So after a much needed break from school, work, and other things, I am BACK!!!! Back to my article writing and analysis of the Titans, and giving my opinion on what hopefully will be a much better season then the previous. With that out of the way lets get back to it!
I picked a crazy time to take a break, but after sitting back and looking at what the Titans have done in free agency, since their initial signing of George Wilson, you can really appreciate their effort and smart pickups. To be honest I was very impressed to see how aggressive they have been since the 14th of this month. At the the same time I do have some questions on why they signed a certain player/players to the type of contracts that were offered? Still most of the contracts have been pretty good.
I'll start with the initial signing of S George Wilson. I do like the pickup, he's a good veteran with good field presence, and also knows how to play the middle of the field on coverage. Some of that can attributed to playing next to Jarius Byrd last season, who is arguably one of the better FS in football, a big reason why he was franchised. Still, he was one of the top tackling leaders for the Bills. Which says two things, first the negative being he either let a lot of passes become open, or he was physical and good at stopping teams on run defense.
So I'll go with a C+ on that pickup, it would've been a higher grade if they didn't sign a better S in Bernard Pollard, which I will get too.
Now lets get to the best pickup in my opinion with G Andy Levitre. Some argue he is being overpaid and didn't deserve that much money. Well I think he is worth the amount of money he is getting in the long-run, granted 7.8 million or so a year is a lot to tie up in a guard. To be honest if you want that protection for Locker, or those running lanes for CJ, you're gonna have to make sure the lineman you have are capable of that. Which Levitre looks more than able to do that, and will be here for the long-haul.
I give the Levitre signing an A.
Now to fill the void of Jared Cook, the Titans signed TE Delanie Walker. Now I know he isn't the vertical threat Cook was, but he fits more into what the Titans are trying to do, which is be more physical. I know some knock his hands, but still he is almost as good of catcher as Cook was. Of course in the blocking department he easily surpasses Cook. He's a much bigger and physical TE, and with Craig Stevens in the lineup, the Titans could be trying more jumbo packages to combat the big physical Texans or Jaguars "D".
Walker gets C+ in my opinion, a tad average, but a more wait and see than anything approach.
Okay the most questionable pickup was Shonn Greene, and not so much what role he will be in, but why so much money? Now I know a lot of people didn't like CJ's comments made about the signing either, but to be honest I see the reasoning behind his gripe, just he picked a bad time to express his discontent. Talent wise they couldn't have picked a better 3rd down back. When its 3rd and short and you need the yardage Greene got it 11 of 11 times, plus he's durable. Sorry, Ringer wasn't getting it done, which is part of CJ's thought process, why go get Greene when they had Ringer or draft someone. So I like that he's a great backup and is a better insurance policy than Ringer, but 10 million for 3 years, that's a bit much for a backup RB. He could be a real cap problem, next year if they Titans look to purge some players.
I give that a C.
I'm gonna put the Sammie Lee Hill and Ropati Pitoitua signing together as one. The signing of both achieved what Jerry Gray, Gregg Williams, Tracy Rocker and Keith Millard wanted, which is beef up their defensive line. First with that mountain of a man in Sammie Hill 6'4 and (a generous) 330-lbs of a man. Talk about beef in the middle, him an Casey will be space eaters at the DT positions, when in at the same time, and he's a good pass-rusher also. Today's signing of 6'7 and 315 pound Samoan behemoth Ropati Pitoitua filled another quota for a big physical D-line. Word is a lot of the Kansas City Chief faithful are pissed Ropati is gone. They felt he was massively undervalued by the Chief organization and we will reap the benefits. He's the perfect role playing DE to put in.
I give the Hill signing a B+ and Pitoitua a C+.
Now the former St. Louis Ram G Rob Turner, was perfect for three things. First, depth. With Hutchinson retiring and the ever lingering Amano enigma, Tuner is a perfect fit. Second, insurance if the Titans don't take Cooper or Warmack or Warford in the 2nd round of the upcoming draft, Turner could start, and to be honest I'd rather have him start then Amano. Finally, a mentor of sorts, if the Titans take one of the above mentioned G's in the draft, Turner would be the perfect person to have mentor someone. He's a veteran, who's seen plenty of players come and go.
I give the Turner signing a B.
Now the Fitzpatrick signing is a sore subject to some Titan faithful, with Hasselback being released, but their is a much bigger silver lining with Fitz then Hass. For one when Hasselback had to be the starter this past year, he didn't really set the world on fire with his play, and he was a very expensive insurance blanket. Granted the Titans offensive play-makers around him weren't much better, still he was rather awful at times. Plus he didn't want less money and he wasn't getting any younger, plus he was starting to look very Kerry Collins like at times. With Fitzpatrick you at least have more youth and a cheaper price tag, and he has shown flashes of being a great QB, but not as a starter, which he is starting to realize. He's got a deep ball (yes sometimes inaccurate), very smart, and very durable.
I give the Fitz signing a C+
Finally the potential biggest signing other than Levitre, the Patriot Killer himself S Bernard Pollard. Now here's a guy who will play immediately and to me bring a much needed nasty streak to the defense. Now he may get some fines and maybe a penalty or two, but this guy is an assassin in the middle, which we haven't had since the Blaine Bishop days to be honest. Now the only thing I don't like is the 1 year deal only, which if the Titans knew he was going to be available before the Wilson signing, he would've gotten a longer contract. His only knock is his coverage ability, which he makes up for in being physical. He's a winner, and can really lay out some hits, which is what the Titans have been desperately needing in the secondary.
I give the Pollard signing an A.
Overall this class gets a B+, not an A because they haven't gotten a elite pass-rusher, but who knows they could still get one. But with 10 players signed and most of their cap money spent, I don't foresee any more signings.