- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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As we await players reporting to Tennessee Titans' training camp on Friday and the start of practice on Saturday, let's consider the additions and subtractions this offseason.
Free agent additions:
DL Al Woods
G/C Eric Olsen
Key draft picks:
OT Taylor Lewan
DL DaQuan Jones
Free agent departures:
WR Kenny Britt
T David Stewart
K Rob Bironas
I've said for some time the biggest addition the team made was Ken Whisenhunt and his staff. I don't know that he/it will be great. I feel confident it will be better than Mike Munchak and his assistants. Munchak was miscast as a head coach and several of his assistants were not good.
Some of the departures were longtime contributors (Stewart, Bironas), some were high draft picks (Britt) and some were both (Johnson).
Fitzpatrick has a lot of shortcomings, but I think he's a better quarterback than Whitehurst.
Those things, along with the lack of any real marquee additions, are why the popular perception is that the Titans got worse.
But Woods should be a player on the rise. Woodyard should add leadership at a key position (which is great so long as he adds production as well). Phillips was a value addition who's not a long-term solution but should boost the pass rush. Lewan was well-regarded by a lot of NFL personnel men. (His selection at No. 11, on the heels of the Oher signing, however, turned a lot of heads and raised a lot of planning questions.)
Is Maikon Bonani or Travis Coons going to make people forget Bironas immediately? I suspect not. Is second-round draft pick Bishop Sankey going to open more eyes to just how much was lacking in Chris Johnson's vision in recent years? I believe he will. Alterraun Verner will do very well in Tampa, but he'll be playing primarily zone, while the Titans will play predominantly man.
I don't believe the Titans are significantly better personnel wise than last season's 7-9 team, but I don't believe they are significantly worse either.