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Titans Training Camp Mailbag - August 12, 2013

It's time again for some mailbag questions and these come largely from questions posted in the Titans training camp recap comment section. Thanks again for reading and for all the feedback!

Titans quarterback Jake Locker drops back to throw a pass at LP Field
Titans quarterback Jake Locker drops back to throw a pass at LP Field
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Sharona, I like hearing BWW is improving
can you go into specifics on what you’ve seen from him?

It's pretty common to see rookies thinking too much early on in the offseason and in training camp. There is a lot to absorb with the playbook and just adjusting to life as a professional football player. At some point guys start to settle in and become comfortable and just start playing.

With BW3, I see a guy who is way more familiar with what the Titans expect from him, he isn't overthinking he is just out there playing. He is faster coming off the line and is staying with his receiver better. He has made some really nice plays in coverage, and in Sunday night's practice he was part of a big play you can find on my vine account.

It's good to see him out there just playing. You can tell he is really talented.

Just curious
Marc Mariani seems to be a fan favorite. Why is that?
"The other way to stop this move is to just fall on the defender and smother him like a grenade. That can be plenty effective too. It’s just that if you miss, you look like a fat, unathletic, toad."--Ben Muth, Football Outsiders
Quack quack. Water off my back.
by AP22

Hello my Buffalo Bills people! I hope you are enjoying your time at Music City Miracles. For out of towners, or those not completely familiar with Mariani, I thought I would talk a bit about him.
First, Mariani was a 7th round pick out of Montana and very few people had heard of him. He was friend's with Brandon Fisher, Jeff Fisher's son, and some people felt he got selected due to that friendship. Mariani soon disproved that notion by proving to be an excellent return man and by showing some wide receiver skills.

In his rookie season, Mariani made the Pro Bowl as a returner and finished as one of the top return specialists in the league. He has also set the franchise record previously held by Derrick Mason for the most total return yards on punts and kickoffs wtih 1,859 yards.

He is a hard working player who has made the most of his opportunities. Add on top of that that he is genuinely a nice guy who loves the fans and what isn't there to like? He is well deserving of the "fan favorite" label.
You can read more about Mariani at Titans Online here.


Hi Sharona – I must admit that I am struggling to understand your reasoning about Reynaud. Mariani’s injury isn’t serious and the Titans know what they have with him. He and Reynaud are both good returners and there’s not much to choose between them, at least not enough to put one clearly ahead of the other. However, there is no way that the Titans will have four RBs active on game days, and like last year that makes the 3rd RB slot pretty much useless if Reynaud has to be dressed every week to return. It seems to me that the only way Reynaud makes the final roster is if he wins the 3rd RB slot on merit, and at the moment that isn’t looking very likely.
by Gemma_D on Aug 12, 2013 | 5:00 AM

As someone already pointed out, it wouldn't be the first time the Titans have carried 4 running backs. It is certainly possible they wait on Mariani but he was already in a camp battle to make the roster with guys like Damian Williams, who has also looked really good in the return game.
The Titans are entering the phase where they are going to start adding in the offense. The next 2 weeks will be spent adding different things and you will see them use more variety as they practice for the season opener against Pittsburgh. Mariani is going to miss that valuable time as he recovers from this latest injury.
I have seen speculation the Titans might carry 7 wide receivers and if they do then I think his chances improve. Personally, I think they carry 6 and the last 2 spots will go to Damian Williams and Michael Preston. The top 4 obviously being Washington, Britt, Wright and Hunter.
As for the running backs, Harper was active some last year though he had limited impact. I could see them rotating a bit with Reynaud and Battle depending on who they face. With Williams able to return as well, this gives them added flexibility. I do think they really like Battle and I find it hard to believe he won't make the roster.

From a lot of people
Is it time to panic over Jake Locker?

Absolutely not. Locker struggled in practice Sunday night but what sometimes gets lost is that he did some nice things as well. We are hitting that time in camp when players are tired, it's been a grind and they are ready for the season to begin.
I think it's important to remember that ALL quarterbacks struggle at times and will have less than ideal games. I hope people don't lose sight of that and panic if and when Locker has a bad game in 2013. What is important is whether there has been improvement and without question he has shown improvement. We have seen some really nice plays from Locker during camp and in the preseason game.
Another thing I want people to remember is that it shouldn't be all on Jake Locker to erase the bad taste from 2012. The entire team has to improve. There were times when Locker tried to do too much last year because the competitor in him wants to win. I think you have to let him continue to have some growing pains while recognizing there is definitively improvement.
Thanks again for all the great questions. You can continue posting them in the comments section on the training camp recaps. Or if you prefer, you can send them to me on twitter at @SportsBySharona.

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