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Titans' position-by-position depth ratings

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Much was done to patch depth-chart holes during the offseason, but all along we knew there was too little on the roster for a full fix in one offseason.

So while they look a lot better on the front lines, the depth is still an issue.

Oct 22, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) and safety Jamal Adams (33) tackle Arizona Cardinals quarterback Joshua Dobbs (9) during the first half at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Jamal Adams/ © Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

As I went position-by-position I was struck that they are in a lot better shape on offense than on defense, though they seem most secure at cornerback. We will discuss that in more detail on this week’s podcast, coming soon.

Onto our specific breakdown.

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Mike Herndon's Top Five Titans' Training Camp Battles

Mike Herndon's Top Five Titans' Training Camp Battles

By MIKE HERNDON, columnist

We are officially just under two weeks away from the 2024 Titans reporting to training camp and exactly one month from their first preseason game against the 49ers at Nissan Stadium. The long wait for NFL football is almost over.

Sep 17, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Los Angeles Chargers tight end Gerald Everett (7) runs over a tackle attempt by Tennessee Titans linebacker Jack Gibbens (50) during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Jack Gibbens/ © Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Battles for starting jobs, reps, or even roster spots provide for a lot of the intrigue throughout camp beyond the daily rollercoaster ride of reports about Will Levis’ performance or videos of highlights from one-on-one periods. And this year, the Titans have a few that are worthy of tracking. Here are the five battles that I will be most interested in when the team reports to Ascension St. Thomas Sports Park on July 23rd.

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The Titans As They Enter The Analytics Era

By MAX GOLD, guest commentator

Max Gold holds a PhD from MIT and has followed the Titans since the Steve McNair-Eddie George years. He's a scientist with a background in machine learning and biology who is looking forward to seeing how the team's new regime uses data analytics on and off the field. He's from New Jersey and lives in Boston.

In 2022, an ESPN survey of the NFL found that the Titans were seen as the least analytically inclined team in the entire league. Since then, the Titans have shifted their attitude and made a series of moves to change that reputation. Ran Carthon was hired as the GM in 2023 and he has spoken at length about the value of analytics. Carthon has also hired people with analytics backgrounds, such as Chad Brinker and Sarah Bailey, for key roles in the front office and chose analytically-minded Brian Callahan as the coach to replace Mike Vrabel.

Brian Callahan Illustration
Brian Callahan illustration by Barton Henley

“Analytics” is a vague term that can refer to many different things, so I was happy to hear Callahan describe it as “using hard, concrete data to help decision-making.” Based on interviews and press conferences, it seems the Titans organization has bought into this definition of analytics, so here are some areas I expect this regime will be different from the last …

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Titans' Contract Decisions in 2025

DeAndre HopkinsNASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans already have significant roster turnover, but we will really see the extent of it for a second year in a row when they trim to 53 on Aug. 27.

I peeked ahead to see how many contracts the Titans may need to address in 2025.

Thirty-six of 89 players on the current roster – 40 percent, are not signed beyond 2024. But the list doesn’t make for a hugely significant group.

Let’s look ahead at who Tennessee will be at risk of losing when contracts expire next fall.

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Evaluating Harold Landry’s Place Among Titans and NFL Edge Rushers

Evaluating Harold Landry’s Place Among Titans and NFL Edge Rushers

By MIKE HERNDON, columnist

Heading into the 2024 season, few Titans players feel more essential to the team’s success than Harold Landry. The team’s 2018 second-round pick is entering his seventh season in Tennessee and stands out as clearly the most productive player at a critical position for Dennard Wilson’s defense.

Harold Landry
Harold Landry/ Courtesy Tennessee Titans

Landry’s 41.5 career sacks represent 61.9 percent of the career sacks for the Titans' current outside linebacker group combined and land him 11th on the franchise’s all-time sack leaderboard. He’s now just 10.5 sacks behind Jevon Kearse for the most in the Titans era of the franchise.

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Have We Seen the Ceilings for These Three Titans?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Addressing depth in a big way was not something that would happen for the Titans in 2024. Given the abundance of roster holes, there were front-line positions that weren’t going to be sufficiently dealt with.

Jack Gibbens
Jack Gibbens/ Angie Flatt

Today I ponder players who will play for them whose ceilings we have a pretty strong feel for. It doesn’t make them an un-useful part of this roster. But I do think we know where they will top out based on physical limits and can hope they aren’t asked to do more than those allow.

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How Titans' Revamp Recalls Rams' 2016 Playbook

How Titans' Revamp Recalls Rams' 2016 Playbook

By MIKE HERNDON, columnist

What do the 2016 Rams have to do with the 2024 Titans? Well, quite a bit actually. Let’s just start with a list of names from that 2016 Rams squad that may be pretty familiar to fans in Tennessee:

  • Rams Director of Player Personnel: Ran Carthon
  • Rams Defensive Backs Coach: Dennard Wilson
  • Rams Linebacker Coach: Frank Bush
Tennessee Titans Head Coach Brian Callahan, left, and General Manager Ran Carthon, with ball, take in practice during rookie minicamp at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park in Nashville, Tenn., Friday, May 10, 2024.
  Ran Carthon with Brian Callahan/ © Denny Simmons / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

That’s before you get to some of the shared history connections like Jeff Fisher, Dave McGinnis, Chuck Cecil, and Gregg Williams or players like Kenny Britt, Rodger Saffold, William Hayes, and Coty Sensabaugh. Not to mention the fact that the 2016 Rams and 2016 Titans made a franchise-altering draft swap that landed Jared Goff in Los Angeles and gave the pick that became Derrick Henry to Tennessee as part of a package that set up the Jon Robinson era for early success.

The intersection between the glory years of the Titans – represented by Fisher, Williams, Cecil, and McGinnis – with the new era featuring Carthon and Wilson is fascinating on its own, but even more

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On Titans' Fans, 'In JRob We Trust' and 'Let Ran Cook'

Let Ran CookNASHVILLE, Tenn. – When Jon Robinson was at the peak of his powers, many who followed the team believed him invincible and became such believers that they joined the “In JRob We Trust” club.

In terms of devotion, this made things difficult for them when things started to go badly.

When Jeffery Simmons, AJ Brown and Nate Davis were followed up as the top three picks in 2019 by Isaiah Wilson, Kristian Fulton and Darrynton Evans in 2020 along with free-agent disaster Vic Beasley and failure Jadeveon Clowney, it was hard for them to be honest with themselves because they had made such a strong declaration of commitment to the man with final personnel say for the Titans.

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