Originally Published: September 2, 2010
AP Photo/Wade Payne JOHN CLAYTON QB RANKING (18): Vince Young isn't considered a great pure passer, but he still can make plays with his legs and has a knack for finding ways to win games.

Expert Picks (Consensus: 2nd)

Intelligence Report

Five things you need to know about the Titans:

1. There is talent on the defensive line: You might not know the names, but this is a deep pool of players who collectively should be able to get to the quarterback. Because motivational position coach Jim Washburn has a lot of depth, an injury or two shouldn't kill the pass rush, and that's crucial for easing the pressure on the secondary, which includes some weak links. Breakout possibilities: William Hayes, Jacob Ford, Jason Jones, Sen'Derrick Marks.

2. The offensive line could be better than last season: And that's saying something, considering it blocked for a 2,000-yard rusher and allowed just 15 sacks in 2009. With Kevin Mawae gone, the Titans shifted Eugene Amano to center and inserted Leroy Harris at left guard. The resulting line is more powerful. It's a talented group coached by Hall of Famer Mike Munchak, but it needs to stay healthy as the inexperienced depth is a serious question.

3. Maturity is a buzzword: With the youth movement, the Titans need to see some significant growth from some guys who haven't grown up as quickly as the team would like. Vince Young, Michael Griffin and Kenny Britt are three crucial players for this team. They cannot afford to be distracted by off-field issues and they all need to do better at letting stuff go when things go poorly in order to maximize their chances at bouncing back.

4. Will Witherspoon has to be good: He's the one real significant free-agent addition, and the Titans need major leadership and production from him. He's smart and fast, but maybe not the most physical linebacker. With Keith Bulluck gone and David Thornton possibly right behind him, the group is being revamped. Witherspoon needs to help show the way to middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch, who's offseason absence in a drive for a contract was a major misplay, and Gerald McRath, once he serves a four-game suspension.

5. Chris Johnson needs a lesser load: It's not so much about keeping him fresh. The drive for 2,000 yards last season was made possible because the Titans weren't in the running at the end so they could make it their focus. It shouldn't be their focus this season if they are a better team that is in the playoff battle to the end. That should mean mixing it up more on offense, while still maximizing their big-play guy's chances at home runs -- possibly a difficult balance for playcaller Mike Heimerdinger.

-- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN.com

Scouts Inc.'s Fabulous Five

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?