young, and pay off his unpaid parking tickets, then the sky is the limit for this young man. Titan's fans should expect Britt to become a 1,000 yard receiver in 2010.
Backup-turned starter-turned backup-turned starter Vince Young is back in the picture for the Tennessee Titans. After spending a season on the sideline watching Kerry Collins, Young led the Titan’s to an 8-2 record in their last ten games last season. This is an interesting pick to most I'm sure, but Young had more or less been written off by many at the start of last season, including myself. Vince Young seems to have truly matured in his time on the sideline, which he showcased when he stepped into a volatile situation to say the least last season. Facing an 0-6 record and a depleted team morale, Young truly showed why the Titans made him the 3rd overall pick in 2006. Vince threw for 1,879 yards and 10 touchdowns in ten games, while also running the ball 55 times for 281 yards and 2 touchdowns. Vince Young and Chris Johnson took the Titans offense to a completely new level in 2009, and should only improve in 2010. The passing of Steve McNair truly seemed to ignite a new flame in Young, and he should only continue to grow with another offseason of practice. Look for Vince Young to have a huge year in 2010 as the Tennessee Titan's starting quarterback.
Played well as a rookie last season, stepping into a starting role for the injured David Thornton. McRath showed a knack for getting to the football in the last three games of the season, totaling 25 tackles, 1 interception and a pass defended.