2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Titans have flexibility picking at No. 20 overall

By TERESA M. WALKER - AP Sports Writer
    2012-04-23 11:12

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Titans' biggest move in free agency fell flat when Peyton Manning chose Denver. They still have plenty of options in the NFL draft.

They filled their quarterback needs last season by drafting Jake Locker with the eighth pick overall and then signing veteran Matt Hasselbeck to a three-year contract. They chased Manning as a free agent only when owner Bud Adams decided to join the chase. Since Manning chose Denver, new general manager Ruston Webster has been busy meeting with a handful of veteran free agent centers and signing defensive linemen.

Tennessee also has visited with some of the top receivers available in the draft starting Thursday night. Webster said there could be clues there, but the choice will be simple at No. 20 overall.

``You just want to make sure you take the best player,'' Webster said. ``If receivers are there and a level better than the defensive player, it's always a possibility. I think, though, it'll depend on who else is there.''

Webster was promoted in January to general manager when Adams moved Mike Reinfeldt to chief operating officer. Webster has worked drafts for a couple decades starting with Tampa Bay and Seattle before coming to Tennessee. This will be his first making the final call on a pick, and he has just seven, Tennessee's fewest since 2003.

The Titans just missed out on a playoff berth in coach Mike Munchak's debut season, going 9-7 and losing out on tiebreakers to Cincinnati as a wild card. It was an impressive record considering Munchak had two new coordinators in Chris Palmer and Jerry Gray with no offseason to teach their schemes thanks to the lockout.

Gray also had a bigger challenge with four rookies contributing heavily on defense while still ranking eighth in the league in points allowed, giving up 19.8 points per game. But the Titans finished next to last with a measly 28 sacks, making improving the pass rush a big key this offseason.

Lost in the news of Manning choosing Denver was Webster signing Kamerion Wimbley to a five-year deal that will see the linebacker play at defensive end in Tennessee. Webster also re-signed Dave Ball to a one-year deal and brought in Leger Douzable in moves to take some of the pressure off hitting on a defensive end in the draft who can play immediately. They also expect more from end Derrick Morgan, the 16th pick overall in 2010, with his first full offseason.

``Defense is a big focus of ours this year,'' the general manager said.

The Titans also signed five-time All Pro Steve Hutchison as a free agent and plan to use him at left guard. They visited with Chris Myers, Scott Wells, Jeff Saturday, Dan Koppen and Jeff Faine only to see four sign elsewhere. It's part of trying to improve the interior of the offensive line after ranking 31st in the NFL in rushing, averaging 89.9 yards per game, with Chris Johnson having his worst season after signing his big contract extension.

On defense, Tennessee let cornerback Cortland Finnegan leave for St. Louis as a free agent. They slapped the franchise tag on safety Michael Griffin and signed safety Jordan Babineaux to a new deal.

The Titans open their offseason program Monday and are counting on that helping boost a defense that had so many rookies play so much in 2011. Linebacker Akeem Ayers, the second pick overall, was their first rookie to start all 16 games for Tennessee since safety Tank Williams in 2002. Third-round pick Jurrell Casey started 15 games at tackle, while tackle Karl Klug started one and played in all 16.

Colin McCarthy played in 13 and took over as the starting middle linebacker for seven games down the stretch. Cornerback Tommie Campbell, a seventh-round pick, played in 15 games himself.

``It's going to be a huge help for our coaches, our players, just for our players to be able to spend time with (strength coach) Steve Watterson and be in the training room with any rehab they have to do with (trainer) Brad Brown,'' Webster said. ``All of that is a positive and should definitely help us for next year. We still hope to hit with all our picks.''

Nate Washington, Damian Williams and Lavelle Hawkins all had career seasons at receiver, but Kenny Britt, their top pick overall in 2009, tore his right ACL in September. He's expected to be ready for training camp but has missed games with injuries each of the past two years. So the Titans met with Michael Floyd out of Notre Dame, Baylor's Kendall Wright and Stephen Hill out of Georgia Tech.

They also met with South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore and defensive end Melvin Ingram.

So if Webster can follow up Reinfeldt's success, this should be a draft to remember.

``Hopefully, I'll remember it fondly,'' Webster said.

---

Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Justin TuckOct 29 09:23p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin) and CB Carlos Rogers (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. [ More ]

Bobby WagnerOct 29 09:23p

Seattle Seahawks TE Zach Miller (ankle) and LB Bobby Wagner (toe) were each unable to practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and each is already ruled out for Week 9 against the Oakland Raiders.

Max UngerOct 29 09:23p

Seattle Seahawks DT Jordan Hill (ankle), SS Jeron Johnson (concussion), CB Byron Maxwell (calf) and LB Malcolm Smith (non-injury related) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. OG James Carpenter [ More ]

J. CunninghamOct 29 08:53p

The St. Louis Rams signed OT Steven Baker, WR Emory Blake, OT Travis Bond and TE Justice Cunningham to the practice squad Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Marcus LattimoreOct 29 08:53p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) returned to practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. He remains on the reserve/non-football injury list.

Brian QuickOct 29 08:43p

The St. Louis Rams placed WR Brian Quick (shoulder) on the reserve/injured list Wednesday, Oct. 29.

A.J. EddsOct 29 08:33p

Atlanta Falcons FS Sean Baker, Carolina Panthers RB Darrin Reaves, Denver Broncos DE Greg Latta, New England Patriots OG Chris Barker, New York Jets LB A.J. Edds, Oakland Raiders [ More ]

Damian WilliamsOct 29 08:33p

The St. Louis Rams promoted OG Brandon Washington from the practice squad to the active roster Wednesday, Oct. 29, and they signed free-agent WR Damian Williams.

Patrick WillisOct 29 08:03p

San Francisco 49ers CB Tramaine Brock (toe), SS Jimmie Ward (quadriceps) and LB Patrick Willis (toe) were listed as limited participants in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. CB Chris Culliver [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 29 08:03p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) was limited in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Anthony CollinsOct 29 07:53p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Anthony Collins (foot) and LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee) and DE Michael Johnson (hand) were listed as limited participants.

Lamarcus JoynerOct 29 07:53p

St. Louis Rams S Cody Davis (concussion), DT Aaron Donald (shoulder), LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar (toe), DE William Hayes (foot), CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), S Rodney McLeod (knee), OT Rodger [ More ]

Billy WinnOct 29 07:43p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring), DE Phil Taylor (knee) and OT Joe Thomas (non-injury related) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. DT Ahtyba Rubin (ankle) was [ More ]

A.J. GreenOct 29 07:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday, Oct. 29. Green said he feels good, and he'll try to do more Thursday, Oct. [ More ]

Johnathan JosephOct 29 07:33p

Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), LB Brian Cushing (knee), CB Johnathan Joseph (knee), LB Brooks Reed (groin) and LB Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. [ More ]

Stepfan TaylorOct 29 07:33p

Arizona Cardinals RB Stepfan Taylor (calf) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and he has been ruled out for Week 9.

Patrick PetersonOct 29 07:33p

Arizona Cardinals FS Tony Jefferson (head) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. LB Kenny Demens (knee), TE Troy Niklas (ankle) and CB Patrick Peterson (concussion) were listed as limited [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonOct 29 07:23p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) has been ruled out for Week 9 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring), DE Carlos Dunlap (illness), LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring), [ More ]

Louis VasquezOct 29 07:03p

Denver Broncos LB Lamin Barrow (concussion), S Quinton Carter (hamstring) and OG Louis Vasquez (illness) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. CB Omar Bolden (concussion) and LB Steven Johnson [ More ]

Mike PounceyOct 29 06:53p

Miami Dolphins OG Daryn Colledge (illness) and TE Dion Sims (toe) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. OG Nate Garner (neck), LB Chris McCain (foot), LB Koa Misi (ankle), [ More ]

Brian RobinsonOct 29 06:43p

Minnesota Vikings DE Brian Robinson (glute) and CB Jabari Price (hamstring) both did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. CB Josh Robinson (ankle), DT Sharrif Floyd (ankle, knee), [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 29 06:23p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Donnie Avery (groin) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and has been ruled out for the team's Week 9 game. CB Jamell Fleming [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 29 05:53p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is expected to start in the team's Week 9 game against the Minnesota Vikings, according to league sources.

Tracy PorterOct 29 05:53p

Washington Redskins S Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) and OT Trent Williams (knee) were limited in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. LB Ryan Kerrigan (wrist), LB Trent Murphy (knee), CB Tracy [ More ]

Jon BeasonOct 29 05:33p

New York Giants LB Jon Beason (foot, toe) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Jonathan GoodwinOct 29 05:23p

New Orleans Saints LB David Hawthorne (hand) and FB Austin Johnson (knee) both did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and have been ruled out for the team's Week 9 [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 29 05:23p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and has been ruled out for Week 9.

Jimmy GrahamOct 29 05:23p

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) was limited in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and is questionable for the team's Week 9 game.

Brandon BrownerOct 29 05:03p

New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. FS Nate Ebner (finger), DE Dominique Easley (knee, shoulder), OT Cameron Fleming (finger) and [ More ]

Demario DavisOct 29 05:03p

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls (calf, knee) didn't practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. OG Oday Aboushi (shoulder), OG Willie Colon (knee), LB David Harris (shoulder), LG Trevor Reilly (knee) [ More ]

Terrell SuggsOct 29 04:53p

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), DT Haloti Ngata (shin), CB Jimmy Smith (foot), LB Terrell Suggs (neck), CB Lardarius Webb (non-injury) and OG Marshal Yanda (knee) all did [ More ]

Justin ForsettOct 29 04:53p

Baltimore Ravens RB Justin Forsett (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. Forsett is dealing with an ankle injury.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group