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Things Titans Fans Should Expect To Hear A Lot Before The 2012 Season.


You can't define them but you know them when you see them. Those cookie cutter statements that just jump off the page as something trendy that you can pencil in to hear a variation of about four-hundred times before the season starts up in September.

To start it off, here's one that should be picking up some momentum as OTA's get going.

Chris Johnson is back in 2008 form.

Really, this one could apply to a number of players. Right before baseball season starts, there is something I like to call "BSOTL Watch". The longer version is "Best Shape Of Their Lives Watch." Basically, it pertains to all of the articles that come out during spring training/winter meetings about how player x (who just so happens to be seeking a new contract/is coming off of a career worst season) is in the best shape of their lives and, therefore, ready to go. These always crack me up. You can bet your bottom dollar that we hear all about how CJ is just as fast and explosive as he ever was and is even looking more muscular than usual. I'm not sure how one could tell that by watching these guys jog around in helmets and practice jerseys, but hey, anything to build unrealistic expectations, right? Not that these reports are inaccurate, it's just that every single year we hear these things and expect them to mean something. Don't fall into the trap, people.

Kendall Wright plays faster than his 40 time would indicate.

Turns out Kendall Wright is faster than Dontari Poe. Go figure, you guys. This is a legitimate observation, but I think even at this point it's probably beating a dead horse. Look, let's put this very plainly: there's a reason he made the Big 12 look like it was standing still and it ain't because Oklahoma, Texas, and the rest of the gang recruit crappy players. Any concerns about his speed should be dropped as soon as he suits up for the first time and blazes past some fool in the preseason for a long touchdown.

Eugene Amano is working hard to improve at center.

I should certainly hope so, it's his job and he wasn't very good at it last year. Amano the guard isn't such a bad option. Amano the center? That gives me nightmares. I can't imagine a universe in which he is not actively trying to get better. I don't have any reason to doubt his work ethic unless you correlate no improvement directly to his lack of effort, but I think it's got more to do with the fact that he's just not a center. In any case, look for some feel-good stories about how he was "on target" with "most" of his snaps today in practice and how his hands have stopped going straight to the face-masks of opposing players so often. Hey, progress is progress, I'll take it over the alternative.

Akeem Ayers is kind of doing everything right now.

Akeem Ayers has a very versatile skill set. That in itself is among the Things Titans Fans Should Expect To Hear A Lot Before The 2012 Season, but I'm going to say it anyway to segway into this point about how it's funny. Akeem Ayers doing everything can say one of two things at this point: a.) Ayers is getting involved in multiple defensive looks and is about to have a monster season coming at offenses from multiple angles or b.) Ayers just doesn't do anything well enough to have a spot at a regular position. We saw him play well during stretches last year, so "a" seems more likely at this point, but at the same time he kind of disappeared at times making "b" possible. Sometimes it's better to just have one great skill instead of a bunch of good ones.

Jake Locker will be the starting quarterback.

I think this is all something we'd like to hear. Jake has done everything the franchise has asked of him and more. He's shown brilliance in limited action and clearly has the right mindset going into this year. A lot of quarterbacks in his position would be frustrated, but Jake seems to be thriving in this role. It's not a stretch to say that he's definitively the most talented QB on the roster, the question right now is, is he the right QB to start 2012? To a lot of people, those are the same thing, but there's a subtle difference. Right implies that his talent can be utilized because he's where he needs to be mechanically, in the playbook, and mentally.

Matt Hasselbeck will be the starting quarterback.

Just as likely as the previous headline, we have the alternative. To basically restate everything I just said, Hasslebeck may not be the best QB on the team, but he might be the right guy for the job. We know that, mentally, he's razor sharp out there. Physically, he looked pretty darn good too, but that could change at any minute given his age and history of injuries. I personally think this is the more likely situation. I think Matt gets to start the season and gets hurt about 4-5 games in, then Jake comes in and never looks back. What's great about Hasselbeck is that he makes it seem like there's really no other way he'd rather go out. Gotta love that kind of attitude.