Ruston Webster is starting his term as the GM of the Titans by building our plan for free agency, and his stated goal is to improve the running game and the defense. He essentially confirmed that there will be changes to the offensive line (which is expected, but welcomed news). Webster also expressed his desire to improve every level of the defense. With a reported $30 million in cap space to play with, we should be able to get some high-impact players locked-up before the draft. He's Reinfeldt's guy, so don't expect him to go crazy, but Webster does say they're willing to step up to the plate if the right player is out there at the right price. That's always nice because it really opens the FO up to take the best player available, regardless of position, on draft weekend.
We've been speculating about which coaches and front office people Jeff Fisher might try to pluck from Baptist Sports Park, and now we have the first news along those lines: the Titans denied the Rams permission to talk with assistant head coach/strength and conditioning Steve Watterson. Watterson has been with the Titans for 26 years now, and he's highly respected throughout the league. Some of you may remember Watterson best as the coach who tossed hot soup on then-Steelers linebacker Joey Porter back in 2003 after Porter tackled Steve McNair out of bounds.
Lavelle Hawkins may have finished the season strong, and totaled 47 receptions for 470 yards, but he also finished in the top 20 of NFL receivers with the lowest catch-to-drop ratios. The Hawk caught 47 of the 50 catchable passes thrown his way. That's certainly a good number for him, but Hawk's problem has always been mental mistakes before the snap, not the ability to catch the ball.
The Titans added Steve Brown as the assistant secondary coach to help out Brett Maxie. Brown was on the University of Kentucky staff, and his name was tossed around for the same position last season before the Titans opted to retain Marcus Robertson, who preferred Curtis Fuller.
Jim Wyatt asks, who is making the final call on personnel decisions? Here's Mike Reinfeldt's answer:
"Ultimately that's always a tough question because it's the owner ultimately at any of the 32 clubs,'' he said. "But I think we're set up, we're kind of a GM-driven team, and the GM gets input from people. His job is to get consensus, but at the end of the day, those decisions are within the scope of what he's expected to do."
Paul K recaps the front office promotions from yesterday, and the reasoning behind them, in case you missed it.
Jim Wyatt has the details on Craig Stevens' 4-year, $15 million deal.
Another interesting defensive lineman has been linked to the Titans in a mock draft: All-American Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy.
I haven't gotten a chance to listen to it yet, but Damian Williams did a radio interview with the SXM Fantasy Drive yesterday.
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