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It's no secret that the Titans have to be better in 2013 in order to get coach Mike Munchak and his staff off the proverbial hot seat.
A 6-10 finish a year ago led to the dismissal of team COO Mike Reinfeldt, who had previously served as general manager during a five-year span of spotty drafts and questionable free-agent moves.
Munchak, who has been with the organization for more than three decades and is one of owner Bud Adams' favorites, was given a one-year reprieve to make good on improving the team with the assistance of general manager Ruston Webster.
The Titans wasted no time in the offseason, signing 12 free agents to replenish the roster and now after getting their first look at their 2013 draft class, Munchak is convinced some of the rookies can come in and help push this team back toward contention this year.
Most notably, first-round pick Chance Warmack has virtually already been placed atop the depth chart at right guard, while second-round pick Justin Hunter will have every opportunity to show himself a playmaker at wide receiver and move right into a mix of talent that includes Kendall Wright, Kenny Britt and Nate Washington.
"I show them the tape every year of some of the stuff that happened last year and tell them that there are a lot of guys that can help us win football games here. The last two years I've been here, rookies have stepped up. Our expectation is that they should come in and help this football team win," Munchak said.
There is also the possibility that even a fourth-rounder, center Brian Schwenkie, could fight his way onto the playing field as a rookie, as he will be battling incumbent center Fernando Velasco for the starting nod.
Warmack said he learned a lot during the rookie minicamp, and even had Munchak and offensive line coach Bruce Matthews, both Hall of Famers, showing him the way.
"It was a great experience. Just picking their brains and asking them questions is helping to make me a better player," Warmack said.
Warmack knows there is plenty ahead to learn for him.
"There were a lot of mistakes made today, but that is the beauty of this game. You make mistakes and you come back and do better the next day. I'll put my head in the playbook tonight and get better," Warmack said.
The rookies now join the veterans this week as the Titans' full 90-man roster goes through offseason work. For Hunter, he realizes it is a big step making the leap from college to the NFL. He saw that during the rookie minicamp.
"I think it went pretty good. Learning the new offense went pretty good. I picked it up pretty easy. I was nervous, because I didn't know what to expect, but as the day went on, my nerves calmed down," Hunter said. "There were a lot of meetings, definitely a lot more than in college. It's definitely a lot faster, and it's zero tolerance when you come here."