Aug 30, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans linebacker Will Witherspoon (92) before the start of a preseason game against the New Orleans Saints at at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-US PRESSWIRE
Football has returned. The preseason is behind us now, and the regular season kickoff approaches quickly. September 9th marks the first game of the Jake Locker Era; however, he's not the only player that should be focused by Titans fans on the ninth day of September. After The Jump is my list of players to watch when we avenge that abysmal 2009 performance.
This week the focus is going to be shifted to the defense. We know what the offense is capable of. September 9th will be a huge test on the defense, especially the defensive backs and linebackers.
- Will Witherspoon will (no pun intended) have to have a big game. He is competing with Zach Brown for the starting role. Although he has said that he loves being a mentor, I doubt he just wants to give the job to the rookie 'backer. The game will really test his ability to cover the best tight ends in the league. I expect to see Brown in on several plays to cover Rob Gronkownski or Aaron Hernandez, but if the Spoon can prove capable of this, we will see him on the field for much of the season.
- Tommie Campbell is going to be really tested. When Verner is sent into the slot, he will be responsible for covering whichever receiver that J-Mac doesn't have on lock-down. Tommie received glowing reviews during training camp, so I expect to see him play very well this season; however, Tom Brady has proven to be abusive of young corners. Tommie has to prove that he is worthy of taking that outside role.
- Robert Johnson probably has the most to prove outside of Jake Locker on the Titans' roster. He has a size that's great for the position, but he has to prove to have the skill to do so as well. He has the perfect opportunity to snag the starting strong safety role; nevertheless, it's not his yet. Look out and see how he covers Brady's deep receivers. I expect him to have at least one opportunity to pick off a pass. If he does this, he will have a great chance at keeping his starting role in 2012.
If you want to know more about the enemy, you may go to the Patriots' SB Nation blog, Pats Pulpit.