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Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Horton on Tennessee Titans

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

Gary Horton of Scouts Inc. did pre-draft team files spanning the NFL across four categories: front office, offensive philosophy, defensive philosophy and three primary team needs.

You have to be an Insider to see the whole file, but here are some highlights from his Tennessee Titans file that caught my attention and were subsequently declassified by the ESPN.com brass:
“[Jeff] Fisher and [Mike] Reinfeldt are bold guys who have thick skins and are not afraid to make tough decisions, partly because both have job security and have worked together for a long time.”

Kuharsky’s reaction: Bingo on the job security, but Reinfeldt’s only been with the team as GM since 2007, so a long working relationship isn’t really a factor in the coach-GM chemistry.
“This is a very assignment-oriented defensive unit that is aggressive and moves constantly but is also intelligent and disciplined. If the front four doesn't apply better pressure in 2010, we may see more blitzes and exotic schemes to compensate for its weaknesses.”

Kuharsky’s reaction: The determination to get a good rush out of the front four with infrequent help won’t change, and the team generally prefers not to blitz to make up for any deficiencies. That's why a productive end is so important in this draft.
“[Linebacker] has been a solid position that is starting to break down. Keith Bulluck is gone. Stephen Tulloch is average. Veteran David Thornton is a physical risk. The only quality guy behind them is young Gerald McRath, whom the Titans like. This was a position of strength, but now a makeover is in order.”

Kuharsky’s reaction: Horton rates the position as the third most-pressing need. But he doesn’t mention free-agent Will Witherspoon. I think the Titans will be content with Witherspoon, Tulloch and McRath as their starters which means they need a developmental guy or two for depth right now, not immediate impact.