So another week of OTA's have wrapped up and there isn't any really big news, but most the news coming out of camp is extremely optimistic and for good reason. Still, it's way too early to guarantee anything at this point. Like most other teams in the league, the Titans didn't have any off-field arrests or a "major" injury. No blowups of any kind and for the most part it sounded like another day at the office for the players and coach's. That's exactly what you want from a football team who is looking to make it back into the playoffs. At the same time the coaching staff could be a little tense, with most of them coaching for their jobs. So the combination of all that is creating a lot of accountability among the players, especially some of the veterans they went and signed, along with some players from last year who are starting to step-up as leaders.
With the second week being over, here are just the main positives that were taken from this week.
1. To me the most positive news out of OTA's is Jake Locker apparently starting to show pose, and comfort in the pocket. For the most part he wasn't picked off that often, and being picked off only in 7 on 7 drills is not that bad, considering its all passing plays and no O-line. Jake also is not afraid to pull it down and run with it, which isn't much of anything considering most of OTA's there is no contact. Now OTA's and week 1 in Pittsburgh are two totally different things, and Jake could get rattled on Heinz field, but the main word out of OTA's is Jake is starting to look like a leader. Before I make any real statement about Jake being able to turn into upper 2nd tier QB, I'm gonna have to see better accuracy and decision making. Which right now he has been working on and it's starting to show.
2. Kenny Britt and the new WR's coach Shawn Jefferson could be the best thing to happen to the Titans WR's since Derrick Mason. So far all reports coming out of the Titan camp is Kenny Britt is looking to redeem himself from all the off-field distractions, along with the critics claiming he is lazy and out of shape. So far Britt has dropped weight, stayed in phenomenal shape, and remained focused while training and rehabing in California. Now granted he has quite the checkered past and this could all be facade, but right now he looks like the real deal. I really think a lot of that is because of Shawn Jefferson, who right now could be one of the better position coach's in the NFL. Some could argue, "hey anyone could've coached Calvin Johnson, look at the talent". I tend to disagree with that sentiment, what if Megatron had the Jags WR position coach, or even worse the Browns. Jefferson knows what he is doing and Britt could be the biggest benefactor from him, considering Britt is entering a contract year. So we could actually see the Titans air it out more than expected, considering they are built for running the ball. Another great thing from the WR's, is Kendall Wright. Who looks faster and shiftier since he also lost some weight. I hope he turns into that Steve Smith mold this year.
3. Competition for once is a good thing. The O-line is having roster battles already, which a great thing. Warmack right now is the starter, and so is Levitre (even though he is out with an injury now). Chris Spencer and Rob Turner are looking to unseat the rookie if they can, but so far Chance has shown he is more than capable with his duties so far. Velasco may be the starter as well, but one slip up and it's Schwenke's job, but don't count out Rob Turner either. The vet has been taking some first team reps as well. The defensive line is also having some DT and DE battles as well. It still looks like Morgan and Wimberly are the starters, but Ropati Pitoitua is impressing a lot of people. The DT's look a little more entrenched in a heated battle right now, which Mike Martin and Jurrell Casey are the main guys, but Sammie Hill and Antonio Johnson are just as suitable to be starters. When MLB McCarthy comes back from the last bit of rehab he will be the starter but as of right now Moise Fokou could might as well be the starter with his play. Everyone has been stating that he has been flying around the field so far, with McCarthy's ankle issues Fokou could be the permanent starter. This is all very, very good for the team, especially in OTA's, which means camp battles will be intense. Why is that good you ask, because you get the best out of your players and you start to build a complete team.
4. The Defense is starting to feed off Gregg Williams and his new microphone Mr. Bernard Pollard. In New Orleans he had Johnathan Vilma, in Washington it was the late-great Sean Taylor, and when he was in Tennessee before he left he had Blaine Bishop. Now he has the New England Patriot killer Bernard Pollard, who has rubbed some fans and the media in a wrong way, but overall has been able to back it up with his hard hitting style and leadership on the field. Williams is looking to redeem himself from the bounty gate scandal, and so far the defense is starting to respond to that. Jerry Gray may be the D-coordinator, but Williams is the guy the players are listening too, which could be a problem, but right now Gray doesn't seemed to be bothered by it. Williams has young talented defense to use at his disposal and he's got a new leader, who's on field play reflects the way he wants the Defense to play. We could be seeing one heck of a defensive turnaround this season.
5. The cutting of Eugene Amano is good news, especially since I predicted he was going to be the number 1 cap casualty back in January, even though it took longer than I thought. They just wanted him to get healthy before they made the move. Why is this a good thing? Well first of all they have cut the last of the dead meat from what was last years atrocious O-line, which may be a harsh thing to say, but lets be honest with ourselves. It was bad. Secondly and more importantly it freed up almost 4 million in cap space which right now they can use only 2 million of that, but it can be enough to get DE free agent John Abraham to swallow his pride and deal with not being the starter and realize he is a situation DE now. With talk's still in stall mode and not dead mode, I think the deal will happen.
I got one more article you need check out about the more negative aspects of OTA's. Till next time stay classy!