Thursday, February 14, 2013
Titans targeting interior OL?
By Tim Kavanagh
With one of the NFL's true lead backs in Chris Johnson, a promising, modern-style QB in the fleet-footed Jake Locker, and a receiving corps with multiple first-round picks at WR and potentially dominant TE Jared Cook, it seems like the remaining issue for the Tennessee Titans' offense would seem to be the line. The Titans teams that were perennial contenders in the early part of this millennium were strong both on the O-line and D-line, though their talent in the trenches has seemed to diminish as of late.
They've been addressing the D-line with both recent draft picks -- 2010 first-rounder Derrick Morgan -- and free agent signings -- Kamerion Wimbley last offseason and an offer on the table for Chris Canty already this offseason. But what about the guys on the other side of the line? Tom Gower of Football Outsiders believes there are some veterans potentially hitting the free agent market that could help them significantly:
Tom GowerPlugging the Holes: AFC South
"Head coach Mike Munchak has indicated the Titans will be looking for multiple new players on the interior of the offensive line after all three starters (center Eugene Amano and guards Leroy Harris and Steve Hutchinson) finished the season on injured reserve. Harris, who'd never played right guard before 2012, is a free agent and will likely be allowed to leave. Hutchinson, who will turn 36 next season, may retire. If he does not, the Titans may find his injury history (three consecutive seasons on injured reserve) and declining play do not justify his salary. Amano's performance has never lived up to the lucrative extension he signed in 2010. He could be cut as well if the Titans retain Fernando Velasco, a restricted free agent who played competently in his stead in 2012. Do not be surprised if the Titans add a starting caliber-guard in free agency like Andy Levitre or Louis Vasquez and use one or multiple draft picks on centers and guards after ignoring 2012's pledge to get younger at the position only to wind up signing the veteran Hutchinson."