Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Titans saw aggressive plan bear fruit
By Paul Kuharsky
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Every general manager says he got his first choice(s) when he signs people.
It’s a lot more believable when it happens early in free agency, when he was choosing from a much bigger list.
The Tennessee Titans have traditionally sat back, let the market set itself, then reacted as members of the second phase of player acquisition.
Not this time.
General manager Ruston Webster and coach Mike Munchak introduced four players signed within a day of the start of free agency at a news conference Wednesday evening -- guard Andy Levitre, tight end Delanie Walker, defensive tackle Sammie Lee Hill and running back Shonn Greene.
A bit after that ended, Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean reported that the team had a deal with linebacker Moise Fokou as well.
The low-key Webster said he has been thrilled with the way things have played out.
“Coming off that 6-10 year, we needed to be aggressive,” he said. “[Titans owner Bud] Adams gave his blessing and allowed us to be aggressive. It was actually fun to set a plan and just go do it.
We had a lot of meetings just setting this plan together, and these are the guys we targeted. To be able to go out, set your plan, go be aggressive and then get the guys that you targeted, that feels real good.”
I’m going to guess all four of the guys at the news conference accepted contracts with the Titans in part because they offered the most money. But beyond money, guys love to feel loved. And Webster did a good job with that.
Levitre, Walker, Hill and Greene all indicated that the Titans were first to express interest, and didn’t back down or disappear like some other teams might have.
“When I talked to coach on the phone, he sounded very sincere in everything he wanted me to do here,” Greene said. “I just think it’s a perfect fit, not to mention that they were the first people to reach out during free agency, and when you get that, you can’t describe it. A lot of teams say this, that and the other, and then you don’t hear from them. But Tennessee stuck with me, that was my main thing.”
Tidbits from Munchak on his new guys:
- He said a good guard such as Levitre generally plays his best around years five, six, seven and eight of his career; Levitre will be entering his fifth season.
- Hill can cave the pocket in, and Munchak said based on first-hand experience as a guard, that is incredibly frustrating. That sort of push creates problems for interior linemen and making edge rushers more effective.
- While Greene will clearly have a narrow role in an ideal game plan, Munchak emphasized he can play all three downs.
- In Walker, Munchak said in a not-so-veiled shot at departed Jared Cook, the Titans get a tight end who can move around, shifting from the backfield to inline to the slot as needed.