So earlier i stated how well the Titans did in another article, but everything wasn't all rosy and good. There was a lot of good things that happened, but there were a couple of things to be a tad pessimistic about. Mainly injuries, but some player "injury" in particular is a little troubling already. Plus is Jake Locker the real deal? Don't we all just want to know already!
Now lets look at the negative aspects of what happened.
1. Injuries already, C'MON MAN! Luckily we didn't have any season-enders (I know that's not a word), but a couple to make some important players to miss OTA's. The most troubling and hopefully the least severe is Andy Levitre. It just suck's that the 40-million dollar free agent couldn't spend anytime with the O-line, and get a head start on becoming in sync with each other. Hopefully it doesn't mean they won't be, but the most important thing for O-lineman is unity and being in sync. Levitre is said to be back by mini-camp right now, but it could turn into training camp. If he isn't playing in the 1st pre-season game then we could be pushing panic button for the O-line.
2. Still on injuries, and this time its about another important veteran signing. Delanie Walker sat out all of camp for the most part, because of knee scare. Luckily MRI results came back negative. With the Titans openly stating they are going to be a run 1st offense, Delanie Walker is an important part of that happening. Walker has sure hands, but Vernon Davis was the vertical TE in San Fran. Walker on the other hand is more physical and ground based, he rather run you over than try and finesse you, and that's fine with me. His earliest expectancy period to come back is mini-camp as also, and if he doesn't play in the first pre-season game, its time to get worried. I'm not as worried about him as I am Levitre, because the TE position already has Craig Stevens to be a blunt instrument for the run first offense.
3. One more injury, and this one is actually an injury from last year. Colin McCarthy has a lot riding on this season, and he has to be healthy for it. Right now he says his ankle is 80 percent healthy. That is encouraging news and all, but its almost August, and I hope the other 20 percent he needs he will get this week or at the latest in mini camp. The Titans are already looking to move on without Colin, with the addition of Fokou, but the potential McCarthy has shown to be a Zach Thomas style linebacker, or even better a fellow Hurricane alumni Ray Lewis. Is why they haven't cut ties yet. Lets hope he is healthy enough to have more 20 tackle games.
4. Justin Hunter's "hamstring" issue is worrisome. Looking pulling hamstring hurts, and it takes a while to come back from. I only hope Hunter won't turn into the constantly injured Yancy Thigpen or even the recent Kenny Britt WR we have had to deal with. I like Hunter also, big fast guy with lots of talent, but he is raw and Coach Jefferson is recognizing that. Coach Jefferson has already called out Hunter in the media, now it wasn't a big deal or anything but Coach Jefferson is right. He needs to man up and next time he comes into camp he needs to be physically prepared. Most of the time hamstring injuries are from being out of shape and not being prepared, just ask Kenny Britt. With Hunter on the sideline he missed some important teaching time. Luckily Hunter isn't as relied upon as our WR's were this past season, because everyone is healthy and they went after Kevin Walter for depth. Hunter will hopefully get over his hamstring problems after the rookie symposium this coming weekend.
5. Jake Locker: Is he really turning the corner in his QB play, or is it all smoke and mirrors? The only reason this isn't number one on the list, is because Jake has been working day in a day out. Specifically on his mechanics, footwork, watching tape, working with his QB coach and WR's constantly. I tend to believe that hard work pays off eventually in any sport, and that's what Jake is. A damn hard worker. With that being said, hard work in the NFL can only take you so far. You gotta be able to compete effectively consistently week in and week out. Can Jake do that? Or, is he just another hard worker who didn't have enough talent to be one of the best? A lot of what the Titans do this season is riding on Jake's shoulders, and it looks like he is up to the task on leading the team in the right direction. I just hope his on field play will be able to reflect his work ethic.
Till after the Rookie Symposium you guys stay classy!