After one of the most exciting and significant off-seasons in Tennessee Titans’ history, training camp is finally around the corner. Between positional competitions, coaching changes, and several new pieces, there are a number of interesting storylines that all Titans fans should keep an eye on this summer. The plan is took examine a new one each day until camp arrives.
Kendall Wright is undoubtedly the best wide receiver on the roster at this point. While he had issues last season, I have little doubt that he will return to full form, if not be better than ever with Marcus Mariota under center. A lot of the time last year, you could tell that Wright was getting sloppy in an effort to make plays whenever he had the opportunity, because it was so rare thanks to the quarterback play. That being said, he has expressed concerns about Ken Whisenhunt’s offense. While we can argue all night about who is right and which approach is better, the bottom line is that Whisenhunt is his superior. If he buys in, and Marcus Mariota plays well, Wright could be one of the better receivers in the league.
The Titans also drafted Dorial Green-Beckham, who may not be fully ready coming out of the gate. Having missed a year, it would difficult to make the jump straight the NFL without struggling a bit. That being said, if the Titans keep it simple for him at first, he should be able to make some plays. The hope is that he can surpass Justin Hunter as the other starter on the outside. Even if Green-Beckham is raw, this should not be too difficult. Hunter has shown us next to nothing in his unremarkable professional career. He lacks physicality, is extraordinarily sloppy in his route running, has very poor ball skills and appears to be wildly immature. Outside of being tall and fast, I struggle to find a single positive in his game that the team can work with, which is the difference between him and Green-Beckham. While "DGB" may be raw at the beginning, he showed traits on film that indicate that he could be used in a simple role at first to highlight his strengths, only running a few routes and going up for jump balls, because he, unlike Hunter, attacks it. The team would be better off shifting their efforts towards Dorial Green-Beckham this summer, because Hunter appears to be a lost cause.
Other notable receivers are Harry Douglas and Tre McBride. The team probably viewed Douglas as a younger version of Nate Washington when they signed him. While he is not going to wow anyone with huge plays, and he is nowhere close to the upper echelon of receivers in the league, he should at least provide consistency and a veteran presence, which the group needs. McBride was a potential draft steal. He is shifty, and can make plays down the field. However, like Dorial Green-Beckham, it may take some time for him to make the full transition. While we may see more McBride towards November and December, it will be very interesting to see his starting point this summer and watch him compete.
This position group is not the best, but it has potential. A lot will depend on where Dorial Green-Beckham is in his development. It would be hard to downgrade from players like Derek Hagan and Kris Durham, so the team definitely improved here, but we will have to wait and see how much better they got. No one should be guaranteed anything as far as starting jobs and roster spots. The competition at wide receiver will be one of the most interesting to watch this summer.