The chances of Derrick mason ending up a Titan are certainly less than they were last week when the match seemed to have a lot of steam, but Munchack is still leaving the door open. I have mixed feeling about Mason coming back to Tennessee for a lot of reasons (he left for the effin' Ravens, and acted like a complete jerk on the field during the loss in the playoffs), but my biggest apprehension has to do with the feeling I get that the Ravens wouldn't have jettisoned Mason if he had enough left in the tank to start in the NFL. I'd rather give the younger guys like Damian Williams, Marc Mariani or Lavelle Hawkins a chance to shine than stifle them behind yet another veteran like Gage or McCareins did for the past few years.
Will Akeem Ayers be the second straight Titans rookie from UCLA to make a big impact right away? Alterraun Verner sure thinks so:
"I expect him to top it, twist it over, sit on it," Verner said. "He’s going to shatter [my performance]. He’s an awesome player. … We’re definitely competitive. So I look for him to come in and do the same thing.
"I expect him to be in the running for Defensive Rookie of Year."
For the second season in a row, Javon Ringer is working as our no. 1 running back in camp. If CJ does something stupid, like skipping all of camp or and missing time into the season, I'd expect to see Ringer's carries more than double this season. He'll be the guy who fully understands the new plays, blocking schemes and rhythm of the offense. Ringer was a complete workhorse back in college, but he's been stuck behind the best RB in the game since he got to the Titans. Needless to say, he's enjoying the extra reps and the chance to show the new staff what he can bring to the offense.
Jurrell Casey has been the surprise rookie in camp so far, according to Munchak and Wyatt. I’d love to see the big boy come in and really make an impact, especially now that Tony Brown is gone. Shaun Smith and Casey will both need to make an impact with their size in the middle.
We've got our first serious camp injury: Ryan Mouton hurt his Achilles last night, and the early indications are that his season is over. Mouton has drawn tons of criticism over the past few seasons, but you still have to feel bad for the guy. Mouton was one of the core guys who regularly made it to the informal practices at Father Ryan during the lockout.
Under the new CBA, rookies are getting much less in salary and years on their first contract. I've always been a fan of this way of treating rookie contracts. These guys haven't earned the massive salaries top picks have been getting, but they shouldn't be locked into a smaller contract for more than a few years. The vast majority of top picks have pretty much proven if they're a star, a starter or a bust within 4 seasons. The new plan is much more equitable for both sides, IMO.
David Boclair says the shortened off-season workouts for players could be bad for business in the NFL. If he really means to say that it's bad for one's sanity if you cover the NFL day in and day out, I think we'd all agree. I know without a doubt that if it hadn't been for the insane commitment all of you folks have to making MCM the best spot on the web for at least quasi-reasonable Titans fans, this lockout would have driven me into the Cumberland River. Having gone through that experience, I don't want to go another day of my life without some sort of relevant NFL news.
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