Saturday, August 7, 2010
Mailbag: On Cullen, Griffin and Dickerson
By Paul Kuharsky
Jimmicane in Cardiff, Calif., writes: After visiting Jacksonville's camp, what's your overall feeling about the team? Did they change your expectations for them this season at all? What did you see that surprised you the most? Thanks.
Paul Kuharsky: When Joe Cullen said during organized team activities that his defensive line was going to lead the team, I thought it a little ambitious. But for long stretches I couldn’t take my eyes off the high-energy group. I don’t know how good it’ll be, but they will play awfully hard and with good technique.
David Garrard is the same, and until protection is shored up and a second receiver emerges, I don’t know that we can expect too big an improvement. Free safety is a huge concern.
I think they might be better but don’t know if it necessarily shows up in their record.
Peter in Nashville writes: It is really unfortunate that Michael Griffin had to endure so much criticism without being able to reveal the extent of his injury, not to say his injury was the full cause … With this new information, do you believe he will bounce back and have a strong year, or do you think he will have another rough year? Also, at the end of your article you threw in the possibility of Johnson stepping in for him. Do you really see that as a possibility? Clearly you are better connected than I am, but I just don't see Jeff Fisher doing that after one bad, injury plagued year, particularly not to a young former 1st round pick who has showed he can be great. Thanks Paul.
Paul Kuharsky: Griffin would have to be bad and Johnson would have to be very good for Griffin to get benched. I’m not ready to attribute all of last year to the injury -- a bad shoulder doesn’t lead a guy to bite on play-action, does it? But the defensive coordinator, Chuck Cecil, was a safety and if he thinks a change is needed he will push for it, I believe.
I think Griffin’s a complicated guy and can make excuses and I don’t know if he’s got everything sorted out.
So I am certainly not ready to pronounce he’ll be back to that Pro Bowl form. We’ll have to wait and see.
Randolph Kahn in New Jersey writes: I'm interested in knowing how Mitch King and Fili Moala look in camp.
Paul Kuharsky: Me too. Moala’s development will be interesting to chronicle, and the team’s expectations will rise after what amounted to a red shirt year.
King, like Antonio Johnson, actually got his start in Tennessee. He went to the Titans last year as an undrafted rookie despite a crowd at defensive tackle, largely because he thought working with Jim Washburn might line him up for success down the road no matter where he wound up. Then he was hurt.
I’ll be sure to let you know how they are looking next week.
Brian in Houston writes: What are the chances Dorin Dickerson pushes Jacoby Jones or David Anderson for their job this season?
Paul Kuharsky: Low. He’s a developmental guy changing over from tight end. I think expectations for Jones are too high generally, but they should be a lot higher than expectations this year for Dickerson. And David Anderson can be very good at what he does. Barring injury I cannot see Dickerson getting snaps in front of either during meaningful action this year.
Tyler in Charlotte, N.C., writes: Do you believe Dominique Edison will get a chance this year for the Titans? I remember him making an amazing touchdown catch in preseason game his rookie year. I believe he deserves a chance. Do you?
Paul Kuharsky: Yeah. What he’s getting right now in training camp is called a chance. Is that how poor the expectations have gotten for Titans receivers? One catch last year in the preseason has you hopeful?
He could force them to keep seven receivers, but then would likely not play barring injuries. That would mean they have to judge him a better football player than the last guy at another position.
Tony in Austin writes: In "Reading the Coverage" you never link to article on titansonline.com. Is it because they are too biased?
Paul Kuharsky: I don’t look too much to the team websites for interesting reads. Bias is the wrong word, but you’re not generally going to find critical or discerning eyes there. Vic Ketchman is an in-house analyst for the Jags and that makes him different. The other three teams don’t have that sort of voice from the inside.