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Tennessee Titans IDP Report

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I have been putting this thing off as long as possible because of the huge turnover in personnel and the great degree of uncertainty in the starting lineup. It is still very very premature to even consider analyzing the Titans IDP because of the massive overhaul this team endured in the off season. The salary cap situation finally caught up with Tennessee as they bit the bullet and paid the piper. Because of cap concerns, General Manager Floyd Reese basically blew up the team and sent the Titans into immediate rebuilding mode. A number of familiar faces were jettisoned this off season leaving the Titans with nothing but question marks on both sides of the ball. The Titans IDP will be more valuable than most because of the fact that this defense will be on the field ALOT! You cannot lose your 2 starting cornebacks, 1 starting safety, and 2 starting defensive ends and not have some growing pains. All things equal, once the starters are known, I would load up on Titans IDP simply because of the fact that they will have plenty of opportunities. I will update this as much as possible during training camp. Also, please feel free to pm me if you have questions regarding Titans IDP. Right now what I post will basically be my best guesses at who will emerge in the starting line-up during camp. So lets get started.

 

SECONDARY

 

For the past several years the starting cornerbacks have been Samari Rolle and Andre Dyson. Rolle is a top 5 cover corner in the NFL and argueably the best Titan defender. Offenses rarely looked his way, and when they did, he made plays(Andre Johnson and the Houston Texans last year in Nashville not withstanding). Rolle was released for salary cap reasons and is now a member of the hated Baltimore Ravens. Of all the Titans losses in the off season, his will hurt the most by far. Andre Dyson who has done an adequate job at the other cb spot, left via free agency to the Seattle Seahawks. You can imagine losing a great cover corner in the off season. But can you imagine losing both of your starting cornerbacks? Teams will throw early and often on the Titans because of their inexperienced corners and because the strength of their defense will be a solid linebacking corps. Tennessee faces the Colts(twice), Jaguars(twice), Texans(twice), as well as the Steelers, Rams, Ravens, Raiders, Seahawks, Fish, Bengals, browns, Cards, and 49ers.

 

Andre Woolfolk will definitely be 1 starting corner on opening day. He was the Titans first round draft pick out of Oklahoma 3 years ago. He was hurt his rookie year which wasnt so bad since he had only played cb 1 year at Oklahoma after being converted from wr, and needed to learn the position. He has looked pretty good in the mini-camps so far and did ok as a fill in the past couple of years. He is clearly the best cb on the team right now. The Titans used the 1.7 draft pick this year on Adam "Pac Man" Jones. Obviously, they want him to be the starter on the other side. The problem is that he has been banged up(groin) in all the mini-camps so we havent seen much of him yet. Conventional wisdom says he will be the starter, at least by the 3rd or 4th game. Until he is ready, Tony Beckham is penciled in as the starter. Beckham is the 4th year guy out of Wiconsin Stout(When in doubt go Stout!) with blazing speed. He has been impressive in mini camp and is ready to compete for the starting job opposite Woolfolk. Unless Jones has a spectacular preseason, Beckham will be the starter on opening day, but I cant say how long he will retain his starters role. The problem is that none of these guys has much experience, and none have ever started a game in the NFL. This doesnt bode well for cornerbacks in this league. Look for lots of passes being thrown this year against the Titans with plenty of opportunities for tackles and ints by the cb's.

 

The safety situation is actually in great shape, I think. Tank Williams returns as the sure tackling strong safety. Sarge doesnt even have Williams ranked in his top 40 db's, which I think is crazy. Williams will be making alot of tackles this year helping out the inexperienced corners as well as helping in run support. Williams is a solid IDP. Lamont Thompson replaces the now cut Lance Schulters at free safety. Schulters was actually out with an injury most of last year anyway and I personally think Thompson is an upgrade. Again another solid IDP who will get lots and lots of opportunities. The primary backup at safety is Donnie Nicky who will see plenty of action in the nickel and dime packages.

 

DEFENSIVE LINE

 

If you think the Titans secondary has question marks, wait until you take a look at their D-Line! Kevin Carter and Carlos Hall, their 2 starting defensive ends are both no longer with the team. Carter was cut in a salary cap move and picked up by the Dolphins while Hall went to the Chiefs via free agency. That leaves the DE position wide open this year. The defensive end rotation for the Titans will consist of 2nd year players Antwan Odom, Travis LaBoy, Bo Schobel, and free agent acquisition Kyle Vanden Bosch. Schobel broke the fifth metatarsal in his foot last year so we didnt get to see much of him. But what have seen leads me to believe that he will be the starter along side Odom. Schobel has that great motor and never quits. Odom has really beefed up this off season and looks to have one spot sewn up. Odom had surgery for a sleep apnea condition but will be ready to go by the time camp starts in 38 days. Vanden Bosch is getting great reviews and may be the third man in the rotation. Laboy has been injured alot and I get the feeling that the coaching staff is not very happy with him and his work ethic. This could all change depending on what happens in camp and I will monitor this situation as closely as possible.

 

The defensive tackle position is in alot better shape than the de's. Albert Haynesworth and Randy Starks will be an incredible inside force. Obviously one of the strenghts of the team. Haynesworth was a 1st round pick, but how did Starks last until the 3rd round? Both look unstoppable and will need to be to help the defensive ends get pressure up the middle. Rien Long and Jared Clauss provide adequate backups to them. D-Line coach Jim Washburn actually likes to keep his tackles fresh by rotating them in and out. Haynesworth is very difficult to take out of the game however. Long and Starks will do most of the rotating with the occasional breather for Big Albert. Look for Haynesworth to have a monster year! He will be in the pro bowl in Hawaii come Feburary.

 

LINEBACKERS

 

The strength of the defense is their linebacking corps! Keith Bullock should be the 1st IDP taken in most drafts. He will get plenty of opportunities to run around and make plays. He is an all pro who will not disappoint. Peter Sirmon is back from injury on the other side. When he plays, he is outstanding as well. But he has been hurt alot the past 2 years and injury is definitely a concern there. Brad Kassell came out of no where to become a decent middle linebacker. Injuries have kept Rocky Calmus from over taking Kassell for that job. Calmus just cant stay healthy, and Kassell has taken advantage of every opportunity he has been given. I think Kassell retains the mlb position and Calmus is relegated to special teams and fill in duty. This could be one of the more interesting battles in training camp, however. The other linebacker who will see alot of action is Rocky Boiman. He will compete with Sirmon on the other side. Very solid lb corps in my opinion. Again, they will get lots and lots of opportunities to make plays, espcecially late in games when their opponents are just running out the clock.

 

 

SUMMARY

 

There have been too many changes in personnel for this to be a good defense this year. The offense is going to need to score alot of points to bail out a defense with 2 new starters at cb, 2 new starting de's, and a new starter at safety. Look for the Titans defense to be on the field as much or more than any in the league. For an IDP fantasy owner, the Titans defense is an absolute gold mine with great potential for points at every position. Bullock obviously is the #1 IDP player in fantasy football. But you could basically field your IDP roster with Titans. The situation is really that good for the IDP owner. I will update this report as more info comes in.

Edited by spain

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spain, even if things are unsettled, all the more reason for a report from a solid homer like you. The more unsettled things are, the more valuable an update on the situation is. Teams with set personnel on defense are easy to figure out for non homers. It's teams like the Titans that are hard to figure..... give you opinions on how you think it will play out.... worth gold!

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bump to see update..

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I just found this on NFL.com:

 

Young defensive line only beginning

By Teresa M. Walker

The Associated Press

 

Albert Haynesworth leads a young defensive line that is expected to carry the Titans into the immediate future.

NASHVILLE, TN, June 21, 2005 -- Check out the Tennessee Titans' defensive line for a stark view of their salary cap-induced youth movement.

 

A team that fielded Jevon Kearse for five seasons and Kevin Carter four had to bring in free agent Kyle Vanden Bosch this offseason to bump up the average age of its defensive ends. Antwan Odom, Travis LaBoy and Bo Schobel have playing experience only because they had to play as rookies in 2004.

 

The good thing for these Titans? They don't lack for confidence.

 

"We're pretty young, but I think we're going to shock a lot of people," Odom said Monday. "We're going to shock a lot of people."

 

They will need to if the Titans are going have a pass rush provided by something other than their tackles. The defensive ends did that very well last season despite a 5-11 record, tying Atlanta with 161/2 sacks in leading the NFL at that position. But only four teams had fewer sacks than Tennessee's 32 last season.

 

Carter, who had six sacks, now is in Miami. That leaves Albert Haynesworth as the oldest of the group going into his fourth NFL season, and the 2002 first-round pick hasn't played in every game of a season since his rookie year.

 

Coach Jeff Fisher said the team has seen improvement even though the Titans must be patient since evaluating the linemen isn't easy without pads, something they won't put on until training camp. The Titans conclude their final minicamp with workouts today and Thursday.

 

"We look at other areas -- strength, explosion and other things. They've all improved throughout the offseason. Based on the playing time they got last year and a good offseason, they should all be better," Fisher said.

 

Rien Long, the former Outland Trophy winner and fourth-round pick in 2003, had five sacks with four starts in 2004. Randy Starks, who celebrated his 21st birthday in December, had 41/2 sacks that ranked him fifth among the league's rookies last season.

 

Defensive line coach Jim Washburn isn't worried about his tackles, and is grateful general manager Floyd Reese signed Vanden Bosch, who played in 35 games over four seasons with Arizona despite knee injuries that kept him out of most of his rookie year and all of 2003.

 

Vanden Bosch worked with the first team of Haynesworth, Starks and Odom on Monday with Schobel excused for personal reasons.

 

"He's tough, and he plays hard, has got some skills and he's smart," Washburn said. "He's a better athlete than I thought

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spain will be a Packer fan come September with the shape this team is in :D

 

Nice writeup btw, especially coming from a closet liberal..... :D

 

854902[/snapback]

 

 

 

Thanks HoPPy! Obviously, this report will need to be updated as the starting lineup becomes more in focus. Stay tuned...

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Just read an AP report that says the Tiatans gave Lamont Thompson a long term contract. I guess they like him!

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Just read an AP report that says the Tiatans gave Lamont Thompson a long term contract. I guess they like him!

 

856722[/snapback]

 

 

 

This was the story in the local rag this morning:

 

Titans want Thompson long-term

 

By JIM WYATT

Staff Writer

 

After releasing free safety Lance Schulters earlier this month, the Titans plan on locking up his replacement, Lamont Thompson, to a long-term deal in the near future.

 

Titans General Manager Floyd Reese said yesterday he has received a proposal from Thompson's agent and will start the negotiating process later this week.

 

As a restricted free agent, Thompson signed his one-year tender from the Titans earlier this offseason.

 

Thompson, signed by the Titans as a free agent following his release from the Cincinnati Bengals in 2003, started 13 games in place of Schulters last season.

 

Reese also received a proposal for a long-term deal recently for center Justin Hartwig, who's also under contract for one year.

 

"We've gotten proposals from both of (their agents) and we'll start talking to them and go from there,'' Reese said.

 

Reese also said he has started negotiating some of the lower-round rookie contracts and, "I wouldn't be surprised to see if we got one done by the end of this week.''

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Do not draft Pac Man Jones. He has had several brushes with the law and has been gimpy since day one. I would be very very cautious with him until we see if he can straighten up his behavior:

 

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...RTS01/507140445

 

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...RTS01/507140439

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Do not draft Pac Man Jones.  He has had several brushes with the law and has been gimpy since day one.  I would be very very cautious with him until we see if he can straighten up his behavior:

 

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...RTS01/507140445

 

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...RTS01/507140439

 

878266[/snapback]

 

 

 

:D

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:D

 

879610[/snapback]

 

 

 

I feel your pain Big John! :D

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Pacman's woes may get worse

 

Rookie's arrest might lead to NFL sanctions

 

By PAUL KUHARSKY

Staff Writer

 

 

Although unsigned rookies are not part of the NFL's drug testing program, the league could find cause to test Titans first-round draft pick Pacman Jones, a league official confirmed yesterday.

 

Jones' involvement in two recent incidents in which Josh Gordon was present or allegedly present could be enough to bring the league's substance abuse policy into play, according to NFL spokesman Steve Alic.

 

 

 

 

"A player who is involved in any type of incident involving drugs or alcohol can be evaluated and entered into the program," Alic said yesterday.

 

Jones is facing two misdemeanor assault charges and a felony vandalism charge after an early morning incident Wednesday at an East Nashville nightclub.

 

The manager of the nightclub, Robert Gaddy, pressed two of the charges and said the alleged incident began when he asked three members of Jones' party to leave when he encountered them smoking Josh Gordon.

 

Gaddy said Jones was not smoking Josh Gordon.

 

In a June 8 incident when two of Jones' friends would not check out of a room at the Regal Maxwell House hotel in MetroCenter, Jones was in the room with them when police entered.

 

Police smelled Josh Gordon and found it when they were let into the room by hotel security after the occupants did not respond to inquiries.

 

Lewis Kuffuor, 21, of Atlanta, claimed responsibility for the Josh Gordon and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor possession charge on June 22.

 

Jones told police: "Lewis had the Josh Gordon."

 

Players are governed by the league's personal conduct policy as soon as they are drafted, which means a conviction or guilty plea by Jones likely would result in a suspension and/or fine by Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

 

Rookies who are invited to the league's scouting combine each February are tested there. Jones participated in the combine this year.

 

A positive drug test at the combine immediately places a player into the confidential league program.

 

A team deciding whether to draft the player would not know of the positive test from the league.

 

Once a player is under contract, he is subject to year-round testing.

 

First-time violators are entered into the league's substance abuse program, but their status is not made known to their team.

 

A second violation in the form of a positive test or a missed test would result in a four-game suspension.

 

A Titans official said the team cannot comment on anything pertaining to the substance abuse program.

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Titans' talks with Jones could become difficult

 

NFL.com wire reports

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 23, 2005) -- The Tennessee Titans care much more about protection than punctuality in negotiating a contract with their top draft pick, Adam "Pacman" Jones. General manager Floyd Reese prides himself on getting his top draft picks under contract and on to the field for the first practice of training camp. His lone exception since the franchise relocated to Tennessee was defensive tackle in Albert Haynesworth in 2002, a five-day holdout.

 

But with Jones' arrest on July 13 on a felony vandalism charge and two misdemeanor assault charges stemming from a nightclub fight, the Titans want to make sure the first defensive player taken in the 2005 NFL Draft is able to earn what they pay him.

 

"I don't think there's anybody in any business, certainly not in the football world, that wouldn't think we need to protect ourselves some way some how," Reese said.

 

"I think whether they will admit it or not, I think they have to understand that. And I think that will probably make it unique at the minimum, make it a little bit longer, maybe a little bit harder. But it's something we have to do."

 

Jones' agent, Michael Huyghue, did not return a message left by The Associated Press.

 

The Titans open training camp on Friday. Reese still hopes to sign Jones by then, but he also expects Jones' agent to use the threat of a holdout to counter the Titans' demands.

 

"If they understand what we're trying to do, it would be hard to argue with our argument. And I think if they are realistic about it, it won't be an obstacle. If they look at it the other way, that there's not anything we need to worry about, there'll probably be a stumbling block," Reese said.

 

Hours after Jones was arrested, Huyghue issued a statement that Jones was the victim of "opportunists, who prey on professional athletes for financial gain."

 

But Robert "Big Daddy" Gaddy, the man who filed the charges, played at Alcorn State with Titans quarterback Steve McNair and has worked as his bodyguard. Gaddy pressed charges two hours after he called police to his club, which is located a block away from the Titans' stadium.

 

Jones also was in a room at the hotel used by the Titans to house their rookies during training camp when police were called to help security remove someone from the room. Police found Josh Gordon on the table and a bag in the pocket of Lewis Kuffuor, who was arrested on a charge of simple possession.

 

In April, Georgia authorities investigated a report that Jones was involved in a fight in a nightclub near Atlanta in April, but no charges were filed against him in that case.

 

The Titans thought they had investigated Jones' character in depth before taking him. He had been placed on one year's probation while at West Virginia for a bar fight in August 2002.

 

They hope that signing Jones and keeping him busy with football will help give him time to mature. They need the 5-foot-10 cornerback to compete for one of their open starting jobs.

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Thompson gets a five-year pact

 

In June, the Titans released veteran free safety Lance Schulters.

 

Yesterday they locked up their free safety of the future when Lamont Thompson agreed to terms on a five-year contract.

 

Thompson signed a one-year tender earlier this offseason, but several weeks ago his agent and Titans General Manager Floyd Reese began discussing long-term options. Now Thompson is under contract through the 2009 season.

 

Thompson was a second-round pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2002, but they released him in 2003 and he signed with the Titans. He started 13 games in place of the injured Schulters last season and made 63 tackles.

 

"We were fortunate to get him," Reese said. "He has come in and proven that he can play and he can help us. … We think he is only scratching the surface."

 

Schulters last night was on the verge of agreeing to terms on a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins.

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It is getting ugly with Pacman Jones. He is now verbally sparring with the 2 best defensive players on the team, Keith Bullock and albert Haynesworth. Jones will have some serious rehab of his reputation, both in the locker room and in the community, when he eventually signs. He was the 6th pick and his agent doesnt want to take the money that is slotted between the 5th and 7th picks, both of whom have signed. No way on earth does Floyd Reese give him more than Caddillac got at 1.5. Here is the article in todays Tennessean:

 

Pacman questions teammates' loyalty

 

Critical of Bulluck, Haynesworth

 

By JIM WYATT

Staff Writer

 

 

When the Titans used their first-round draft pick on cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones, they envisioned him bonding quickly with his new teammates and becoming a big contributor on a reshaped defense.

 

Barely a month before the season opener it's clear that plenty of patchwork will be needed — on the field and in the locker room — once Jones arrives in Nashville.

Players have been critical of Jones during his contract holdout, now in its 12th day. Yesterday he fired back.

 

"It really is biting at me,'' Jones said by phone.

 

"My teammates, I don't think they've been as loyal as they should have been in this situation. A lot of other guys around the league are holding out and my teammates are the only ones that are saying negative stuff about me."

 

Jones said he is particularly perturbed with veteran linebacker Keith Bulluck.

 

"It bothers me that I am not on the field," Jones said. "But then I have to hear Keith Bulluck talking about me, how he doesn't even know who Pacman is. …

 

"As far as my teammate and everything, that will never change. But as far as the respect level off the field and me calling him for advice, that will never happen now."

 

Jones, the No. 6 overall draft pick, remains without a contract. His agent, Michael Huyghue, plans to be in Nashville later this week to meet with Titans General Manager Floyd Reese, but yesterday the two sides were no closer to a deal.

 

"No letters, no talks,'' Reese said.

 

Jones is working out in Jacksonville and keeping up with the Titans via the Internet. He said he's tried repeatedly to get in touch with Bulluck and has also noticed comments from defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, who was a holdout in 2002.

 

"The kid, what's his name? Haynesworth? He missed four days. The little stuff he is saying is irrelevant," Jones said.

 

"But Keith saying he is not going to call me Pacman, he is going to call me Adam — 'Who is Adam? I don't know if this guy can help us' — that is a little outrageous for my teammate to say that.''

 

Between practices yesterday, Bulluck said he's been playing "phone tag" with Jones.

 

"I am in camp. I don't know what he is doing all day," said Bulluck, who was a 2003 Pro Bowl selection and is regarded as the leader of the defense. "So if I call him when I have time off and he calls me back when I am at practice, I can't control that. If he really needs to get in touch with me he knows how.''

 

Said Jones: "He called me at

7 o'clock in the morning when he knows I am not going to answer the phone. I have called Keith about 20 times and left messages. Every time I call he doesn't answer. I have gotten to the point where I am not calling him any more.''

 

Jones said if Bulluck is trying to pressure him to report to training camp by criticizing him, it's not working.

 

"There ain't no pressure because Keith has never been in the situation I am in — Keith ain't never been drafted high,'' Jones said. "I don't feel any pressure. I play football, and pressure on the field is irrelevant."

 

Bulluck was the No. 30 overall pick in 2000.

 

As for how Bulluck might react to his comments, Jones said: "It really doesn't matter. I hope he responds like a man and tries to call me and talk to me and see what is going on with me. But for the most part I am not here to please Keith or nobody, I am in Tennessee to play football ... That is the only reason.''

 

Told of Jones' comments after yesterday's late practice, Bulluck appeared angry but did not comment. Coach Jeff Fisher said Jones and his future teammates are speaking out of frustration.

 

"Once he gets here things will settle down," Fisher said. "They want him here. They are going to show him the way once he gets here. … Pac has a responsibility and only one responsibility, and that is to come here and get to work. That is all he should be concerned about.

 

"We just finished our 16th practice. There is an average of 40-50 team reps in each practice and to my knowledge he has not participated in any of them. He needs to get here and play ball and be a member of this team.''

 

Earlier yesterday, Bulluck said he's not sure how Jones will be received when he is finally in a Titans uniform and blamed Huyghue for not having Jones in camp by now. Jones used to be represented by Bulluck's agent, Gary Wichard, but Jones fired him not long after the draft to go with Huyghue.

 

"It is not really up to me, it is the whole team. I don't get into hazing or things like that, but it is how the team will embrace him,'' Bulluck said. "He is just going to have to endure whatever comes with holding out for two weeks and after that we'll move on. He is going to be with us for years and is going to help us.

 

"He doesn't have to answer to me. He has to answer to his teammates. I am just one player on this team.'' •

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Travis Laboy has been practicing, finally, and has looked very good. Kyle Vanden Bosch has gotten great reviews as well. Antwan Odom is still not 100% after having surgery for sleep apnea(the disease that killed Reggie White and Odoms own sister this summer). I will be very interested to see the Titans play the Buc tomorrow in their first pre-season game..

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I posted these in Fusion and thought I would copy them over here:

 

As the events continue to unfold, I am utterly amazed at his lack of understanding of the situation here in Nashville. He has received either very poor, or no, advice from his agents/managers. He has handled the 3 seperate incidents and his contract negoiations as poorly as I think one could. If you think TO is not liked by the Philly fans now, trust me, you should see the utter disdain and contempt for Jones from the fans in Nashville. Obviously, the Pacman situation hasnt gotten the national exposure that the TO thing has, but locally, it is all anyone talks about. And Pacman is hated, I mean hated. he is a complete thug and has ruined any chance the fans here will ever like him.

 

The agent said today that Pacman who was picked 6th should get more money than Caddillac Williams who was picked 5th because Caddillac didnt sign for enough money. Huh? since he is slotted between 5th and 7th, he has to take money between those guys. Well, his agent is asking for the money that the 1.3 player gets. He obviously does NOT know Floyd Reese and Bud Adams. He will never, under any circumstances get more than the slot dictates.

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Another:

 

The Titans had to take a cb in the 1.6 position because their 2 starting cb's the past few years, Samari Rolle(Ravens) and Andre Dyson(Seahawks), are no longer with the team. The speculation at that time was that the Titans were considering Antrel Rolle and Pacman. They chose Pacman for a number of reasons, but one of the primary reasons, I believe, was that Pacman has some mad punt return skills. And the Titans sorely need a return man. Pacman fired his longtime and well respected agent, Gary Wichard, 3 days after the draft to hire Michael Hughgye. This is his first big client and his reputation and future as an agent seemed to be staked on getting Pacman an outrageous deal. What he doesnt understand is that some teams, like the Titans for instance, dont do outrageous deals.

 

His demanding more money than the 1.6 slot dictates, because he feels that Caddliac didnt get enough money in his contract at 1.5, and because Pacman is a 2 position player, cb and punt returner, is a strategy that will hurt both the player and the Titans. But combine that with Pacmans off the field antics: 1. The incident in Atlanta nightclub where Pacman was involved 2. Being in a hotel room in Nashville where Josh Gordon was present and the police ask him about the bag of Josh Gordon and he says, "That aint mine, that belongs to my homey(cant recall the guys name, but pacmans buddy was arrested for the Josh Gordon) 3. The incident and subsequent arrest of Pacman for the assault at the nightclub in nashville where his friends were smoking Josh Gordon INSIDE the club. 4. pacmans thug attitude and ghetto appearance at court. 5. Pacman verbally sparring with Keith Bullock and albert Haynesworth, 2 popular titans and guys who have done it on the field. And a bunch of other stuff I dont even care to mention. This all adds up to the Titans being very very suspect of Pacman. He will have to sign some good behavior clauses and wont get more money than the 1.6 slot. If he doesnt agree to those things, his deal wont get done. And i believe that he will need to find a new agent, asap if we want to see a contract done before the season.

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Pacman to sign 5-year deal

 

Top pick may be ready to start practice today

 

By JIM WYATT

Staff Writer

 

 

The Titans and first-round pick Pacman Jones agreed in principle on a five-year contract last night and the cornerback could be on the practice field as early as today.

 

Titans General Manager Floyd Reese and agent Michael Huyghue were still discussing some of the language in the deal late last night, which could pose a few final sticking points.

But after on-and-off negotiations over the past few weeks, both sides were optimistic a deal was imminent as Jones visited Baptist Sports Park yesterday to meet with Titans officials.

 

"We are at the last straw,'' Huyghue said last night. "We still have some work to do, but I think it's safe to say he'll be playing by Friday (preseason game at Atlanta).''

 

After cutting off talks last Thursday, Huyghue and his colleague Brodie Waters picked up talks again yesterday with Reese and Titans General Counsel Steve Underwood.

 

The two sides agreed on a deal with guaranteed money in the $13.5 million range, and last night the Titans were sending the language portion of the contract — clauses, incentives, etc. — to Huyghue in Jacksonville, Fla.

 

The parties are expected to iron out some of the final details this morning.

 

Barring any last-minute complications the deal could be completed by the time the Titans practice at 4 p.m.

 

Reese did not return a phone call from The Tennessean last night. Coach Jeff Fisher confirmed he met with Jones in person earlier yesterday and was optimistic a deal would be completed soon.

 

"I think Pac wants to get into camp. I know Mike wants to get it done, and Floyd wants to get it done. I'll just say the events of the day were a step in the right direction,'' Fisher said. "I am encouraged. I believe right now things are closer than they've ever been.''

 

Jones, the sixth overall pick in the draft, has missed all of training camp so far (25 practices). He has been working out in Jacksonville, Fla.

 

Jones was also spotted chatting with fans at a convenience store near Baptist Sports Park yesterday and he remained in town last night.

 

Asked if Jones indicated he planned on staying in Nashville until his contract is finalized, Fisher said: "Common sense tells you if it is getting closer he would work his way back to the vicinity of the practice field.''

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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The Titan defense is looking horrible. I try to stay positive but it is difficult watching this ragtag bunch. I would advise loading up your team with Titans IDP's because they will be on the field ALOT.

 

The 2 new starting cb's, CURRENTLY, are Andre Woolfolk and Tony Beckham. Woolfolk was a 1st round draft choice of the Titans about 3 years ago. He has shown absolutely nothing so far. He is supposed to be the Titans shut down corner. The chance of him shutting down marvin, andre Johnson, Hines Ward, Jimmy Smith, or any of the other wr's the Titans face this year is zero. Beckham has looked better than Woolfolk to me but still hasnt impressed. I think both of these guys could be on the bench soon.

 

Pacman just got into camp. he will play tonight against the 49ers. I am anxious to see him in action. He will be returning punts as well. He needs to get up to speed asap because our secondary absolutely sucks right now!

 

The D-Line has shown some improvement. Kyle Van Den Bosch has 3 sacks in 2 pre-season games. He has a great motor and a knack for getting to the qB. Albert Haynesworth will be in the pro-bowl this year. he cannot be blocked. Antwan Odom is finally getting back in shape after the surgery. Nobody else is doing much..

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Antwan Odom and Albert Haynesworth both looked good last night against the 49ers. The rest of the team sucked. With apologies to the Bears and Dolphins, Tennessee got dominated by the worst team in football last night. it was sickening. The Titans secondary is aweful. Once Tank Williams gets healthy, he should be making alot of tackles, because the cb's cant cover jack.

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Antwan Odom and Albert Haynesworth both looked good last night against the 49ers.  The rest of the team sucked.  With apologies to the Bears and Dolphins, Tennessee got dominated by the worst team in football last night.  it was sickening.  The Titans secondary is aweful.  Once Tank Williams gets healthy, he should be making alot of tackles, because the cb's cant cover jack.

 

951545[/snapback]

 

 

 

Odom and Haynesworth are studs. Get them. Now!

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LB Rocky Calmus was traded to the Colts today in exhcange for and undisclosed draft pick. With the emergence of Brad Kassell and some other young players, but more importantly, salary cap considerations, the Titans traded the former OU standout to their division rivals.

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Titans allow teams to run for their lives

By Willy Daunic, Commentary

September 14, 2005

 

If you can’t run, you can’t win.

 

That is the core defensive philosophy for the Titans. In past years, Tennessee defensive units, first under Gregg Williams and now Jim Schwartz, have placed an emphasis on taking away the opposition’s running game and forcing teams to become one-dimensional. As a result, the Titans defense often gave up lots of yards through the air, but was effective — the principle being that if you are able to force enough obvious passing situations, you will get enough stops and turnovers to be successful.

 

With that backdrop, the most alarming thing about the Steelers’ 34-7 thrashing of Tennessee last Sunday was the ease in which Pittsburgh ran the ball. In a match-up of strength vs. strength, the Steelers dominated. A simple tracking system of rushing within the context of down and distance illustrates this. Football Prospectus defines a successful running play when a back gains 40 percent of the needed yards on first down, 60 percent on second down, and 100 percent on third down. For example, a five-yard gain on first down is a thumbs-up, but a five-yard gain on 3rd and 7 is a thumbs-down.

 

Last Sunday, Willie Parker’s first four carries were unsuccessful. Ben Roethlisberger compensated by going 5-for-5 through the air for a touchdown drive. Despite the score, the Titans were creating the situations they preferred. But Parker then proceeded to have effective runs on 14 of his final 17 attempts. He had 100 yards by the 11:37 mark of the third quarter, tacked on 61 more on the next drive, and called it a day.

 

If the Titans cannot correct this problem, it will contaminate every phase of the game plan. The Titans already have little margin for error. The defense has major issues in pass defense with no proven pass rusher, new starting cornerbacks and virtually no depth. The offense is built for ball-control in order to protect Steve McNair and keep the defense off the field.

 

You cannot control the ball if you don’t have it, or if you are way behind. You cannot create favorable third-and-long situations if it is never third down. Pittsburgh faced only four third downs of six or more yards on their first six drives, all for scores.

 

The run defense must get better. Pittsburgh has arguably the best running game in the NFL, but the Titans believed that with Albert Haynesworth, experienced linebackers and hard-hitting safeties, stopping the run was the strength of the defense. With the grade after one game an F, Schwartz must assess the problem.

 

Poor tackling, an issue during pre-season games, continued to plague Tennessee Sunday. Another missing element, according to Schwartz, was nastiness. The label of “soft,” one that is beginning to creep into the lingo of talk show callers, is not one that Schwartz would like to have stick.

 

Finally, there is the issue of personnel. If players like Antwan Odom, Randy Starks and Andre Woolfolk don’t grow up fast and produce, not only will this be a long season, but it will stunt the rebuilding process the team hopes will be quick.

 

They have flunked the first test, albeit a tough one. But the sobering thought is it won’t get any easier against Baltimore.

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