The Titans enter the 2015 with a new attitude, that much is already obvious. But it will take more than simply a change of mindset to shake off the stink of the 2-14 season from last year. A host of new faces are making their debut to Titans fans and coaches, and camp will be the place for them to set themselves apart and wrestle playing time from incumbents. As training camp progresses and the Titans staff undergo the unenviable task of whittling down this roster, we will look at players in danger of being jettisoned. And for the purposes of evaluation, we'll leave some of the obvious "camp-body" types off of this list.
Chopping Block Candidate #1: Jacoby Ford, WR
Ford entered the Titans wide receiver room at an inopportune time. Since he was brought on board the Titans signed Hakeem Nicks, Clyde Gates, and Harry Douglas, and drafted Dorial Green-Beckham and Tre McBride. Ford offers speed and utility as a PR/KR (which we all know the team needs more of.....), but there is little evidence to suggest that he can make a dent in the WR depth chart. He has struggled with drops out of the gate in training camp. If perennial Titans camp-WR Rico Richardson outperforms him in camp, Ford won't last long.
Chopping Block Candidate #2: Andy Levitre, G
The ex-Buffalo guard was once regarded as the league's best guard, and the Titans paid him like it a few years back. What they have gotten in return on this investment has been marginal-level play that doesn't nearly add up to his hefty salary cap hit. Levitre should have been the centerpiece of the line, and has ended up being arguably its weakest link.
The team drafted Jeremiah Poutasi earlier this year, and he figures to play a role in the guard battle, with few signs indicating he would be an ideal fit at tackle. Its bad news for Levitre if the rookie can match him in camp. The Titans also brought back Fernando Velasco who will be a swing guy at center and guard. UDFA Quinton Spain will also be once to watch at the guard spot.
He has taken snaps at center thus far this Summer, which doesn't bode well for his prospects as a starter this coming year. With a big contract hanging over Webster's head and little justification for playing him, the Titans may well decide to cut ties with the once-prized free agent acquisition.
Chopping Block Candidate #3: Zaviar Gooden
It's a bad sign when a player becomes a chopping block candidate while still on a cheap rookie deal. Gooden was a head-scratching 3rd draft pick on the day, and he has done little to change that perception with his limited time and production on the field. When Tennessee made the switch to the 3-4, Gooden was bumped inside to a WILB role. The Titans struggled at linebacker last season, and Gooden was given a significant opportunity to make a mark, something he was unable to do.
The team has increased talent at the spot over a year ago, with Zach Brown returning to the lineup, and Avery Williamson commanding the other starting role. The team also added the underrated Yawin Smallwood to the practice squad last year, and he figures to compete at ILB for a backup spot. Gooden has the physical tools to play well on the outside of this hybrid 3-4 front, especially as a sub-package guy with his impressive speed. But he hasn't shown a lot thus far in his Titans career, and while the team isn't flush with linebacking talent, Gooden doesn't provide that. I expect linebacker to be a more competitive spot this season, and I'm not convinced that Gooden makes the final cut.
Other Cut Candidates: Chance Coffman (TE), Jamon Meredith (T), Khalid Wooten (DB).