Come for the database of names … stay for the game plan.
Offensive Line: Free Agents – G Calvin Throckmorton (just waived by Panthers), Oday Aboushi, Andrew Norwell, Michael Schofield (just signed to Lions PS), Ross Piershbacher (just signed to Eagles PS), Adam Pankey, Yasir Durant, T Ryan Swobada (Developmental PS candidate), T David Sharpe has been available but was just signed to Panthers’ active roster. T Joe Haeg (unofficially retired?), T Cedric Ogbuehi
Practice Squad – T Cameron Erving (Saints), Kellen Diesch (Steelers), and Ryan Hayes (Dolphins)
Wide Receivers: Free Agents – Marquez Callaway, Cam Sims, Antoine Wesley, Bryan Edwards, Marcell Ateman, Breshad Perriman, James Washington, Rashard Higgins
Practice Squad – Tyron Billy-Johnson (Cowboys), Bo Melton (Packers), (Andy Isabella (Bills), David Moore (Bucs)
Tight End/Full Back: Free Agents – TE Dan Arnold, Austin Allen, E.J. Jenkins, FB Ben Mason
Practice Squad – TE Lucas Krull (Broncos), Travis Vokolek (Ravens)
Cornerbacks: Free Agents – A.J. Parker, Craig James (just waived by Jets), Kelvin Joseph (Developmental PS candidate)
Practice Squad – Sidney Jones IV (Bengals), Cameron Dantzler (Saints), Mario Goodrich (Eagles)
Pass Rushers: Free Agents – Melvin Ingram, Jordan Willis
Practice Squad – Khalid Kareem (Bears), William Bradley-King (Patriots), Chris Wormley (Panthers), Tomon Fox (Giants)
Linebackers: Practice Squad – Alexander Johnson (Dolphins)
Safeties: Free Agents – Jaquan Johnson (just signed to Buccaneers PS), Karl Joseph, Eric Rowe, Clayton Fejedelem, Armani Watts, Myles Dorn
Practice Squad – Trey Dean III (Jets)
Defensive Tackle: Free Agent – Matt Ioannidis
Practice Squad – Chris Slayton (Packers) Byron Cowart (Dolphins)
Running backs: Free Agents – Ronald Jones II, Dontrell Hilliard, Larry Rountree II, Tavion Thomas,
Practice Squad – Tyler Badie (Broncos), Jeremy McNichols (49ers), Jordan Mims (Saints)
Quarterbacks: Free Agents – Colt McCoy, Trevor Siemian, Bryce Perkins, Chris Streveler, E.J. Perry, Danny Etling, Chris Oladokun
Practice Squad – Jeff Driskel (Cardinals), Jake Luton (Panthers)
Additions I’d make. First things first – Offensive Line.
The best case scenario is getting guys that have played some ball recently, and after watching Calvin Throckmorton play, he looks banged up, but what was happening in Carolina wasn’t his fault. He hasn’t been responsible for a sack all year, although he’s not grading well by some analytical standards. T David Sharpe would’ve been on this team a long time ago if I were making decisions. He should help Carolina substantially.
Of the practice squad guys, Cameron Erving has experience at tackle and guard but would by no means be a savior. So, the OL would look like this David Sharpe, Peter Skoronski, Aaron Brewer, Daniel Brunskill, Chris Hubbard. With Calvin Throckmorton being the backup guard for either spot. Dillon Radunz competing at Left Tackle and Guard respectively. Jaelyn Duncan at tackle spots. Andre Dillard would be in the mix preferably on the interior unless he corrects his tackle skills.
Opening up roster spots
Titans are probably moving LB Chance Campbell to I.R. A multitude of moves could happen over the course of weeks, so you never know who could become unavailable to play. But if you had to make all these moves at once, this team isn’t in the position to sympathize with roster spots because obviously, what they’ve put on the field hasn’t worked.
Wide Receivers – Size and Speed
Titans desperately need size and the ability to separate at the wide receiver position. That’s hard to find this late in the talent acquisition™️ stage. But there are some guys out there that could surprise if given the opportunity to. Bigger bodied wideouts that can go up and win combat catch battles include Marquez Callaway, Cam Sims, Antoine Wesley, Bryan Edwards, and Marcell Ateman. The more, quick twitch/speed guys would be James Washington and Rashard Higgins.
Practice squad would be a good place to look for those types too. The notoriously fast Tyron Billy-Johnson, Bo Melton and Andy Isabella all ran in the 4.3s and David Moore ran in the 4.4s. Of the bigger bodied receivers Callaway and Sims standout. They’ve also had recent tread on teams. A sleeper would be Perriman. Leaving the Cowboys, Packers, Bills or Buccaneers for the Titans would be on the table for the practice squad players. And you’d be betting on players who don’t have the experience and production of the free agents, but Billy-Johnson and Melton are the most appealing to me. Both have kick return experience and Melton has punt return experience.
Depending on Burks’ status, if he’s healthy, I’d try to go the practice squad route and inquire about Billy-Johnson to pair the big-bodied guy with speed. Titans still need a speed guy that can make people miss. They do have Shi Smith on their practice squad who on paper fits the bill, but we’ll see if they think he actually can. But if Burks is done for the year, then Marquez Callaway is the guy, but it’d be hard to pass on Cam Sims. Both are similar but Sims is 4 inches taller but just as fast and plays special teams. You may get more blocking from Callaway though.
So, the corps would look like this DeAndre Hopkins, Marquez Callaway (or Cam Sims), Kyle Phillips, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Chris Moore and Colton Dowell (or Tyron Billy-Johnson.) Dowell may have to go to the practice squad if Titans can’t utilize his 4.4 speed. But that’s on Dowell to step up as well. Maybe the 7th round rookie from UT-Martin is the secret weapon for this rest of the season. If no moves are made, then he certainly needs to be.
Tight End – Tighten Up
Titans have gotten virtually nothing from the tight end position and there’s not much dynamism left out there to sign. Dan Arnold is one of the better all-around signs available. Lucas Krull or Travis Vokolek would be steals off of the Broncos and Ravens practice squads.
Chig Okonkwo and Josh Whyle have unique skillsets and need to be schemed open. Viewing them as traditional route runners has been futile. Get them moving horizontally (drag/shallow clearouts) and keep the read simple. TE throwbacks/leaks and jump balls to Whyle should be used promptly.
Titans DB’s are relatively small.
There’s a need for a bigger body type at corner. The Titans have 4 defensive back 6ft plus – Sean Murphy-Bunting, Terrell Edmunds, Matthew Jackson, and Tay Gowan. That’s only one true starter in SMB and he’s hurt. Wingspan in important as well. Most of their defensive backs have short arms. But if you can play, you can play, but the reality is you will have physical limitations. AJ Parker, Craig James, and even the infamous Kelvin Joseph have athletic advantages that the current group of Titans’ corners don’t, albeit Parker and James being sub 6ft. Garror is an okay player and has an awesome story, but he will be picked on moving forward.
Cameron Dantzler had a good preseason and Sidney Jones isn’t far removed from a bounce back season a couple of years ago. Titans are having Eric Garror double as a returner right now but if they find a replacement, they need to get a corner, preferably an athletic one.
Titans DLine ordering meals: Keep The Run Stopping but hold the Pass Rush?
The pass rush for the Titans has been underwhelming. I’ve been saying this for quite some time now, they need players that can win their one on ones, independent of playing clean up off of stunts/games. Besides that, they just need ball players that play hard and offer some endearing attribute to work with. Melvin Ingram hasn’t been on a roster but is a natural technician and could provide something as a situational pass-rusher. Jordan Willis, Khalid Kareem and Chris Wormley are aggressive edge rushers with dual qualities.
Practice squad guys William Bradley-King and Tomon Fox would start off as one-dimensional pass-rushers that can win one on one.
Titans Linebacker Regression
They won’t admit it, but linebacker has regressed this year. The lack of speed, block shedding and thump is apparent. A.J. Johnson is a player that has excelled in this league. I don’t know how much he has left but he’d at least show some power at the point of attack.
Big, Fast and Physical Safeties are Rare
My favorite scenario would be for the Titans to sign Trey Dean III from the Jets practice squad and watch him become one of the best special teamers in the NFL and a not too shabby player in the box. If an injury may occur, Jaquan Johnson is a hard hitter who almost serves as a linebacker and Eric Rowe is a saavy vet who can also play special teams.
What are Titans looking for at Rotational Reserve DT?
Titans are apparently trying to find a certain defensive tackle trait that they’re not getting. They’ve signed Jaleel Johnson, Taylor Stallworth and most recently Ross Blacklock. It’s looks to be a combo player but specifically someone who has interior pass rush skills. That is a tough ask. But there’s players out there with potential and you know what they say about that word. Matt Ioannidis, Byron Cowart, Chris Slayton and Tommy Togiai all have potential. Take your pick. Then again Ross Blacklock did have a good preseason.
Titans are good at RB but there’s something else they need.
Titans need a running back other than Tyjae Spears who can hit holes faster and can break tackles. Derrick Henry provides size and an element of physicality but due to the offensive line woes the team needs players at that position that can create on their own, both downhill and laterally. Ronald Jones II has been forgotten about after being suspended earlier this year. But I wouldn’t mind if they start a 3 RB rotation with Tyjae being used as the receiving threat and leave the downhill clock control game to Henry and Jones. Dontrell Hilliard, Jeremy McNichols, Tyler Badie, and Jordan Mims are similar. Rountree and the rookie Thomas are the more physical running backs.
Then there’s always getting the QB involved with the run game. I’d err on the side of caution with too much of that.
Needing a QB at any point of the rest of the season would scream … I should’ve listened to that BU guy who makes okay blogs every now and then.
If the Titans ever need a quarterback these last 8 games. The cupboard is empty. But I can salvage any position group and find some guys. Colt McCoy has quietly been a solid veteran back up for years. Just recently did you see any sort of a drop off. But the theme here should be mobile athletes that can create out of structure if need be. With this offensive line it would help. And if they got to that point, they’d just be trying to field a competent product.
Jeff Driskel oddly is my favorite of the bunch. He’s an underrated athlete who’s also played TE.
Offensive creativity and proper usage of skillset will improve the Titans offense. When calling plays right now, it’s too much about the play and not enough about the players. Titans must marry execution of scheme and skillset maximization. Quick game would do wonders for a sub optimal OL and a quick release QB.
Titans have the defensive scheme and discipline to keep most games close and may even win the majority of the games remaining but only with some of these moves above. Anything short of that would be a ‘close but no cigar’ type of season.