Posted: 1:00 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013
By Josh Kirkendall
Jimmy Morris, who runs a fine ship at Music City Miracles (SB Nation's Tennessee Titans website), spent a few minutes with us talking about his team, what we can expect Saturday and the overall expectations for the Titans heading into 2013.
[NOTE: You can see my answers to questions about the Bengals here]
Andy Dalton is often facing those "make or break year" arguments. Is there a similar impression being made about Jake Locker this year?
Yes. I can't even count how many of those stories that have been written, but it is true. He has shown flashes of being great but has been inconsistent. This year will go a long way in cementing his future, along with head coach Mike Munchak.
How has the Titans 2013 rookie class looked so far in camp?
There hasn't been much tot talk about outside of offensive guard Chance Warmack and wide receiver Justin Hunter -- the top two picks. Warmack struggled at times during his first game, but also showed flashes why they took him with at No. 10 overall. I am really excited to see how he holds up against the Bengals defensive line.
Hunter has had some really good and some really bad days, but it is easy to tell that he has the talent to be a big-play receiver in the NFL. He just needs to put it all together.
What will the split between Chris Johnson and Shonn Greene look like?
Johnson will have the majority, but Greene is going to be more than just a short yardage back. My guess is that when the dust settles, Johnson will handle about 2/3 of the carries.
Is Shonn Green expected to have a major role in the offense due to the added beef on the line?
Greene is here to lighten the load on Johnson a little bit, and to be a short-yardage guy. Even when Johnson was going well behind a good offensive line, he couldn't pick up short yardage. Greene has been better in those situations than any other back in the league.
Thoughts about the interior offensive line upgrades. Does Warmack and LeVitre change the way the run game will plan?
They want to control the line of scrimmage. Munchak is in a do-or-die year, and he is going back to a brand of football that he knows best. It will be based around a solid run game that will be play between the tackles, as well as on the perimeter.
What are the defensive expectations? What are they best at?
The defense was nothing short of horrendous last year. The expectation is that they will be better this year. Defensive assistant Gregg Williams and safety Bernard Pollard were brought in to light a fire on that side of the ball. Hopefully it will work.
They are best at defensive tackle. They have Jurrell Casey who is a guy that a lot of people haven't heard of, but he is a really good player. They brought in Sammie Lee Hill to eat up some space in the middle. Those guys will make up a really good tandem.
Who are some players that will play during the second half that you're expecting a big game from this Saturday?
Keep an eye out for Michael Preston. He is a back-end of the roster receiver that has a lot of upside. Rusty Smith targeted him a lot in the second half of the game last week.
Jackie Battle is another guy that has made some noise in camp. It is going to be an uphill battle for him to make the roster, but he is making it tough on them to cut him.
And finally there is Jack Doyle. People were raving about him in the mini-camps. He probably doesn't have a spot on the roster, but they would love to be able to sneak him onto the practice squad.