Last year, the Tennessee Titans fell backwards with a 6-10 campaign, three games worse than they finished in head coach Mike Munchak's first season in 2011. The major difference was the play at quarterback, going from veteran Matt Hasselbeck to youngster Jake Locker.
Now with Locker in his third season, the Titans need to see more than the 2,176 yards, 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. To that point, Tennessee went out and made upgrades to the offense through free agency and the draft, but they didn't change much on a very shaky defense.
The Titans were very active in free agency, making splashes on offense early and often. A few of the major moves were bringing in guard Andy LeVitre from the Buffalo Bills, who signed a six-year deal. Tight end Delanie Walker was also brought on board to replace Jared Cook, who left for the St. Louis Rams and former coach Jeff Fisher.
Defensively, the only significant moves in free agency made by Tennessee were the additions of safeties George Wilson and Bernard Pollard. How much of an impact they will have is debatable, but both come in with a track record of making things happen.
"We expect a Pro Bowl out of Michael," defensive coordinator Jerry Gray said. "He knows that. That’s why we surrounded him with Pollard and George Wilson. Those guys are going to play at a Pro Bowl level and we expect him to play at a Pro Bowl level."
In the draft, Tennessee did well for itself. The Titans added guard Chance Warmack with their first pick. Wide receiver Justin Hunter of Tennessee and California center Brian Schwenke are also notable picks.
Training camp location and schedule
The Titans will be staying in Nashville for camp, keeping all their players, coaches and fans close to home for practices this summer. It will give everyone a chance to have a sense of normality while getting ready for the upcoming year, something more teams are doing every year in the NFL.
All the practices are open to the public free of charge, according to Titansonline.com.
|July 29||6:30 p.m./Practice|
|July 30||3 p.m./Practice|
|July 31||3:45 p.m./Practice|
|Aug. 2||6:30 p.m./Schedule|
|Aug. 3||3 p.m./Practice|
|Aug. 5||3:25 p.m./Practice|
|Aug. 6||4:30 p.m./Practice|
|Aug. 8||3:10 p.m./Practice|
|Aug. 9||3:15 p.m./Practice|
|Aug. 13||3:30 p.m./Practice|
|Aug. 14||6:30 p.m./Practice|
|Aug. 15||3:15 p.m./Practice|
|Aug. 19||3 p.m./Practice|
Quarterback: It's tough to imagine Locker not getting the chance to start the regular season with the support of the coaching staff. That said, this is the NFL and Munchak knows a bad year likely means his walking papers.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to get a look if Locker begins to struggle during practice and preseason games. He was never a great player for Buffalo, but Fitzpatrick is at least a proven NFL quarterback who can earn a win every now and again.
Center: Who will take the reins here and become the starter for Week 1? The Titans have plenty of intriguing options including the rookie Schwenke. Fernando Velasquez was signed during the winter and is another player who could surprise during camp.