The dizzy bat race is a highlight of every Titans training camp. Photo by Andrew Strickert for Total Titans.
The Titans’ 2009 training camp was physically the easiest I’ve ever seen. In practices open to the public, there were only two two-a-days and only one occasion when the players were in full pads.
With that in mind, you wouldn’t expect there to be as many injuries as the Titans have received. Most of the injuries have been hamstrings though, which can happen in shorts just as easily as in pads.
One thing that is troubling about the injuries is that they have created opportunities for some younger guys but none of them have taken advantage of the situation. Several receivers and defensive backs, in particular, have missed time with injuries, opening doors for younger players (Hawkins, Edison, Williams and McCourty.) Most of the injured players have returned to practice and the younger guys who were getting more snaps are now getting less again.
Now that camp has concluded, I’ve adjusted my depth chart which I first posted a week ago. Please note that the depth chart differs from Tom’s 53-man roster in that it serves a different purpose. It is meant as a companion of sorts to Tom’s roster, not as an alternative to it.
I hope this conveys to you my training camp observations as to where players fit into the picture and where they stand in relation to each other.
Most positions remain the same as last week. Players in blue are certain to make the final 53-man roster, in my opinion. Players not in blue have a chance to make the team but are on the bubble. If you don’t see a guy’s name there, there’s a reason for it.
QB – Collins, Young, Ramsey
RB – Johnson, White, Ringer, Ganther
FB – Hall
WR – Gage, Washington, Britt, Jones, Edison, Hawkins, Williams
TE – Scaife, Crumpler, Cook, Stevens
LT – Roos, Kropog
LG – Amano, Durand
C – Harris, Mawae, Lehr/Velasco
RG – Scott, Murphy
RT – Stewart, Otto
LDE – Kearse, Hayes, Ford
LDT – Haye, Jones
RDT – Brown, Vickerson, Marks
RDE – Vanden Bosch, Ball
SLB – Thornton, McRath, Stamer
MLB – Tulloch, Fowler, Boiman
WLB – Bulluck, Keglar, Allred
LCB – Harper, Williams, McCourty
RCB – Finnegan, Faggins
SS – Hope, Nickey
FS – Griffin, Harris
NB – Fuller, Mouton, Davis
K – Bironas
P – Hentrich
LS – Amato
KR – Ringer, Jones, McCourty
PR – Jones, Mouton, Britt
Mike Munchak flipped the second line on Sunday and they remained that way through the week. It’s not unusual for Munch to work a guy at two positions, so I’ve left the depth chart the same as last week, except for center. Mawae was removed from PUP and Lehr was signed, prompting those changes. We’ll see where all the reserves play Saturday night. Incidentally, I still have Otto second at RT even though he’s been with the first unit since Stewart’s injury. Cory Lekkerkerker has been with the twos, replacing Otto.
I didn’t want to have to select more than three WRs on my first depth chart, reasoning the process would be about as much fun as choosing between eating my brussel sprouts or going without dessert as a child. I’ve now added Mark Jones, primarily because of his return ability. The release of Davis and injury to Mouton have made Jones the punt returner by default.
I’m not enamored by either Edison or Hawkins but they’re better than Morris and Guice. Williams remains an enigma. He’s terribly inconsistent, which is a problem if the player is in his third year. I still believe the last guy will be someone who’s not in camp now. (Check out Drexel’s article on that.)
The depth chart on defense remains about the same. I’ve added Tanard Davis as someone on the bubble, which he wasn’t before Mouton’s injury. If Mouton takes a while to recuperate, as it seems he will, Davis will be needed to backup Fuller. Of course, Davis will be gone as soon as Mouton is healthy again.
I’ve also included Marks as someone who will make the roster, even though he’s not as good as Vickerson yet. If the Titans only keep nine d-linemen, then I have Vickerson as the odd man out.
The 49 players in blue should all make the roster without a problem. Sixteen guys are competing for the four final spots, which leaves 15 who don’t have a chance at all.
We’ve noted the injuries to Mawae, Mouton and Stewart. Mouton should be out until at least the opener. Stewart has been doing a little jogging but I haven’t seen him doing more than that. He could be ready to go for the Packers game but may well sit that one out. The most serious injury, from a competitive standpoint, is Washington’s hammy. Jevon Kearse might sit out the Browns game. I’m not sure about Nick Harper’s status. Jason Jones looks like he might miss a little more time.
I’ve been fortunate to have been able to get a lot of photos at camp this year. I’ll be posting some of the best before the season starts and, of course, individual shots throughout the year.