In The Tennessean, old/new offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger provides an excellent analysis of the wide receivers on the Titans roster.
The critique, which excluded injured WR Roydell Williams and undrafted free agents, gives insight into Dingers first impressions of the much-maligned Tennessee Titan wide receiver unit.
Justin McCareins is by far making the best impression on Dinger, which should be no surprise considering the history between the two. Despite floundering during his tenure as a New York Jet, McCareins appears to be rejuvenated while operating in the familiar surroundings of Heimerdingers offense.
Justin Gage is also making a positive first impression. Gage parlayed a solid year into a contract extension during the offseason, and looks to continue to be one of Vince Youngs main targets in the Titans offense next season.
Inconsistency has been the road block in the path of Brandon Jones in his efforts to become a solid NFL receiver. His tenure in the league has been filled with injuries and inconsistent performances.
Unfortunately, inconsistency remains a part of Brandons game in the eyes of Dinger, who states:
Brandon makes a big play everyday, but he has to block in the run and he has to be consistent catching the ball he cant make a mental mistake everyday.
A common theme in Dingers assessment of the younger Titan receivers is the need for them to continue working hard. Paul Williams, Biren Ealy, Chris Davis and Lavelle Hawkins all appear to have the potential to be factors down the road, but in order for that to occur, they have to continue to work at perfecting their craft.
The battle of conditioning continues to be the biggest obstacle for Mike Williams, as evidenced by Dingers assessment of the former first rounder. Dinger states:
He has great ability he has to keep on working to stay in shape so he can run more than two routes in a row.
Judging by the analysis, I think its fair to say that Roydell Williams better hope that his ankle heals in time because he is falling behind the pack. Despite his solid 2007 performance, there is a new sheriff in town, and the only way to impress the Dinger is to perform on the field. Roydells injury is opening up an opportunity for a guy like McCareins to step up and emerge as a factor in the passing game next season.
Dinger has been known for being a straight-shooter, so his analysis of the Titan receivers is unsurprisingly refreshing. Undoubtedly, the competition for playing time at wide receiver will be one of the most intriguing position battles to watch as we head towards training camp.