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 »This Week in History
Tennessee Titans
INSIDE SLANT

  Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel | Player Wire

  The Tennessee Titans have addressed a number of the holes they had coming into the 2015 offseason.

The biggest pickup probably wasn't even a player. Instead, it was defensive guru Dick LeBeau, who comes to the Titans at age 77 after parting ways with Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

LeBeau's presence helps give the Titans more credibility than a 2-14 team normally should have in an offseason fill with question marks and uncertainty. It no doubt played a role in luring outside linebacker Brian Orakpo, who is excited to revive his career in Tennessee playing in LeBeau's 3-4 system.

"I get to get coached by the living legend, Dick LeBeau himself. It was hands down a no-brainer," Orakpo said as the offseason program began. "When I was in Washington, all we did was study Pittsburgh's stuff, and what he brought to the table with those guys and how he ran their defense. I knew what James Harrison was going to do before James Harrison knew what he was going to do, as much as we studied it. So I was very excited."

In addition to Orakpo, the Titans focused most of their offseason on fixing the defense. They re-signed outside linebacker Derrick Morgan and defensive end Karl Klug, and then brought in safety Da'Norris Searcy from Buffalo and cornerback Perrish Cox from San Francisco. On the offensive side of the ball, the Titans added only three players with really only receiver Harry Douglas seemingly guaranteed a big role. Byron Bell, signed just Wednesday (April 22), will compete for the right tackle spot, presumably with Byron Stingily and a draft pick, while Anthony Fasano joins a group of tight ends behind starter Delanie Walker.

Still, the Titans enter the draft with more questions than answers. What are they going to do at quarterback is first and foremost among those questions. The Titans profess confidence in second-year man Zach Mettenberger, who they think was a steal in the sixth round a year ago. Yet, they have left no stone unturned in evaluating top prospects Jameis Winston (expected to go to Tampa Bay with the first pick) and Marcus Mariota, who has been the subject of much trade debate at the No. 2 spot.

There is still the possibility the Titans could land San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers in a best-case, win now scenario. But that deal seems far from guaranteed to come to fruition and really comes down to the Chargers more than the Titans. The Chargers would have to be convinced they can't re-sign Rivers and be willing to part with him, but also be enamored with Mariota.

Where the Titans go at quarterback will largely determine everything else they do in this draft, as they still need help at tackle, guard, receiver, defensive line and in the secondary. Most of those areas would appear to be addressed in the draft.


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