Titans position coach to watch: Fred Graves

April, 29, 2009
4/29/09
4:00
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Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

It can be too easy to go with the position coach of the first-round pick as the guy who's got to do good work to help a draftee have some instant impact.

But the Titans are returning 11 of 12 starters on offense and defense and adding an explosive playmaker on offense was a priority. Enter Kenny Britt out of Rutgers with pick No. 30.

Wide receiver coaches for the Titans are regularly subject to criticism, but I think it's tough to pin the lack of development of players at the position on them. After all, we've seen Alan Lowry, Steve Walters, Ray Sherman and now Fred Graves all hold the job. Have all five of them been bad at polishing young talent into AFL-caliber weapons?

I argue the failures at the spot fall more on Jeff Fisher for philosophically de-emphasizing the position and the front office for what they've provided those assistants to work with in that environment.

Graves has been given a first-round talent now. Offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger raved about how Britt comes into the league already able to get off press coverage, something most rookies struggle to figure out.

Graves is occasionally unconventional -- his guys regularly catch bricks to work on their hands.

If Britt's able to contribute early, Graves will get some of the credit. If Britt's not one of the team's top three receivers early on, Graves will get a share of the blame.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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