Tennessee Titans – An Intersting Team in 2010

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Although they appear to have been amazingly mediocre at 8-8 in 2009, the Tennessee Titans truly remain one of the most interesting teams in the NFL. The offense is all right, the defense is terrible. The draft was pretty unremarkable, but the free agent rookie signings are compelling. We may need a whole whiteboard and marker to keep all this straight.

The one stable thing is the quarterback position. In 2009, Vince young threw for 1,879 passing yards, and 16-year NFL veteran Kerry Collins backed him up with 1,225 yards. They were able to spread the ball around to a number of targets, including Kenny Britt (701 yards), Nate Washington (569 yards) and Chris Johnson (503 yards). That kind of balance is good for any team.

Interestingly, the Titans also boasted a strong rushing attack – second in the league at 162 yards a game. The majority of this was because of Chris Johnson, who gained 2,006 yards from scrimmage. As long as he can remain healthy, there is no reason to think that he won’t have another excellent year in 2010.

On the other hand, the defense is poor. Their best area was against the run, where they were 11th in the NFL. Unfortunately, this porous defense gave up 25 points (28th in the league), 259 passing yards (31st in the league), and 366 total yards (28th in the league)per game. As a result, the Titans drafted defense in four of their first five picks. They selected Derrick Morgan, a quick, athletic, pass rusher from Georgia Tech in the first round. In the third round, they picked Rennie Curran, a small linebacker (but with great instincts and impressive college stats) from Georgia. They picked CB Alterraun Verner (UCLA) and DB Robert Johnson (DB)in the 4th and 5th rounds, respectively.

Everybody loves a good story, and the Titans are full of good stories. The first is Myron Rolle, who they drafted in the sixth round. This strong safety from Florida State may be a little rusty, as he took a year away from football to study as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford. If he doesn’t make the team, he can fall back on his career as a neurosurgeon. The other feel-good story is Stafon Johnson, a running back from USC. You may remember that early in the 2009 season, he was the victim of a bench-pressing accident in the weight room. His voice box and trachea were crushed, and he required multiple surgeries and a long recovery time. Let’s hope that he can see his dream come true. The other interesting story involves another running back – LeGarrette Blount from Oregon. You might also remember that he punched a player on the opposing team after an early game in the 2009 season, and was suspended for the year. Don’t be surprised if he comes in with a huge chip on his shoulder (maybe in a good way this time), and makes this team.

The Titans may not improve much record-wise. Their early season schedule is no joke (Oakland, Pittsburgh, and Denver at home, Dallas and the Giants on the road). However, it may be entertaining enough to just follow the really cool stories surrounding this team.

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