Assuming the Titans do not sign any more free agents this offseason, they will have an 85 man roster to cut down to 53 before the season starts. Every year position battles add excitement to the preseason, and this year the Titans have many to be excited about.
In this series I will attempt to break down into detail each player on the team, and decide whether or not they will make the cut.
The first position in this series I will breakdown is quarterback. After all it is the one guy on the team that can make or break your season. There are four quarterbacks currently listed on the roster for the Tennessee Titans: Kerry Collins, Chris Simms, Rusty Smith, and Vince Young.
C ollins has been on the team for four years and has been in the league for 16. His best year he had in those 16 years was in 2002 when he threw for 4,073 yards, 19 touchdowns and an 85.4 quarterback rating. More recently, Collins is known by Titans’ fans as the guy who stepped in two years ago and took the Titans to 13-3.
In the group of quarterbacks, Collins would be the best and most experienced quarterback, however if he does not start, his $5.5 million base salary could be too pricey for a backup.
The former Texas Longhorn recently joined the Tennessee Titans once again this offseason. A big advantage for him is how he’s been under this offense once before, so picking it up again will not be a problem.
Simms was the last pick in the third-round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003 and has not done much in the NFL. He has only started 16 games in his seven year career, and while his yards and quarterback rating are average, he has given up 25 turnovers and only thrown 12 touchdown passes. Simms will have a lot to prove this offseason.
I have written in more detail about Smith in an earlier article , but the sixth-round draft pick out of Florida Atlantic has a real good shot to make this team. His biggest advantage is offensive coordinator, Mike Heimerdinger. Smith’s footwork and awareness are two reasons why Heimerdinger is so high on this kid. It also does not hurt that Smith was coached by Howard Schnellenberger, the guy given the credit for turning Miami Football into a powerhouse.
We all know the story about Young. He came into the league with huge expectations, won rookie of the year, and proceeded to fall off due to some mental problems. Hopefully the past four years are in the past and he can move forward from here.
Last year Young took over for the team after an 0-6 start and led them to an 8-8 record, which is very impressive. The schemes being worked out for Young are new to the NFL and hopefully will be able to catch a lot of teams off guard.
Head Coach, Jeff Fisher, has said that Young is his starter this year without a doubt. This is Young’s team this year and it is his job to lose.
There are three guys fighting for only one to two backup spots. Normally I would say they would put Smith on the practice squad but according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, this would leave the door open for other teams to steal him away. If this information is true, then I see Smith and Simms as the two backups for the team. Simms has been here before, and Smith has promise. It also doesn’t hurt that both these guys are making close to only $1 million.
Collins has been great for the team in the past, but his $5.5 million base salary he is due this year is too expensive for a backup. Unless the Titans are able to renegotiate Collins’ contract, he may have played his last down in the NFL.
*Edit Chris Simms has been arrested for a DUI with Marijuana and this may lead to his cut over Collins. As of now I'm still sticking to my guns, but things are not looking any better for Simms.
Check back soon for the next edition of 53-Man Roster Predictions for the running back position battle. Follow me on twitter @Titan_Touchdown to get updated about new posts.
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