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Tennessee Titans: Rebuild To Remodel


Brian Callahan with Amy Adams and Ran Carthon

When the offseason began we were not in good shape. Their first losing season since 2015 when we went 3-13. It was also the first time we finished last in the AFC South. Everyone including myself thought the Tennessee Titans were in store for a rebuild. I thought it would be 3, maybe 4 years before we could be contenders again. Ran Carthon and the Titans front office had other ideas.


Coaching Staff

The first to be changed was the Head coach Mike Vrabel, who was fired on January 9th. They hired Brian Callahan on January 22nd who was previously the offensive coordinator for the Bengals. Coach Callahan was one of the top coaching candidates for this offseason. Once hired, he quickly filled out the rest of his staff, bringing in names like Dennard Wilson, Bill Callahan, Tyke Tolbert, Frank Bush, Steve Jackson, and Nick Holtz. All these great hires just help to further develop our team.

Can I Get A Block?

The offensive line was a huge problem last year. They ranked dead last in the league as a group per PFF. They had a major turnover here from last season. They signed Lloyd Cushenberry from the Broncos last year. This is a huge improvement from Aaron Brewer, who ranked dead last in the NFL. We drafted JC Latham as our left tackle, who was Bill Callahan’s favorite tackle prospect in the draft. We also signed tackle Saahdiq Charles, who was brought in on Callahan’s suggestion. I feel like he could still be the starter at right tackle at the beginning of the season.

Who Can We Throw To Besides Hopkins?

This is one of the most improved positions this offseason. Adding free agent wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who produced over 1,000 yards last season. He adds to a group that fell off a cliff after Hopkins. They then signed Tyler Boyd, who is one of the most productive slot receivers in the NFL. With the addition of rookie Jha’Quan Jackson, who looks to be an instant upgrade on special teams as a return man.

Big Men In The Middle

Titans looked to the draft to upgrade their defensive line, adding T’Vondre Sweat in the 2nd round and Jaylen Harrell in the 7th round. Sweat looks to be an instant starter at defensive tackle to pair with Pro Bowl tackle Jeffery Simmons. Simmons is hard to handle alone, drawing double and even triple teams at times. Sweat with Simmons just sounds like a huge problem for opposing NFL offensive lines. Harrell looks to be a rotational rusher and depth piece.

Different Look In The Secondary

This is the most improved position in my opinion. The Titans let Sean Murphy-Bunting, who was arguably their best cornerback, walk and be signed by the Cardinals. This left only third year cornerback Roger McCreary, who produced more than his rookie season in every category. They also signed Chidobe Awuzie from the Bengals, who ranked as the 18th best cornerback in the NFL per PFF. The biggest addition to this group is when the Titans traded for L’Jarius Sneed from the Chiefs. Sneed ranks as the 5th best cornerback in the NFL per The 33rd Team.

What About The Middle Of The Defense?

This is the weakest group on what shaped out to be a great defense on paper. They allowed Azeez Al-Shaair to be signed by the Texans. The Titans went out and signed Kenneth Murray Jr. from the Chargers. Murray is a great sideline-to-sideline linebacker but lacks in coverage, much like Azeez. This is where 4th-round draft pick Cedric Gray comes in. Everyone on staff seems to be high on Gray’s ability to come in and start immediately. Some have even questioned whether he would wear the green dot helmet, which the defensive coordinator uses to call plays and communicate directly with players.

I personally thought we would be a couple of years out from reaching the postseason, but Ran Carthon and the front office of the Titans have done such a fantastic job of seeking out players who can help make us competitive for a postseason appearance this year.


 

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