Thoughts on Titans' early depth chart

July, 27, 2010
7/27/10
2:54
PM ET
A pre-camp depth chart can tell us more about PR, seniority and staff loyalties than about who will be in up-in-the air spots come opening day.

That said, having one is better than not having one. And among our four franchises, only the Titans have one out so far.

I just got around to scanning the depth chart the Titans included as part of their training camp release and thought a few bullet points were worth mention and discussion.
  • Though middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch was not with the team through the entire offseason as he tried to leverage a long-term deal, he is listed as the starting middle linebacker. Odds are he’s in camp in time -- his one-year restricted free-agent tender was signed in June. Colin Allred’s worked in his place, and it wouldn’t have been a surprise if coach Jeff Fisher put Allred with the first team to start to make a statement of his own.
  • At outside linebacker, Gerald McRath and David Thornton are listed as the starters. But Fisher said during OTAs, while Thornton healed multiple injuries, that the veteran didn’t qualify as a starter then. McRath is suspended for the first four games. Will Witherspoon, listed behind McRath, was the team’s biggest free-agent addition and is unquestionably going to be one of the starters outside.
  • Rookie third-rounder Damian Williams is listed as the front-liner at both punt returner and kick returner, with another rookie receiver, Marc Mariani, second at punt returner and Kenny Britt second at kick returner. Alvin Pearman is third at both and clearly only veteran insurance. But Pearman ranks third at running back, ahead of rookies LeGarrette Blount and Stafon Johnson.
  • Elsewhere, rookies rate lowly, as you’d expect. First-round defensive end Derrick Morgan is third on one side behind Jacob Ford and Jason Babin.
  • Defensive tackle Jovan Haye, the player I rate as most likely to be demoted out of the starting lineup, remains a starter ahead of Jason Jones and Sen’Derrick Marks.
  • Cornerback Jason McCourty is the second starter, with Ryan Mouton and rookie Alterraun Verner behind him while Tye Hill is backing up Cortland Finnegan on the other side.

Again, it’s an unofficial depth chart they are nice enough to provide this early for us to pick apart. We’ll take similar looks at the others when we first see them.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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