Titans News NFL: Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota feels confident about the new weapons they acquired during the 2017 Offseason.



Tennessee Titans 2017 Season Preview




Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Posted on 7/24/2017.


Tennessee Titans Free Agency Recap


Tennessee got Logan Ryan from New England and Jonathan Cyprien from Jacksonville to boost their secondary at field cornerback and strong safety. They also added Eric Decker as a Free Agent. Former Denver Broncos nose tackle Sylvester Williams is going to Tennessee to play in the same 3-4 scheme under Dick LeBeau. The Titans are hoping Wiilliams does better in Tennessee than he did in Denver after being a 2012 first round pick. Don't forget about Eric Weems. He gives the Titans a return specialist.



Tennessee Titans Draft Recap


The Tennessee Titans took Corey Davis out of Western Michigan with a top 5 selection. Davis is the obvious front runner to challenge Leonard Fournette for offensive rookie of the year if he manages to establish himself as the #1 receiver on this roster. You also got Adoree Jackson out of USC with that second first round pick. Taywan Taylor out of Western Kentucky began the year as a third string guy, but has already worked his way up to second team solidifying his status as a top 6 wide receiver on this roster who should develop this year, but could also see some opportunities in the slot if someone gets injured.




Tennessee Titans Quarterback Summary: Marcus Mariota returns as the starting quarterback. He built on his rookie season and began putting everything together despite not having a consistent #1 target. Matt Cassel is not a starter, but he's a solid backup to Marcus Mariota. He got extended for a reason.


Jason Michael the Titans struggled as an offensive coordinator. He did much better in a reduced role as a quarterbacks coach. Mariota has to stay healthy this year though. You can certainly argue that Mariota is a better decision maker than Winston, but he's not as durable, and he needed the last two years to learn a Pro Style offense. Now that he's acclimated in an NFL offense, he may just take off this year.


Tennessee Titans Running Back Summary: The Tennessee Titans have two backs in Demarco Murray and Derrick Henry that they depended on a lot last year. Tennessee isn't as deep at running back as last year, but the Murray and Henry tandem is still in place. That's what matters.


Running backs coach Sylvester Croome has had a lot of success with running backs. He was the Lions offensive coordinator in the late 90's when Barry Sanders was near the end of his career. He was also a running back coach on the St. Louis Rams for Stephen Jackson. Croome turned things around last season.


Tennessee Titans Wide Receiver Summary: Marcus Mariota has an abundance of wide receivers to throw to. Rishard Matthews enters this year as the #1 target for Marcus Mariota. We said the same thing about Kendall Wright at this point last year before the team moved on from him. Eric Decker is currently projected as the #2 wide receiver on the depth chart. Corey Davis who Tennessee spent a top 5 pick on finally signed his rookie deal.


Harry Douglas, Tajae Sharpe, and Taywan Taylor are going to be the depth receivers. Douglas hardly did anything last year. Sharpe had his moments as a rookie last season. Taylor is already having a good impression on the Titans moving up from 8 to 6 on the Titans' depth chart at wide receiver. The Titans are a lot deeper at wide receiver than they were last year after hardly having any targets.


Terry Robiskie is great at developing wide receivers and calling plays. We may see more of a pass first offense after the Titans balanced things out in 2016. Tennessee also brought in a new wide receivers coach from Temple in Frisman Jackson.


Frisman Jackson is the new wide receivers coach for the Titans. He came from Temple and I'm not sure he's the right guy with all the uncertainty at wide receiver. Tennessee has awesome depth at wide receiver, but there is a lot of uncertainty about who the #1 guy is. That uncertainty along with Jackson being the wide receivers coach scares me.


Tennessee Titans Tight End Summary: Titans head coach Mike Mularkey specializes in developing tight ends. He had tremendous success with Mark Bruener on the Pittsburgh Steelers as well as Tony Gonzalez on the Atlanta Falcons. Delanie Walker blossomed in Tennessee under Mularkey. The Titans also added Jace Amaro who was never utilized correctly on the New York Jets to be a backup to Walker. Jonnu Smith is playing third string.


If all six receivers and all three tight ends stay healthy along with Marcus Mariota this could be a top 5 passing offense. Mariota would have 9 different targets to throw to after having hardly any options last season and that's a scary thought because the Titans could end up having more depth at wide receiver than any AFC South team. On the flip side, you also got Davis who still hasn't signed yet along with a wide receivers coach from Temple, who I don't see having success with these receivers.


Tennessee Titans Offensive Line Summary: Right now the starting offensive tackles are Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin two first round draft picks. Lewan enters his fourth year as the teams starting left tackle after being picked in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Michigan. Conklin enters his second season and had a proven track record for pancaking defenders at Michigan State. Ben Jones is moving back to center after Brian Schwenke got released. The one issue on this offense is the guard play. Tennessee is set pretty much everywhere else. Tennessee seems happy with what Quinton Spain is doing at left guard, so if they get a new guard, I'd expect it to be a right guard because Spain can be a decent left guard when he's completely healthy.


The Titans don't seem like a team that has as much depth on the offensive line as last year. It's going to be paramount for these guys to stay healthy in 2017.


Russ Grimm did well with Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin. With these guys getting another year of coaching under Russ Grimm it could lead to a potential breakout year for Mariota when you consider how much success Grimm had with Washington, Arizona, and Pittsburgh prior to joining Tennessee.


Tennessee was 14th in points per game, 11th in total yards per game, 25th in passing yards per game, and 3rd in rushing yards per game. Tennessee has a potent offense and will probably pass more in 2017.



Tennessee Titans Defensive Line Summary: Jurrell Casey is a great 3-4 right end. Nose tackle Sylvester Williams heads into Tennessee from Denver as a Free Agent. DaQuan Jones is the Titans starting 3-4 left end. Karl Klug is a rotational 3-4 defensive end while rookie Austin Johnson a 6-4 323 lb nose tackle who is bigger than the 6-4 307 lb Woods provides great depth on the Titans defensive line.


Nick Eason was an assistant defensive line coach with the Titans the last two years after failing miserably as the Browns interim head coach. Now Eason gets to be the Titans defensive line coach in 2016.


Tennessee Titans Linebacker Summary: The Tennessee Titans have Brian Orakpo as a 3-4 right outside linebacker and Derrick Morgan as a 3-4 left outside linebacker. They drafted Kevin Dodd as a situational pass rusher who got to watch both Orakpo and Morgan take off last season. Dodd has one year of experience as a 3-4 outside linebacker learning from Orakpo and Morgan so he may become a steal if he gets a chance to play.


Avery Williamson and Wesley Woodyard were solid enough to keep their jobs once again. The Titans don't have the depth at inside linebacker that they had last year despite keeping their two starters at 3-4 middle linebacker.


Linebackers coach Lou Spanos enters his fourth year with the Titans. He was raised in Pittsburgh and gets to work under former Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau who now holds the same position with the Titans. I'll talk about the miracles LeBeau performed later, but for now we are gonna look at the Titans defensive backs.


Tennessee Titans Defensive Backs Summary: The Titans have effective starters on their secondary when healthy. Logan Ryan was a #2 boundary cornerback in New England, now he's the teams top cornerback. You also got Adoree Jackson and LeShaun Sims competing for the boundary cornerback job with the loser moving to a nickel role. Jonathan Cyprien will now start at strong safety. Da Norris Searcy and Kevin Byard are both replaceable at free safety. Da Norris Searcy is a solid strong safety but he also dealt with injuries. Bringing in Rashad Johnson from the Arizona Cardinals was a solid addition. The Titans failed to do one thing in the 2016 NFL Draft. Add depth to the secondary. I'd have to believe the Titans will take care of this in the 2017 NFL Draft with one of their two first round picks depending on where they end up picking.


Former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback DeShea Townsend did a phenomenal job developing NFL cornerbacks as the cornerbacks coach from 2013-2015. He got to work with Jonathan Banks and Darius Slay at Mississippi State's Pro Day leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft when he first got to the campus. Then he developed Will Redmond and Taveze Calhoun. Now Townsend will work under his former defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau who really turned this defense around despite all the injuries. If Townsend can make Logan Ryan look good versus Allen Robinson and help Adoree Jackson have an immediate impact as a rookie, it will continue to help him get noticed as a defensive backs coach, and potentially land him a promotion to defensive coordinator.


Dick LeBeau has done a phenomenal job with this defense. Tennessee finished 6th in the NFL with 40 sacks and was only one of 7 teams with over 40 sacks. The Titans were also 16th in points allowed, 20th in the NFL in total yards per game, 30th in pass defense, and 2nd in the NFL in run defense.



Tennessee Titans Special Teams Summary: The Titans still have Ryan Succop as their starting kicker who could be a huge asset for the Titans. Bryan Kern kept his job as a punter. Eric Weems is a great addition as a return specialist since he can return kicks and punts.


Bobby April is one of the leagues best special teams coordinators. He should come in and improve the Titans special teams struggles in 2016.




Tennessee Titans Worst Case Scenario: Tennessee posts a losing record at 5-11 having a setback season and is this years version of the Jacksonville Jaguars. They fire Mike Mularkey before the end of the season, but become a playoff team the following year once they find the final pieces on this roster to become a Championship team.


Tennessee Titans Best Case Scenario: Tennessee has the quarterback, offensive tackles, and pass rushers at 3-4 outside linebacker to win this division which are my three most important positions in that order. They have the potential to be this years Oakland Raiders if they put everything together and Mariota starts all 16 games.


My question marks with this team is how well will the cornerbacks and wide receivers be. If Logan Ryan and Adoree Jackson do well in the secondary while Corey Davis gets it together to become a #1 target with Decker and Matthews pushing each other for the #2 role, nothing can stop this team from winning the AFC South because they are right there. If the cornerbacks, wide receivers, and guards play well, there is no debating that this team is 12-4, and if one of those wins comes on the road in Pittsburgh on Thursday Night Football you are potentially looking at the 2 seed behind the New England Patriots in the AFC which would be a huge turn around for Tennessee even if they lost in the Divisional Round due to a lack of experience.


Tennessee Titans 2017 NFL Schedule


Week
Date
Opponent
Time
Cable Network
Result
Week 1
September 10
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 2
September 17
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 3
September 24
VS
4:05 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 4
October 1
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 5
October 8
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 6
October 16
VS
8:30 PM EST
ESPN
L
Week 7
October 22
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 8
Bye Week
Week 9
November 5
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 10
November 12
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 11
November 16
AT
8:25 PM EST
NBC
W
Week 12
November 26
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 13
December 3
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 14
December 10
AT
4:05 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 15
December 17
AT
4:25 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 16
December 24
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 17
January 1
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W


Tennessee Titans 2017 Projected Record (10-6): I had the Titans at 6-10 last season, and they exceeded my expectations by a wide margin. This team is set at the three most important positions with quarterback, offensive tackle, and 3-4 outside linebacker. I didn't like the additions they made in the secondary, Davis may not have an instant impact, and the guard play is still a huge issue for me. You have to look past that now though since Branden Albert retired for Jacksonville and that alters how I think the AFC South plays out. Tennessee can finally take that next step and get 10 wins. Will that be enough to get them to the 2018 NFL Playoffs? That's what we will find out in 2017.









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