Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel |
The Tennessee Titans enter training camp in 2015 hoping they have solved many of the woes that plagued them a year ago in head coach Ken Whisenhunt's first season.
A 2-14 season will send a team looking for plenty of answers and making plenty of changes. The biggest change was the drafting of Marcus Mariota with the second overall pick with the idea that he will become the team's new franchise quarterback.
There will be growing pains involving Mariota - or nearly any rookie quarterback for that matter - but the Titans made sure to get the rookie's contract done and will have him in camp when the team reports on July 30.
Mariota will have some decent weapons to work with, but also players with a lot of question marks. The Titans have reliable tight end Delanie Walker and shifty receiver Kendall Wright, and have since added veterans Harry Douglas and Hakeem Nicks to that mix, not to mention drafting Dorial Green-Beckham in the second round. Green-Beckham may take some time, but the Titans believe he can give them the type of big-play receiver they have long been lacking.
Tennessee had hoped Justin Hunter would be that guy, but he is now a major question mark entering year three, and that was before his recent brush with the law.
The Titans still have to settle the running back position, where no one established themselves in 2014 and the offensive line, where injuries and/or ineffective play ruled the day for most of last year.
In addition to Mariota, there are other reasons for optimism, not the least of which is the addition of legendary defensive mind Dick LeBeau. LeBeau is 77 and comes to the Titans to oversee a defense that will be in its second season in the 3-4 scheme. The Titans also added a few new faces on defense as well, picking up Da'Norris Searcy from the Buffalo Bills to play safety and signing pass rusher Brian Orakpo from the Washington Redskins to man one of the outside linebacker spots. Tennessee also picked up cornerback Perrish Cox from the San Francisco 49ers in an effort to upgrade a weakness at cornerback from a year ago.
July 30: Entire team reports
July 31: First practice
Aug. 24: Camp ends