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Posts of category  "Titans"

The Tennessee Titans announced the signing of former UTC wideout CJ Board to their practice squad.

Board who clocked an un-official sub 4.40 second 40-yard dash at Chattanooga’s pro day signed with Baltimore as an undrafted free agent.

In 51 games at UTC he caught 146 passes, 10 touchdowns with just over 2,000 yards. The Mocs also used Board as a return specialist.

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Pro Football Talk is reporting that the Titans reached out to several free agent quarterbacks, but no signing is imminent as of now.

The Titans have at least put feelers out to a few free agent quarterbacks this week — including a few that the Titans have faced over the past couple years — as Marcus Mariota’s availability is at least in some doubt for Sunday’s game in Miami.

Given what we saw from Matt Cassel in relief of Mariota on Sunday I tend to think that signing a third quarterback regardless of Mariota’s availability this week would be a good idea. Cassel looked like he had no business playing in an NFL football game on Sunday. His arm strength is gone and he compounded that with some terrible decision making. I get that coming in cold off the bench as a quarterback is tough, but we saw E.J. Manuel do it pretty effectively for the Raiders this week, so its not like it can’t be done. You probably wouldn’t want to cut Cassel immediately since it is almost impossible to get a quarterback up to speed in the middle of a game week, but signing a guy now would allow you to potentially transition away from Cassel over the next few weeks if that is what they would like to do.

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The Titans have agreed to terms with free agent quarterback Brandon Weeden, who has started 25 games in his career. Weeden gives the team insurance at the position.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans have agreed to terms with free agent quarterback Brandon Weeden.

Weeden (6-3, 230), who has started 25 games in his career, gives the team insurance at the position heading into Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.

Starting quarterback Marcus Mariota suffered a hamstring in Sunday’s game against the Texans, and he’s “day to day,” according to Titans coach Mike Mularkey.

Backup quarterback Matt Cassel relieved Mariota on Sunday, and is expected to start of Mariota is unable to play. Mularkey said there’s a possibility the Titans won’t know about Mariota’s availability until late in the week, possibly as late as Sunday.

So the Titans worked out quarterbacks on Tuesday, and ended up reaching a deal with Weeden, the 22nd overall pick of the Cleveland Browns in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Weeden, who’s 33, has played with the Browns, Cowboys and Texans in his career.

He last played in an NFL game in 2015, when he started three games with the Cowboys and one game with the Texans.

In his career, Weeden has completed 559-of-965 passes for 6,462 yards, with 31 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. Because of his experience in Dallas, which uses an offensive system similar to the one in Tennessee, Weeden’s transition should be smoother at the start.

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When the Tennessee Titans started their offseason workouts on April 17, coach Mike Mularkey was at a loss to explain why second-year running back Derrick Henry hadn’t reported.

Except for a three-day minicamp, all workouts by NFL teams between the end of one season and the start of training camp for the next are voluntary for veteran players. But with Henry one of the two Titans not in attendance, Mularkey was asked to explain the former Alabama star’s absence, and he couldn’t.

Mularkey knows now that Henry is enrolled in classes at the University of Alabama, working on completing his undergraduate degree. But during a press conference on Tuesday, Mularkey said he never reached out to Henry, as he had said he “probably” would on April 17 to see what was up.

“I didn’t reach out to Derrick,” Mularkey said during the Titans’ pre-draft press conference on Tuesday. “All the players know our schedule, know what we’re doing daily, and I didn’t feel like I needed to follow up. He’s been informed, as everybody has.”

Mularkey said Henry’s status with the team was “great” and, while he hadn’t heard from the running back, he would “absolutely” talk with Henry if he got a call.

Mularkey said Henry was under no obligation to explain to the team why he wasn’t at voluntary workouts.

“He doesn’t have to,” Mularkey said. “None of them have to. So, again, we’ve got a good group going on, working right now. He’s, from what I understand, he’s in school, and I don’t think there’s anything negative about that.”

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With less than a week left until the 2017 NFL Draft kicks off, here are five specific positions of need that the Tennessee Titans need to address when they’re on the clock.

5. Speed Edge Rusher

In Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo, the Titans have a duo of veteran edge rushers who have proven to have the ability to consistently make life miserable for opposing quarterbacks. Throw in a healthy Kevin Dodd, a second round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, and you have a trio of outside linebackers that many teams in the NFL would covet.

There is, however, a missing element in the Titans’ group of edge rushers. All three of the aforementioned players—Orakpo, Morgan, and Dodd—are prototypical “power rushers.” They all have the ability to forcefully set the edge in the run game and to use their lower body strength to bully offensive tackles. For that reason, it would behoove the Titans to add a twitchier speed rusher into the mix.

At times last season, the Titans’ already underperforming cornerbacks were left exposed in man coverage for long stretches because of a lack of consistent pressure coming from a four man pass rush. Even with two Pro Bowlers in their four base pass rushers (Orakpo and Jurrell Casey), the Titans front still was at times hopelessly unable to get the job done.

This issue isn’t solved by replacing Morgan or Orakpo in the starting lineup. Rather, this issue is fixed by adding a rotational edge rusher to the roster who is more athletic, faster, can bend more fluidly, and who can run around offensive tackles, not just run through them. The Titans don’t need Myles Garrett, but what they do need is some variety. This variety would seemingly best be found in Rounds 3-4.

4. Explosive Kick Returner

Fans of the Titans have unconditionally loved Marc Mariani, also known as “Moonshine,” ever since he made the Pro Bowl as a rookie return specialist in 2010. In the early years of his career, Mariani was a smart and decisive kickoff and punt returner who utilized his quickness and speed to consistently make big plays with the ball in his hands.

Last season, Mariani’s first with the Titans since leaving for the Bears in 2014, he simply wasn’t anywhere close to being the same guy. He looked stiff, slow, and unconfident. If the Titans are serious about improving their special teams in 2017, they need to find Mariani’s replacement.

A lot of people think that Eric Weems, who was signed by the Titans in March as a free agent, was added to the roster to fulfill that responsibility. The more likely reason Weems is a Titan is so that he can play a role similar to what Matthew Slater plays with the New England Patriots: a savvy veteran with an understanding of how a successful special teams unit works who is used mainly for a traditional “special teamer” role. He probably wouldn’t be much of an improvement over Mariani as a returner.

You may not be able to find Tyreek Hill, but the Titans need someone returning kicks and punts who has blazing speed and can score anytime the ball is in their hands. If they select someone like USC cornerback Adoree Jackson or Washington wide-receiver John Ross for their position ability, they would, of course, be able to double as a productive returner. If the Titans choose not to select a versatile player like Ross or Jackson in the early rounds, they simply have to address that position with a separate pick on Day 3.

3. Coverage Linebacker

For the last few years, the Titans defense has developed a habit of making every opposing tight-end, regardless of talent, look like Antonio Gates or Tony Gonzales. In fact, Colts tight-end Jack Doyle, who signed a three year contract extension worth $18.9M last month, might legally owe some of that money to members of the Titans’ defense (pardon my sarcasm).

In all seriousness, the Titans clearly have a major problem covering not just tight-ends, but backs as well. This problem can be directly attributed not to the Titans’ corners (as most of the defense’s problems can), but to their linebackers.

Ever since his rookie year, Avery Williamson has been a productive starter in the Titans’ defense, leading the team in tackles each of the last two seasons. Wesley Woodyard, who was just signed to a two year contract extension, has also been a very productive player at times, in addition to being a team captain. Both linebackers are very talented and do a lot of things well, but neither of them has been able to consistently show quality coverage ability in their time with the Titans.

This weekend, Jon Robinson needs to give Dick LeBeau someone who can cover backs and tight-ends, possibly even as early as in Round 1. Whether is be a traditional athletic inside linebacker like Alabama’s Reuben Foster or a hybrid player like Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers, the Titans need to make a priority of addressing this need.

If they don’t, get ready for C.J. Fiedorowicz and other tight-ends you’ve probably never heard of to have field days against the Titans again in 2017.

2. Receiver With Vertical Ability

As of now, the Titans only have three wide-receivers on their active roster: Rishard Matthews, Tajaé Sharpe, and Harry Douglas. Matthews was a pleasant surprise in 2016, finishing the year with nine touchdowns and nearly 1,000 receiving yards. Sharpe, a rookie last season, showed a lot of promise and potential, especially in his route running. Douglas was a healthy scratch for many games and struggled to produce in any form or fashion.

Case and point: the Titans need receivers in a big way. The question isn’t whether or not the Titans will select a receiver in the draft, but a question of how many. Sharpe and Matthews are both starter-quality players, but neither possesses enough speed to dictate coverage or make defensive backs worry about the deep ball. The Titans need someone who can do just that.

You don’t have to be DeSean Jackson or Brandin Cooks to be a productive downfield threat in the NFL, but you have to have some semblance of speed and separation ability. Marcus Mariota took multiple “coverage sacks” in 2016 because his receivers simply couldn’t separate from coverage before the pass rush got to him. If the Titans want their quarterback to take the next step in 2017, they need to get him a consistently reliable perimeter weapon.

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Trevor’s bestie Matt Miller cranked out a 7-round mock draft yesterday. I have said it before, but I have a lot of respect for anyone who can sit down and crank one of these out. Let’s take a look at where he has the Titans going.

With the 5th pick, Miller has the Titans selecting Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State. Lattimore is regarded by a lot of people as the best corner in this draft, so it makes sense the Titans would target him at #5. Here is part of what Miller had to say about him:

So, why Lattimore? The Ohio State cornerback has great speed and ball skills, and while the Titans have a sizable hole at receiver, they can address that with other picks. The best cornerbacks rarely last long in the draft, and NFL scouts I’ve polled believe Lattimore can come in and be a shutdown player from the first day given his size and speed.

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Eric Berry is one of the most exciting defensive players I have ever watched play football. He really needs no introduction around this part of the country since most of us (even non-UT fans) have been following his career since he picked off Tim Tebow and returned it 96 yards for a touchdown

It would be the first of 14 interceptions of his college career which resulted in 494 interception return yards, finishing just 7 yards short of Terrell Buckley’s NCAA record 501 career interception return yards. Fun Fact: Kevin Byard checks in at #14 on that list with 377 career interception return yards. Berry wasn’t “just” an interception machine though. He was a big hitter and sure tackler who seemed to fly around the field like a guided missile.

Both safety positions for the Titans have been in a state of change the last few seasons. After being a staple of the Titans defense for 9 years, Michael Griffin was released after the 2015 season, and replaced by a combination of Rashad Johnson and Kevin Byard in 2016. The Titans signed Da’Norris Searcy two years ago to lock down the other safety spot, but after spending 2015 as the full time starter he ended up on the short end of a rotation with Daimion Stafford this past season.

Most fans and analysts believe that Byard will be a long term starter for the Titans at one safety spot based on his excellent rookie season. One of the best aspects of Byard’s rookie year was that he showed the ability to play both the deep, traditional free safety role and the in-the-box traditional strong safety role meaning the Titans have a lot of flexibility with regards to the “type” of safety that they could consider playing next to him. Ideally I would like to see another do-it-all type guy next to Byard so we can more easily hide our schemes based on alignment. Who that other safety is moving forward is less certain. Johnson and Stafford are both unrestricted free agents this offseason so there is no guarantee that either of those guys will be back with the Titans in 2017. Searcy isn’t a major liability on the field, but he hasn’t played to the level of being the 5th highest paid strong safety in the NFL over the past two years. If the Titans have a shot at a guy like Berry, Searcy could be released to offset $4.5M of the new safety’s salary in 2017 and over $6M of his salary in 2018. I will talk more about the likelihood of Berry actually becoming available later, but let’s get to know a little more about his professional career first.

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As Super Bowl 51 gets ready to kick off, it’s time to revisit the last time the Tennessee Titans were in the Big Game.

For Tennessee Titans fans, it’s been a long time since Super Bowl Sunday was a nerve-racking, meaningful affair. Not since the 1999 season have the Titans been in the Big Game. And not since 2008 have the Titans even made the playoffs. This post might be painful, but we must recall what happened in the Super Bowl that almost brought a championship to Tennessee.

That Super Bowl was a classic tale of teams that weren’t expected to make it that far. The St. Louis Rams came into the season not expected to do much damage. In fact, ESPN The Magazine predicted them to be the worst team in the entire NFL. What ensued that year was the creation of the “Greatest Show on Turf”, a record-breaking offense that exploded on the back of Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce, and Torry Holt. Holt was a rookie wide receiver and Warner was an undrafted backup quarterback who took the reins of the offense after starter Trent Green suffered a season-ending knee injury in the preseason. This would be only the second Super Bowl appearance in the team’s history.

 For Tennessee, it would be their first ever Super Bowl appearance in team history. The team was led by Steve McNair, who was in his fifth season with the Titans. His 1999 season was a bit marred by injuries that forced him to miss five games. While his passing numbers weren’t anything to brag about, his rushing ability was a dynamic that made the offense unpredictable and kept the chains moving. Eddie George had a fantastic season that year, rushing for 1,304 yards and catching 47 passes for 458 yards, while totaling 13 touchdowns in a third straight Pro Bowl year. The defense was the bread and butter, led by playmakers like Jevon Kearse, Blaine Bishop, and Samari Rolle.
The game began with a pair of failed field goal attempts by each team. The Rams’ attempt was a botched snap by the holder, while the Titans’ attempt was a missed 47 yard kick by Al Del Greco. The Titans got absolutely nothing going for the rest of the half, being forced to punt on all of their other first half possessions. The Rams were able to drive on the rest of their first half possessions, but had to settle for four field goal attempts. Kicker Jeff Wilkins made three and missed one, meaning the Rams went to halftime leading the Titans 9-0. All in all, a nine point deficit was generous to the Titans as they were out gained 294-89 by the potent Rams offense.

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Titans left guard Quinton Spain says a trip to a nightclub in Orlando, Florida ended with him as the victim of a robbery.

According to a police report from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office obtained by the Associated Press, Spain reported the robbery of $113,000 of jewelry from his hotel room. Per the report, Spain met a woman at the nightclub and took her back to his room where she made him a drink.

Spain says he doesn’t remember anything after that point, but woke up to find two gold chains worth $73,000 and a Rolex worth $40,000 missing. There have been two other reports of similar crimes around the same time, but there’s no indication that they are connected to Spain’s report.

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A look at the Tennessee Titans first big need: cornerback.

The Tennessee Titans have a lot to look forward to this offseason, however they do have some definite holes to fill on both sides of the ball.

According to OTC, the Tennessee Titans are 3rd in cap space this year as well as having both the 5th and the 18th overall picks this year.

With plenty of opportunities and ammunition to fix these holes let’s look at what exactly they are dealing with at one of the biggest positions of needs this offseason.

What do they have?

Any needs list should look at exactly what a team has at a certain position so let’s look at what the Tennessee Titans closed the season with at cornerback.

Brice McCain- ideal backup SCB

-The Tennessee Titans brought McCain in to presumably play in the slot but he spent a lot more time outside due to the cut to Perrish Cox and no one else really developing. I think he is someone the Titans would like to have as a special teams player and a guy who comes in and out of the lineup at SCB.

Jason McCourty- potential boundary CB

-McCourty has had a really bad two year stretch. Groin injuries have really caused him to get some rust and he hasn’t been the underrated, productive cornerback that he was pre-injury. Everyone will talk about him as a potential cap cut, but the Tennessee Titans aren’t hurting for money so unless they land several high priced free agents I don’t see that as a likely option.

When he is healthy, if he can play on a team that gets consistent pressure or a team that has some play making safeties then I think he can still be a good corner.

LeShaun Sims- potential boundary CB

Sims is a big cornerback who quietly developed in the background this season and when Perrish Cox was cut he was someone that not only earned a chance, but who earned a starting job.

Going down the stretch, not only was Sims a guy who looked like a potential future starter but a guy who looked like a long term starter that could be a playmaker if he continued to develop.

Kalan Reed- potential SCB

Reed never really got a chance to be more than a rotational CB and a special teams player, but he did have some really good college tape. If you are looking for a guy that believes in Reed look for the guy who also predicted that Quinton Spain would be good, Jim Cobern.

One reason both he and Jon Robinson are likely both high on him is the fact that he broke up 17 passes in his final year. That is a huge number.

Free agents to watch

A.J. Bouye

-Bouye is sort of the total package in terms of what Jon Robinson looks for. He is a young, talented player who isn’t a huge name but who is still trending upward. He reminds me a lot of Rishard Matthews last year and I would not be surprised if the Tennessee Titans look at him and try to give him a huge deal.

Morris Claiborne

-Another player who I could see the Tennessee Titans really liking. A big name on a winning team who won’t have a huge market because of past struggles and recent injuries.

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