Tennessee Titans: Ranking Chris Johnson And the Best Offensive Weapons In 2011
When you think of "offensive weapons," the Tennessee Titans have some of youngest, most athletic players in the league.
They might not be the most talked about unit in the league, other than Chris Johnson and his pending contract, but the team from Nashville should surprise this season with a plethora of offensive playmakers.
The Titans have finally moved away from the Jeff Fisher Era and are headed full-steam ahead with new young talent under the reign of Mike Munchak.
With that said, ahead are the best offensive weapons in 2011 for the Tennessee Titans.
8. Jamie Harper, RB
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The rookie fourth-round pick out of Clemson will have an opportunity early on to make an impact with the Titans.
Jamie Harper has shown flashes of brilliance through two preseason games.
The blistering back has a combined 19 carries for 110 yards as well as one reception for 24 yards.
If Chris Johnson continues to hold out and Javon Ringer is not 100 percent healthy come Week 1, look for Harper to start in Jacksonville.
Because of Harper's success in training camp and throughout the preseason, the rookie could enter the season as the team's short-yardage back regardless of CJ's contract or Ringer's health issues.
7. Justin Gage, WR
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Justin Gage was once thought to be the future of the Titans receiving core.
He is now an afterthought due to the emergence of Kenny Britt and injuries that have plagued the 6'4" 208 pound receiver's career.
The ninth-year receiver registered his first 700-yard year in 2007, but has fallen off over the past three seasons, only starting four games in 2010.
Gage has yet to register a reception during the preseason and is tentatively entering the 2011 season third on the depth chart.
The recent signing of Kevin Curtis combined with the emergence last season of Damian Williams should drop him further.
6. Damian Williams, WR
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Damian Williams entered last season on the bubble, in his rookie season, as a returner/receiver.
Williams emerged a reliable target for the roulette of quarterbacks- appearing in all 16 games and registering 16 catches for 219 yards.
The first-year receiver from USC showed his worth as a possession receiver, averaging 13.7 yards per catch, including a career long reception of 39 yards.
Williams has had a strong training camp, which combined with his performance in two preseason games (three catches for 40 yards) should mean more utilization of the former third-round pick.
5. Javon Ringer, RB
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Due to the pending Chris Johnson contract negotiations, Javon Ringer could enter Week 1 in Jacksonville as the starting running back.
Regardless of if Johnson signs or not, Ringer will have a more enhanced role in the Titans offense this year.
Ringer, a third-year back out of Michigan State, has seen an increased role in the offense every year since entering the league in 2009 and should be ready to become the "change of pace back" the Titans desperately need.
Ringer carried the ball 51 times for 239 yards and two touchdowns last season, but has been hindered by a hip injury this offseason, which might open the door for rookie Jamie Harper.
4. Nate Washington, WR
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One of the oldest "weapons" on this Tennessee team is Nate Washington.
The former Pittsburgh Steeler joined the Titans in 2009 as a down-field threat with great speed and great hands.
Last season, Washington quietly had his best year as a pro, notching 42 receptions for 687 yards and six touchdowns- all career bests.
The veteran receiver will line up opposite of Kenny Britt and should provide one of the most dynamic receiving duos in the league.
3. Jared Cook, TE
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After two years of seasoning, the third-year product of South Carolina is ready to become an every-week starter for the Tennessee Titans.
Cook is an athletic big man who has the speed to outrun linebackers, but the size to muscle over cornerbacks.
In two preseason games, Cook has five catches for 75 yards, but has been praised for his enhanced abilities to block in the run game.
Expect alternative offensive sets from the Munchak-led team this year, including splitting Cook out to receiver as well as on the line at tight end.
2. Kenny Britt, WR
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Who else could be at the No. 2 spot other than Kenny Britt?
The receiver showed he was not a one-hit wonder last season, as he produced his second-consecutive 700 yard receiving season.
The explosive receiver out of Rutgers has dealt with injuries throughout his tenure with Tennessee, starting a combined 13 games over his two seasons in the league.
Britt only played in 12 games last year and has yet to appear in a preseason game this year due to his nagging hamstring injury.
1. Chris Johnson, RB
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Without a doubt the most dynamic player on the Titans roster, and maybe in the NFL, is Chris Johnson.
Johnson has rushed for over 4,000 yards and combined for 38 total touchdowns in his brief three years in the league.
In 2009, Chris Johnson became CJ2K, as he rushed for over 2,000 yards and broke the yards from scrimmage record once held by St. Louis Rams running back and recent Hall of Fame inductee, Marshall Faulk.
Johnson has become known as a "home run hitter," racking off touchdowns of 66, 91, and 76 yards respectively in his first three years.
The explosive back that is utterly unstoppable in the open field ranks in as the No.1 offensive weapon for the 2011 Tennessee Titans.
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As the Tennessee Titans enter the 2011-12 season, their youth mixed with the few veterans left on the offensive end will produce one of the more exciting units in the league.
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