Reasons Why Titans Could Succeed and Fail in 2013
June 11, 2013 in Tennessee Titans
By Guest Writer Rene Springer:
The Titans are a team that is in the middle. The Titans are so talented because they have some key players at some of the game’s most critical positions.
They have Chris Johnson at running back, Michael Roos at Left Tackle, Kenny Britt at wide receiver, Jason McCourty at cornerback, Michael Griffin at safety, young star in Zach Brown at linebacker, and Derrick Morgan at defensive end. If I was playing a Madden video game, I would definitely play with the Titans, but in reality they struggle as a team.
3 Keys to Success:
In the past, their pass rushing was good but recently run defense were not so good. They have been beefing up the middle of their defense by getting bigger players. They believe if they take care of the run defense, it will help everything else. They play in a division where they will see Arian Foster and Maurice Jones-Drew twice, as well as a Colts team that is determined to run more and better.
They have added needed weight to their defensive line with Ropati Pitoitua and Sammie Hill. Pitoitua is listed 6-foot-8 at 315. Some of their tackles and ends are going to be hard for opponents to push around.
Chris Johnson needs to start performing to his potential. Johnson is player who will strive under their pistol offensive management. With defenses not knowing what will come at them, will it be a pass, a quarterback scramble, a run? This will allow for the Titans to put more points on the board, with an improved offensive line this offseason.
The Titans upgraded its offensive line with top draft talent, Chance Warmack and top free agent guard, Andy Levitre. Maybe the offensive line is one of the reasons why Johnson is talking about a 2,000-yard season again.
I think this group is in the top 3 in the league if Kenny Britt stays healthy because Britt is a mismatch for most corners, and cannot be brought down by the first defender due to his extreme physicality with a knack for big plays down-field.
The group has good combinations of size and speed. Justin Hunter, the second round draft pick, could turn out to be the steal of the draft. In his first two seasons due to part time play in college, Hunter had 33 catches for 729 yards and 9 TD’s. Displaying a unique set of skills for a player his size, Hunter is a deep ball specialist, who is almost indefensible in 1 on 1 situations down-field. I expect him to be worked into the rotation until he becomes the primary nightmare for coordinators and defenses alike.
The combination of Kendall Wright (last season rookie leader in catches with 64), Nate Washington (46 catches for 746 yards and 4 TD’s), and the mercurial Kenny Britt (45 catches for 589 yards last season coming off an ACL tear the previous year) form more than a formidable trio of pass catchers. Wright brings explosiveness and agility to the position. Washington is an explosive well-rounded pass receiver. But the player with the most upside is Britt. At 6’3, 215 lbs. Throw in tight end/H-Back Delanie Walker, (Free agent acquisition from the San Francisco 49ers) and imagine the personnel groupings that will be thrown at defenses.
3 Keys to failure:
It is tricky to say the AFC south is a strong or weak division when you have Texans and Colts who finished with 12 and 11 wins last season. The only weak team in the division is the Jaguars but the Titans on paper looks to be a better team this year than they were last year. They have the tenth easiest schedule based on their combined opponents winning percentage but that is a misjudgment if you look closely at who they actually play and how these teams have improve since last season.
Texans are beatable and well Jacksonville shouldn't be too hard either. Indianapolis is where the real challenge begins for Tennessee. The Titans play quality teams in Steelers, Texans (twice), Seahawks, 49ers, Rams, Broncos, and Colts (twice).
This team is one the most talented team in the league but their success depends on the quarterback play of Jake Locker who is still a mystery. He has potential but he has just been injury prone.
Despite going into his third season, Locker has only started eleven games in his career. Locker must stay healthy for this team have success and will have to prove to the team that he can stay healthy. There will be still growing pains with Locker as he gets more experience. But he has a rocket for an arm, and passes extremely well on the run. He displays accurate touch on the deep ball.
Titans have two fine players in Jason McCourty and Alterraun Verner. After that, things aren’t so clear. In 2012, opponents took advantage of the Titans’ lack of depth when they moved receivers inside the slot. Third round pick corner Blidi Wreh-Wilson has size but he’ll need some experience before being trusted into the nickel position.