Throughout the offseason, much of the attention towards the potential first-year impact of the Tennessee Titans’ offensive rookies has been focused upon two players: Kenny Britt and Jared Cook.
Despite being hamstrung by a bad hammy, the excitement surrounding first-rounder Kenny Britt has not diminished. Fellow rookie Jared Cook has been a human highlight film through mini-camps and now training camp, and his speed/athleticism is leading many to speculate that he’ll get his share of opportunities as soon as 2009.
Lost amid the Britt/Cook lovefest is the plight of fellow rookie Javon Ringer, who seems poised to earn some carries in the Titans’ backfield this year.
Ringer was an extremely productive back during his college days as a Michigan State Spartan. However, despite his collegiate accomplishments, two major knee injuries and the fear of a lack of tread remaining on his wheels led to Ringer falling all the way to the Titans in the fifth round of this year’s draft.
While his ability to stay healthy can be questioned, the same can not be said about his talents as a runner. Ringer is very instinctive and the way he totes the rock is much more similar to a veteran rather than a rookie breaking into the league. His vision is excellent and he has a great feel for picking out the right holes to run through.
In limited action against the Bills, I was impressed by what I saw from Ringer. In addition to the traits previously discussed, Ringer also displayed some excellent speed getting to the corner on a lengthy run that was unfortunately called back due to a Jared Cook holding penalty.
With Chris Johnson and LenDale White in front of him, unlike his days at Michigan State, Ringer will be anything but a workhorse in a Titans’ backfield that consists of two established runners who should see the bulk of the action at RB.
However, if Ringer continues to impress, don’t be surprised to see the talented rookie earn some running opportunities this year. With LenDale White’s impending status as an unrestricted free agent (if there’s a new collective bargaining agreement signed) Ringer is also in a good position to replace White if he vacates the premises after this season.
Needless to say, I’m excited about what Ringer brings to the table in 2009 and beyond.
Your turn, guys. What are your impressions of the Titans’ talented rookie runner?