Favorite story of the 2012 season so far. Hands down.
- The quarterback situation is actually fantastic. I don't even mean that from a pure talent position either. This isn't just a "we have a capable backup QB no matter who wins the job" situation. Think about it: with just about any other team in the league, when they lose their starter, they lose their leader. I don't know how much I believe in the intangibles of a player willing teams to victory, but we can't just sit back and not acknowledge that these are human beings and not just football playing robots. Leadership is a real asset at a position like QB. We've all seen what kind of leader Matt Hasselbeck is from his years in the league and we've all seen that Jake Locker is a natural when it comes to leading the troops on game day. I am madly in love with our QB situation. If that's wrong then I don't want to be right.
- Chris Johnson is going to be a lot better. CJ is an incredibly talented player in space. Once they coaching staff (and offensive line) finds ways to get him there, he will excel. I'll continue to point to his respectable 4.0 YPC over the course of the season as evidence that he isn't done as many would suggest, but I feel like his 2012 season will do all of the talking for me.
- Plaxico Burress isn't the worst idea in the world. Before you come at me with pitchforks and fire and put my life on blast, take a step back and look at Plax's numbers in a vacuum. 45 catches, 612 yards, 8 touchdowns, almost 14 yards per catch. And that's playing for a crummy passing offense in New York. According to Advanced NFL Stats, Burress had a season in which he posted a .63 WPA (essentially a calculation of a player's worth, not totally unlike the WAR stat in baseball) which was good for 42nd in the league, ahead of Damian Williams (only mentioned because he would likely be replaced on the outside by Plax), DeSean Jackson, Michael Crabtree, and Brandon Lloyd. I get that there is a negative stigma towards Plax because of his "character risk", but is being stupid really an issue of character? He showed up in the biggest media center in the world and kept a low enough profile that I remember specifically checking to see if he was playing for the Jets or Eagles at least twice during the regular season. I think that if, heaven forbid, Kenny Britt goes down again that the team would be unwise to not at least give Burress a look. If nothing else, he's still undoubtedly a nightmare in the red zone. Think of it this way: he can't be worse than Randy Moss was. Yup, setting the bar really high on this one.
- This secondary could be really, really good. We know how good the top two corners can be and we pretty much know what we're getting with Jordan Babineaux at strong safety, so this is all a question of how much you think Tommie Campbell is going to do and whether or not Michael Griffin's 2012 is going to resemble 2010 or 2008. Given the totally unpredictable nature of his career, I'd put money on either. If he can find a medium between the two, that'd be fantastic because at least we'd know what we're getting ourselves into, but I kind of like the fact that there may be hope on the horizon, that we can dare to dream of a day where Michael Griffin plays like an All-Pro again.
- Tight end and defensive tackle are equally stacked. But again, not in the sense that there are lots and lots of star players there, more in the sense that there are just a lot of guys who can step up and fill in seamlessly. Jared Cook going down would be a huge disappointment, but not a disaster by any stretch. Same with Jurrell Casey, especially with the addition of Mike Martin who I love to be the rookie who has the biggest impact on the team this year. Long story short, I love our depth at these two positions. Hopefully a or two will emerge this year and the improvement continues across the board.
- Kamerion Wimbley could have a huge impact. I'll go back to Advanced NFL Stats for this one. While with the Raiders in 2011, Wimbley posted a strong 1.62 WPA, good for top 20 at his position. The highest rated Titans defensive end was Dave Ball with a .83 which is solid, but only good for 33rd in the league. In all actuality, Wimbley was basically twice the player that Ball was in 2011. Will that continue? I doubt it, that may have been a career year, but to be frank, this team can't afford its' best defensive end to be just kind of average and I think there's enough of a chance that Wimbley recreates some of that magic that this move works out well. There's always a hope that Derrick Morgan will step it up a notch now that he's had two years to recover from a nasty ACL injury that left him sidelined for 3/4 of his rookie year, but reminder that he was never projected to be a JPP type pass rusher in the first place. We love him for his run stopping ability, but the fact that Wimbley is almost a pure pass rusher, and a darn good one at that, excites me a lot more.
- Not necessarily Titans related, but shout out to WTF for getting the call up. Always nice to have another contributor around. Everyone should know at this point that he's more than qualified.
- Final thought: Fear the thumbtack? I dunno, screw it, LWSS.