8-19-14: It seemed like Kendall Wright was looking like the team’s best offensive player, but it was a different Titans receiver who had a terrific night on Friday. Justin Hunter caught four passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns. Jake Locker, who completed eight of his 11 passes, threw a touchdown to Hunter.
8-14-14: On Saturday, the Titans defeated the visiting Green Bay Packers in their preseason opener, 20-16. Charlie Whitehurst was the team’s best quarterback in this game, and he had a terrific play on third down as he escaped several Green Bay defenders and found Bishop Sankey for a 23-yard completion and a first-down conversion. Tennessee fans hope to see Sankey continue his success after having a team-high 37 yards on the ground along with 38 receiving yards on Saturday.
8-5-14: The Titans host the Green Bay Packers in their preseason opener on Saturday, and they are excited about what they are seeing out of linebacker Derrick Morgan. Tennessee’s pass defense was above average last season, but the team was subpar against the rush. If Morgan can be a force for the Titans, then their defense could jump into the top 10 this upcoming season.
7-30-14: The Tennessee Titans still aren’t sure what rookie running back Bishop Sankey’s role will be. The first year back is supposed to be a key part of Tennessee’s ground attack, but it could still be as part of a committee approach, along with Shonn Greene and Dexter McCluster. Star offensive lineman Andy Levitre underwent an appendectomy this past week and should miss a couple of weeks. It’s a relatively minor procedure by NFL standards and he should have a good shot at being ready for week one. Quarterback Jake Locker has continued his development in the Titans’ new offense with some solid progress. Reports suggest Locker is focusing more on accuracy and timing than ever before and could be headed for his best season yet.
7-15-14: The Tennessee Titans are set to begin their 2014 training camp on July 25th, when rookies and veterans both appear. A now healthy Jake Locker is expected to hold down the starting quarterback job once again, and per reports will not face any real competition. Sixth round draft pick Zach Mettenberger was initially looked at as possible competition, but is now assumed to be “no threat” to Locker. Tennessee will move forward in their new offense, as they also install rookie running back Bishop Sankey and try to get a little less predictable under the guidance of new head coach, Ken Whisenhunt.
6-5-14: The Titans have been relatively quiet since the 2014 NFL Draft, but are slowly working their way to full health. Expected starting quarterback Jake Locker participated in OTAs and is looking like the lead option to start under center again for the Titans. Linebacker Akeem Ayers can’t say the same, unfortunately, as he underwent offseason surgery on “both knees”. He’s still tentatively expected to be ready for camp. Rookie running back Bishop Sankey may be looking at a major role earlier than he anticipated, as veteran running back Shonn Greene continues his struggle to return from a knee injury and could even be a cap casualty later in the summer.
5-19-14: The Tennessee Titans entered the 2014 NFL Draft with a new coaching staff and a new direction in mind. Some felt the team would chase down a franchise passer early, while cornerback and offensive line also topped the list. Let’s break the Titans’ 2014 class down and see how they did in terms of their offseason needs:
Round 1. Pick 11 Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Round 2. Pick 22 Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington
Round 4. Pick 12 DaQuan Jones, DT, Penn St.
Round 4. Pick 22 Marqueston Huff, CB, Wyoming
Round 5. Pick 11 Andy Williamson, ILB, Kentucky
Round 6. Pick 02 Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
Tennessee didn’t land a corner or go after a quarterback early, but no one can fault them for grabbing stud offensive tackle Taylor Lewan at the #11 overall spot. Lewan should fill the long-term shoes at left tackle, while his size and athleticism can help out at guard or right tackle right away, as needed.
Another huge hole was at running back thanks to the departure of Chris Johnson. The athletic and shifty Bishop Sankey should fix that problem out of round two, and he could be an even more valuable pick with Shonn Greene (knee) less than 100%.
The Titans also addressed corner in round four and beefed up their new 3-4 with DaQuan Jones at defensive tackle, but Zach Mettenberger might be their best pick, all the way in round six. Tennessee didn’t even reach for a long-term franchise passer, and it’s entirely possible they still found one. Once a day one lock, Mettenberger’s stock slid considerably due to back and knee ailments. He still has the upside to be a starting quarterback and will be one to watch closely.
5-9-14: The Tennessee Titans went into the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft with a lot of different options, but when their 11th overall pick rolled around, the flow of the draft dictated what they could do. Rather than trading down with no true “needs” players staring them in the face, Tennessee embraced their position and took offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, believed to be the best player on their draft board. Lewan offers immediate insurance behind aging offensive tackle Michael Roos, while his talent and depth could even be used at guard in a pinch. Possessing a terrible offensive line just a couple of seasons ago, Lewan is the icing on the cake of a now very stout unit.
4-28-14: The Tennessee Titans added new head coach Ken Whisenhunt and will take on a new philosophy in 2014. That may or may not include Jake Locker, which should mean the Titans will select a passer to come in and compete. It won’t be in round one, however, where the Titans are more likely to focus on adding talent for their new 3-4 defensive scheme. Thanks to losing star corner Alterraun Verner in free agency, someone like cornerback Justin Gilbert could work, while Tennessee may also want to take a stab at upgrading their linebacking corps. Not everyone they have on the roster perfectly fits their new system, which could have them looking at a versatile outside rusher like UCLA’s Anthony Barr, or even someone like Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley that they can kick inside.
4-18-14: Ken Whisenhunt’s first game
as head coach of the Tennessee Titans will be against the Green Bay Packers in week one of the 2014 NFL preseason. Aaron Rodgers and co. will travel to Tennessee to give Jake Locker and co. a stiff test to kick off their preseason schedule. Week two doesn’t get any easier, as Titans fans get an even closer look at Locker’s continued development in a potential shootout with Drew Brees and the Saints in New Orleans. The Titans starters will be on full display in week three, however, when the Titans travel to Atlanta to wage war with the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta poses a threat on offense, and it will be especially interesting to see how Locker fares in three straight battles with tough opposing offenses. Tennessee concludes an exciting preseason run back at home when Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings come into town.
4-7-14: Tennessee’s roster changed hands in 2014, as Ken Whisenhunt became the new head coach and Ray Horton was assigned as the defensive coordinator. The Titans weren’t insanely active in free agency, but the moves they did make were arguably underrated, as they added more talent to the offensive line by signing Michael Oher and beefed up their rushing attack with the addition of Dexter McCluster. On defense, Tennessee gave it’s pass-rush a spark with Shaun Phillips and added another athletic presence to their linebacking corps with Wesley Woodyard. The Titans also bid star offensive weapons Kenny Britt and Chris Johnson farewell and failed to bring back top corner, Alterraun Verner.
3-21-14: The Titans moved in another direction to start their offseason, letting head coach Mike Munchak go after he refused to fire some of his coaching staff, and replacing him with Chargers offensive coordinator, Ken Whisenhunt. With the hiring of Wiz hopefully providing a spark under an inconsistent offense, the Titans took to free agency to prepare their defense for some 3-4 intallments under new defensive coordinator, Ray Horton. That equated to Wesley Woodyard being brought over from Denver, as well as big hitting safety Bernard Pollard being re-signed. The Titans also lost some quality talent, as the Buccaneers stole star corner Alterraun Verner away, leaving them in need of some help in the secondary as they enter the draft.
12-31-13: Chris Johnson saved his best for last. Even with his Titans out of the playoff race, Johnson ran hard, putting up 127 rushing yards and a score as Tennessee topped the visiting Houston Texans, 16-10. The win got the Titans to a respectable 7-9 on the year.
12-24-13: Down 16-6 late in the third quarter, the Titans rallied to score the game’s final two touchdowns and nab their sixth win of the season by topping the Jacksonville Jaguars, 20-16. Shonn Greene and Chris Johnson dominated the ground game, combining for 181 yards and a touchdown in the tough divisional win.
12-17-13: Down 34-17 late in the fourth quarter, the Titans looked to be down and out in their week 15 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals. That wasn’t exactly the case. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two of his four touchdowns in the final four minutes and the Titans used an onside kick to help force overtime. Arizona prevailed in the extra period thanks to a Fitzpatrick pick, however, winning 37-34 in Tennessee.
12-10-13: The Tennessee Titans knew they had to accomplish the impossible if they wanted a chance at an AFC Wild Card playoff spot. They had to beat the Broncos in Denver. Ryan Fitzpatrick and co. jumped out to a surprise 21-10 lead and were on their way to pulling it off, but Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense woke up and ran away with a 51-28 home win.
12-3-13: Ryan Fitzpatrick, aka “The Beard” ran for a touchdown and threw for another as the Titans kept it close and almost stole one from the Indianapolis Colts in week 13. It would inevitably be Fitzpatrick who would be Tennessee’s undoing in this one, however, as a late interception sealed a 22-14 loss in Indy.
Matt McGloin and Ryan Fitzpatrick exchanged final blows in a week 12 battle in Oakland, but Fitzpatrick was the one to get the last laugh in a 23-19 nail-biting win over the Raiders. Fitzpatrick fired in a touchdown pass to Kendall Wright with just 10 seconds remaining the give Tennessee their fifth win of the season and help keep them in the playoff mix.
Chris Johnson turned in a brilliant first half performance with two rushing scores to help give the Titans an early 14-0 lead at home, but in the end Tennessee could not thwart off the magic of Andrew Luck in a dispiriting 30-27 loss. Luck ran for a score and the Colts pounded the rock with Donald Brown, who was surprisingly effective with over 80 yards and two scores on the ground.
11-12-13: The Titans lost Jake Locker for the season in week 10 (foot) and were unable to stand their ground at home against the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars, who topped Tennessee, 29-27, to earn their first win of 2013. Ryan Fitzpatrick took over for the injured Locker and threw two late touchdowns late, but it wasn’t enough as a safety ended up being the deciding factor that helped drop the Titans to 4-5 on the year.
Jake Locker struggled and almost threw the game away with two bad interceptions in Tennessee’s week nine game with the Rams. Vintage Chris Johnson showed up to the rescue, however, as he offset a terrific rushing day from the Rams’ Zac Stacy to pile on 150 rushing yards and the deciding score in a close 28-21 win at St. Louis.
10-22-13: Jake Locker made a surprisingly quick return just three weeks after sustaining hip and knee injuries to throw for over 300 yards and two scores, but it wasn’t enough as the Titans fell to the San Francisco 49ers at home, 31-17. The score looked much closer than it was, as a fumbled punt return late helped the 49ers take a 31-0 lead, while San Francisco dominated early and held a 24-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Tennessee generate some offense late to make things interesting, but it was too little, too late as they lost their third consecutive game and fell to 3-4 on the year.
10-15-13: The Tennessee Titans fought hard and kept their week six battle with the Seattle Seahawks close until the final quarter. It took a freakish blocked field goal return for a touchdown to help make that happen, but at least this one was interesting. It really was the same old story in the end, however, as quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick took three sacks, threw two picks and could only generate six points on offense in the 20-13 road defeat.
10-8-13: The Tennessee Titans faced a mammoth test at home when the Kansas City Chiefs came to town in week five, and they had to attempt to get to 4-1 without rising quarterback Jake Locker. Ryan Fitzpatrick was tasked with the job of landing the unlikely upset, and he actually almost pulled it off. Fitzpatrick started horribly and threw two picks on the day, but also accounted for two touchdowns that helped put Tennessee ahead by four after falling into a 13-0 hole early. An ineffective rushing attack stifled the Titans for the much of the day, however, and they couldn’t overcome a late surge from the Chiefs, falling to 3-2 at home with the 26-17 loss.
Never has Tennessee Titans seen so much good and so much bad in one game. Quarterback Jake Locker continued his steady development in his third NFL season, tossing three touchdowns in the first half behind extremely efficient play. Unfortunately, Locker was knocked out of the game at the start of the third quarter, however, and suffered a hip injury that could have him out for a lengthy period of time. While the loss of Locker left an unsettling feeling, it was still encouraging to see him light up a solid New York defense, while backup Ryan Fitzpatrick was able to enter in relief and put the finishing touches on a big 38-13 home win with a fourth quarter touchdown pass to Nate Washington.
9-20-13: Many felt the Tennessee Titans’ dominance of the Pittsburgh Steelers in week one may just have been a flash in the pan, but they marched into Houston with upset on the brain and nearly pulled it off. Jake Locker played better than many expected in this one, as he made no major mistakes and accounted for two touchdowns, while Tennessee running back Chris Johnson ran hard and the Titans defense recorded two sacks and registered two interceptions. Tennessee appeared to have this one in the bag with just over four minutes left, up 24-16, but could not stop the Texans from marching down the field and scoring eight points to tie the game. Once in overtime, Houston used the first drive of the extra period to put the game away, as rookie wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins pulled in two more highlight reel catches to close the win out, 30-24. Next week the 1-1 Titans host the Chargers.
9-10-13: The Tennessee Titans did what few teams do and marched right into Pittsburgh and stole a road win, managing to squeak out a 16-9 win against the Steelers. This one was more about Pittsburgh’s lackluster offense, however, as they managed just one offensive score that came with the game arguable already decided. Ultimately, Chris Johnson ran for tough yards and Jake Locker kept the mistakes to a minimum to give the Titans the unlikely road win to start off 2013 at 1-0. Next week, the Titans travel to Houston for a Sunday afternoon meeting with the Texans.
9-3-13: Here are the Titans final roster cuts heading into the 2013 NFL regular season: QB Rusty Smith, FB Collin Mooney, TE Jack Doyle, S Al Afalava, OL Daniel Baldridge, DT Zach Clayton, TE Brandon Barden, LB Gary Guyton, DT Nigel Nicholas, WR Dontel Watkins, DT DaJohn Harris, RB Jalen Parmele, OG Kasey Studdard, LB Tim Shaw, LB/DE Scott Solomon, DB Khalid Wooten, S Corey Lynch, C Fernando Velasco.
8-20-13: The Titans fell to the Bengals 27-19 last weekend to drop their preseason record to 0-2. Thanks to a poor offensive showing and three missed field goals, the Bengals opened up a 17-3 lead in the first half. Jake Locker played the first half and went 12 of 20 for 116 yards. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a solid second half, throwing two TDs and racking up 136 yards on 9 of 13 completions. Jackie Battle ran the ball 12 times for 58 yards. Michael Preston and Brandon Barden each caught TDs. The Titans host the Falcons next Saturday.
8-11-13: In one of the most competitive games of the opening week of NFL preseason, the Titans lost to the Redskins 22-21 on a Skins two-point conversion with just over 2 minutes to go in the 4th.
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 3 of just 5 pass attempts for 23 yards in his Titans debut. Chris Johnson carried the ball twice, one of the two being a 58-yard TD run early in the 1st quarter. Shonn Green ran it 5 times for 32 yards and a TD. The loss snapped their 11-game home winning streak in the preseason.
The Titans travel to Cincinnati on Saturday to take on the Bengals in their second preseason game.
7-10-13: This is the year for Jake Locker, as the Titans have improved the offensive line with draft pick Chance Warmack, added running back depth with Shonn Greene, and now have a full cast of quality weapons in the passing game. Tennessee’s defense is quietly getting better as well, but everyone knows at this point that it’s up to Locker to take the next step if the Titans will succeed in 2013.
6-12-13: The Titans were just 6-10 a year ago, but considering they endured injuries to young quarterback Jake Locker and a rough start for running back Chris Johnson, it’s arguable that they did a lot better than they should have. A lot of people still question whether or not Locker is actually the answer, but he was basically still a rookie in 2012, and even with that he didn’t get a full season under his belt due to missing games with a shoulder injury. He’s healthy now and with a big arm and elite athleticism, has the potential to get this Titans offense off the ground, with the help of Chris Johnson, of course. Tennessee could either be a middle-of-the road team or an exciting team on the rise.
Titans 2013 Draft Overview:
Round 1, Pick 10: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Round 2, Pick 2 (from Kansas City through San Francisco): Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
Round 3, Pick 8: Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, Connecticut
Round 3, Pick 35 (Compensatory Selection): Zaviar Gooden, LB, Missouri
Round 4, Pick 10: Brian Schwenke, C, California
Round 5, Pick 9: Lavar Edwards, DE, Louisiana State
Round 6, Pick 34 (Compensatory Selection): Khalid Wooten, CB, Nevada
Round 7, Pick 42 (Compensatory Selection): Daimion Stafford, SS, Nebraska
12-4-12: The Quarterback shuffle has been a large part of the disappointing season the Titans have had thus far. Chris Johnson is still going to surpass the 1000 yard mark despite some early poor play and under usage of him. Coming off a 24-10 loss to the Houston Texans, the Titans will now head to Indianapolis to square off against the 8-4 Colts.