Friday, July 27, 2012
Camp storylines: Tennessee Titans
By Paul Kuharsky
The Tennessee Titans start training camp practices Saturday. Here are four primary storylines we’ll be following.
The quarterback battle: How Matt Hasselbeck versus Jake Locker doesn’t qualify as a major camp storyline in the NFL for anyone piecing together a list is beyond me. This is a legitimate competition between two good players. Everything about camp is heightened when the most important job is up in the air. I don’t want daily stats, but this is, by far, the most significant position fight in the division and we can’t have enough info on it.
Kenny Britt: The receiver starts off on PUP after last year’s torn ACL and recent scopes on both knees. He’s also coming off an arrest at a military post from which he was accused of DUI. When healthy and when his head is straight, he’s an explosive receiver who a defense must fear. But to what degree can the Titans count on him? Hopefully camp will offer some answers.
Cornerback development: With Cortland Finnegan gone, Jason McCourty takes over as the team’s top corner. His twin brother, Devin, has gotten more attention in New England. But Jason was the better McCourty in 2011. The Titans are counting on Alterraun Verner as the second starter and he will kick into the slot in the nickel package. Can the super athletic but raw Tommie Campbell succeed as the No. 3 guy, taking Verner’s outside spot when three corners are on the field?
The pass rush: The team’s biggest addition on defense was veteran pass-rusher Kamerion Wimbley. He’s played mostly as a 3-4 linebacker, but is now locked in as an end in the Titans 4-3. It’s a lot to ask him to transform an anemic pass rush single handedly. The team brought in a pass-rush coach in Keith Millard, who will help refine linemen and potential blitzers. Derrick Morgan needs to show up, Karl Klug needs to build on a big rookie year and strongside linebacker Akeem Ayers needs to contribute.