by Tom Callahan
-The Titans have decided to roll with only four receivers heading out of camp: Justin Hunter, Kendall Wright, DGB and Harry Douglas. Cutting Hakeem Nicks means that DGB will be expected to carry a heavy load this year after not having played football for a year. It also means one less veteran voice to talk to and learn from. Whiz says he’s counting on the receivers to step up and that’s a stretch given the lousy precedent set last year.
-Five tight ends made the team- expect to see them rotated in and out and probably a bunch of two TE sets this year. Again, say all you want about how they’ll be expected to help with pass catching to explain keeping only four WR’s, but this is another concern for me. It seems like they’re doing this to bolster my next concern: the running game.
-Terrence West is in from Cleveland where he was let go for being a problem child. Maturity issues. Wait, the Browns didn’t want him? The team that moved up to grab Johnny Football? Whiz says sometimes you get it that you’re on your second team in two years, they liked him in college, etc. Wouldn’t you rather a veteran back come in to shore things up after Bishop Sankey was less than average this pre-season and you had to put Cobb on the short-term IR for six months? There’s always someone out there as a veteran who could provide more answers than questions. Keep your fingers crossed Titans fans, but the running game is concern #1 offensively now.
-Which means O-line feels much better to me. With Bell moving over and Poutasi slotting in on the right side I think this will be the unit to build with. While depth is going to be a concern look for the Titans to give Mariota some solid protection when employing the tight ends in the blocking scheme.
-On to Vandy where The Tennessean says Coach Derek Mason has put himself on the hot seat. No he hasn’t, we (the media) did it for him last year. That’s the reason why he assumed control of the D late last year and is calling the full defense this year. While they looked miles ahead of last year’s iteration, I’m still waiting to see if the offense is able to put up point. Oh, and stopping Georgia is a tall task and a good test. let’s not get too excited about limited WKU’s offense. They still lost.
-The Vols D has to improve next week. Bowling Green posted 557 yards and 433 of that was through the air. But don’t go throwing the secondary under the bus by itself. The pass rush was almost non-existent. Make the argument if you want that it was a tune-up or a pre-season type of game, but there were a lot of passengers on the Vols D this weekend and that won’t fly in the regular season.