I'm playing catch up on a few things I haven't had time to discuss this week, so bear with me...
1) A few players are trying out new positions in OTAs. I have no problem with that, as the offseason is the perfect time to try out some new things. Some of these position changes aren't major moves either, they just appear bigger in name. It did bring back one concern I have though. As an overall concept, I still wonder if this team will try to be too fancy on defense. We saw poor tackling and horrible playcalling last year and right now both the staff and players need to master the basics again.
2) Jake Locker has a lot of room to improve this year (and must if the Titans are to compete) but I don't have any concerns about his leadership. On and off the field this is exactly the type of guy you want as the face of your franchise. If he raises his game, watch out.
3) The move to an offense similar to one run by the Texans has me excited...with one asterisk. Our running game has the opportunity to be great yet again. We have a mobile quarterback who will benefit from defenses focusing more on the run, and it just so happens he's a good thrower on the move. So what's the problem? As we've seen with Houston the past two years, their style of play doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room. Opposing teams with elite passers get out to a lead and suddenly the run game and corresponding play-action threats are minimized. You're forced to get away from what you do best. So while this idea from the Titans is a solid one, it needs to be thought of as just one step in the right direction. Eventually Locker and the whole passing game will have to be relied on more.
4) Coachspeak is always useless, but I am more wary of it this time of year. About one year ago at this point Tommie Campbell started getting a lot of love from the coaching staff and media...only to spend most of the season glued to the bench. Who's going to be this season's OTA fan-crush?
5) I'm intrigued by players like Denard Robinson and really do want to see where the Jags stick him. His hands aren't good enough to play receiver just yet but his touches as a running back would be limited too.
6) As a fan I want all the information I can get from my favourite team, unless it starts to hurt that same team. We've seen it with Hard Knocks. I'd love to get an inside scoop on the Titans but I wouldn't want all that media coverage. I bring that up because the Dallas Cowboys draft board was recreated and with it comes both the good and bad. It would be fascinating to see how the Titans evaluated and ranked the 2013 draft prospects. NFL teams love secrecy though and I can't see any team thrilled to have that leak out. Perhaps that same paranoia has worn off on me as I wouldn't want other teams to see how the Titans' scouts ranked the prospects.
7) Does Jim Schwartz survive this year in Detroit? Or past that? I think the Packers and Bears will be strong this year and the Vikings certainly aren't a pushover either.
8) The Browns gave Jim Brown a "special advisor" position with the team, which to be honest sounds like and probably is a token spot for an all-time great. It is good publicity for both sides though.
9) Sticking with the Browns for a moment... keep an eye on Davone Bess. I've always been a fan of the former Dolphin slot receiver and he should have an increased role in Cleveland.
10) Another open question for the community: Which quarterback will have the best 2013 season - Eli Manning, Cam Newton or Joe Flacco? All three were close in yards and completion percentage last year. I'll go with Eli as he's got more to work weapons to work with. Still I was surprised by how close the three were in 2012.