Heading into the offseason, the Titans looked to shore up their interior offensive line play and find ways to cause havoc for opposing quarterbacks off the edge.
The Titans could have addressed the issues in the first round of the draft with the selection of Wisconsin center Peter Konz or one of three highly-rated defensive ends. Instead, the Titans chose Baylor WR Kendall Wright -- despite the presence of stablished veterans in Kenny Britt and Nate Washington. Two weeks into training camp, injuries at center and defensive end have heightened concerns in both areas.
Here are some questions to be answered in exhibition season:
Can one of the Titans' inexperienced centers develop chemistry with the starting quarterback before the opener? A season-ending injury suffered by center Eugene Amano in the opening week of camp leaves the Titans with two unproven centers in Fernando Velasco and Kevin Matthews. The two combined have less than five NFL starts at the position. Velasco has impressed coach Mike Munchak with his athleticism, confidence and ability to make line calls. The Titans met with a host of prominent centers during free agency. If the center position remains a weakness throughout the season, Munchak could regret not signing one.
Will a lack of talent and depth at defensive end force the Titans to pursue a veteran before the start of the regular season? Injuries have riddled a position that was already one of the most glaring weaknesses on the roster. DE Dave Ball has missed more than a week after experiencing concussion-like symptoms. Derrick Morgan, the Titans’ first-round pick in 2010, is still dealing with persistent knee problems. Morgan has split first-team reps over the last week with undrafted free agent Pannel Egboh. Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray can move LB Akeem Ayers and DT Karl Klug to defensive end on pass-rushing downs, but the Titans still lack depth at the spot. The problem is there are few viable options on the free agent market.
Can the defense withstand the loss of Cortland Finnegan? The departure of the Pro Bowl defensive back caused Gray to move CB Alterraun Verner to the inside in nickel situations. Verner is an instinctive defender who makes reads quickly and flies to the ball. When Verner moves inside, second-year CB Tommie Campbell will likely start on the outside. At 6-3, 205 pounds, Campbell possess ideal speed and size. The Titans’ secondary struggled in Monday’s joint-practice with the Falcons allowing a string of completions. Their troubles could be attributed more to the lack of pressure created up-front.
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