2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Titans ready, eager to win with coach Whisenhunt

    2014-07-22 16:44

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A coaching change always creates excitement, bringing the promise of more wins and elusive playoff berths.

Ken Whisenhunt's resume is loaded enough that the Tennessee Titans believe their new boss can end their losing ways.

''He understands what perfection looks like,'' receiver Nate Washington said. ''He understands what a Super Bowl looks like. He understands what getting to that top tier in the NFL is going to take, so his expectation right now is much needed. He understands what it's going to take for us to get to where we want to be, and that's hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the day.''

That's bold talk for a franchise that last reached the postseason in 2008 and last won a playoff game in January 2003. The Titans had losing records four of the past five seasons. New president Tommy Smith fired Mike Munchak after a 7-9 record and went outside team ties in hiring a man with Super Bowl experience.

Whisenhunt took the 2008 Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl, and won a championship ring three years earlier as Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator.

The Titans made a bunch of other changes, too. They cut one-time 2,000-yard rusher Chris Johnson, long-time kicker Rob Bironas, right tackle David Stewart and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. General manager Ruston Webster brought in a batch of veterans, including Pro Bowl punt returner Dexter McCluster, linebackers Shaun Phillips and Wesley Woodyard, and right tackle Michael Oher. He also re-signed safety Bernard Pollard and kick returner Leon Washington.

Whisenhunt brought in Ray Horton as defensive coordinator, and he's starting to move the Titans from the 4-3 scheme they've played for a couple of decades to a 3-4. Webster continues tinkering with the roster, helping ramp up the pressure to perform.

''That's what it needs to be like,'' Pollard said. ''Guys need to walk around on eggshells. That's how it needs to be, and I think guys are understanding. Guys are seeing what it's really like. ... With our coaching staff, they eat football, they sleep football. They smell like football, and that's what we needed.''

Some things to watch for at the Titans' training camp:

ALL EYES ON LOCKER: How the Titans fare depends heavily on quarterback Jake Locker. He has missed 14 of 32 games since being chosen the starter, which is why Tennessee did not pick up his 2015 option. But the Titans have made it clear Locker is the starter. Charlie Whitehurst was brought in as the backup.

Locker didn't miss a session on the field this offseason and will go into training camp healthy.

''Jake works hard,'' Whisenhunt said. ''He's doing a great job as far as studying the offense and understanding his reads, really done a good job with a lot of the little things. His footwork, his technique, we've seen improvement there, and that's really exciting to see.''

NO MORE CJ: Johnson was cut in April, so the Titans must replace the NFL's second-leading rusher since 2008. Bishop Sankey, a second-round pick out of Washington, has a chance at the starting job with veteran Shonn Greene coming off his second knee surgery in the past year. Veteran Dexter McCluster also will be used at running back after catching 53 passes in Kansas City last year. With Johnson, the Titans averaged 4.1 yards per carry in 2013.

REPLACING VERNER: Pro Bowl cornerback Alterraun Verner signed with Tampa Bay rather than returning to Tennessee, and the Titans didn't sign a veteran to replace him. Instead, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, a third-round draft pick in 2013 out of Connecticut, is competing with Coty Sensabaugh to start opposite veteran Jason McCourty.

BRAND NEW KICKER: Tennessee unexpectedly cut Bironas in March and brought in Maikon Bonani, who only kicked one field goal in the preseason with the Titans last year. Bonani, a Brazilian native who played at South Florida, at least spent most of the preseason in Tennessee. Travis Coons, an undrafted free agent from Washington, also is competing for the job.

TOP DRAFT PICK: The last team to sign its first-round draft pick a year ago, the Titans may cut it close again with left tackle Taylor Lewan. The 11th pick overall out of Michigan remains unsigned. Right guard Chance Warmack missed the first four practices of camp before getting his deal last year.

---

Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Ahmad DixonDec 21 11:52a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared SS Ahmad Dixon, LB Anthony Barr, OT Carter Bykowski, OG Charlie Johnson, TE Kyle Rudolph, CB Shaun Prater, FB Zach Line inactive for Week 16.

Devier PoseyDec 21 11:52a

The Houston Texans have declared WR DeVier Posey, TE Garrett Graham, LB Jason Ankrah, S Josh Aubrey, LB Mike Mohamed, QB Tom Savage, OG Xavier Su'a-Filo inactive for Week 16.

A.J. KleinDec 21 11:52a

The Carolina Panthers have declared LB A.J. Klein, OG Amini Silatolu, CB Carrington Byndom, OT David Foucault, RB DeAngelo Williams, DL Kyle Love, SS Robert Lester inactive for Week 16.

Charles GodfreyDec 21 11:52a

The Atlanta Falcons have declared CB Charles Godfrey, LB James Anderson, OG Jon Asamoah, CB Ricardo Allen, QB Sean Renfree, DL Stansly Maponga, LB Tyler Starr inactive for Week 16.

Jamarca SanfordDec 21 11:52a

The New Orleans Saints have declared SS Jamarca Sanford, DL Lawrence Virgil, LB Moise Fokou, WR Seantavius Jones, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, OT Terron Armstead, RB Travaris Cadet inactive for Week 16.

Justin BrownDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Clifton GeathersDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Carl BradfordDec 21 11:42a

The Green Bay Packers have declared DL Bruce Gaston, LB Carl Bradford, CB Davon House, C Garth Gerhart, WR Jeff Janis, TE Justin Perillo, QB Scott Tolzien inactive for Week 16.

Chris McCainDec 21 11:42a

The Miami Dolphins have declared LB Chris McCain, OT Dallas Thomas, RB Daniel Thomas, CB Don Jones, WR Matt Hazel, OG Nate Garner, WR Rishard Matthews inactive for Week 16.

Arthur BrownDec 21 11:42a

The Baltimore Ravens have declared LB Arthur Brown, DL Casey Walker, CB Chris Greenwood, C Gino Gradkowski, WR Michael Campanaro, OG Ryan Jensen, DL Terrence Cody inactive for Week 16.

Aaron MurrayDec 21 11:42a

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Aaron Murray, RB Charcandrick West, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, CB Marcus Cooper, DL Nick X. Williams inactive for Week 16.

Gary BarnidgeDec 21 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared OT Andrew McDonald, TE Gary Barnidge, RB Glenn Winston, CB Joe Haden, DB K'Waun Williams, WR Rodney Smith, OT Vinston Painter inactive for Week 16.

Chris ConteDec 21 11:42a

The Chicago Bears have declared FS Chris Conte, QB David Fales, OG Kyle Long, PK Robbie Gould, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott, DL Will Sutton inactive for Week 16.

Dakota DozierDec 21 11:33a

The New York Jets have declared OL Dakota Dozier, SS Jaiquawn Jarrett, QB Matt Simms, FS Rontez Miles, DL T.J. Barnes, WR Walter Powell, OG Wesley Johnson inactive for Week 16.

Alfonzo DennardDec 21 11:33a

The New England Patriots have declared CB Alfonzo Dennard, OG Dan Connolly, RB James White, OT Jordan Devey, WR Julian Edelman, CB Kyle Arrington, RB LeGarrette Blount inactive for Week 16.

Anthony CollinsDec 21 11:32a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have declared OT Anthony Collins, FB Evan Rodriguez, CB Isaiah Frey, DL Lawrence Sidbury, RB Mike James, WR Robert Herron, WR Solomon Patton inactive for Week 16.

Kelvin BenjaminDec 21 11:22a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin won't face Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) Sunday, Dec. 21, who is out with a shoulder injury.

Joe HadenDec 21 11:22a

Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) is out Sunday, Dec. 21.

Julio JonesDec 21 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is active Sunday, Dec. 21.

Jay CutlerDec 21 10:22a

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler is receiving trade interest from the Tennessee Titans. If the Titans landed him, it would alter the 2015 NFL Draft board dramatically.

T Y HiltonDec 21 10:22a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is a long shot to play Sunday, Dec. 21. However, he's going to try to suit up.

DeMarco MurrayDec 21 10:12a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) will play Sunday, Dec. 21, but the team is nervous how well he'll hold up in pass protection. If the team qualifies for [ More ]

Zach ErtzDec 20 07:42p

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz had 15 catches for 115 yards Saturday, Dec. 20. Both of which are career highs.

Philip RiversDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is active Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:12p

The San Diego Chargers have declared LB Cordarro Law, DL Damion Square, CB Greg Ducre, WR Keenan Allen, P Mike Scifres, DL Ryan Carrethers, RB Ryan Mathews inactive for Week 16.

Carlos HydeDec 20 07:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20.

Ahmad BrooksDec 20 07:02p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared LB Ahmad Brooks, OG Andrew Tiller, RB Carlos Hyde, OG Joe Looney, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Stevie Johnson, CB Tramaine Brock inactive for Week 16.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 20 06:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) will be a game-time decision Sunday, Dec. 21, after not practicing all week.

Julian EdelmanDec 20 06:02p

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (concussion) has been ruled out for Week 16. Edelman didn't receive final clearance from the concussion protocol to play Sunday, Dec. 21.

Dennis KellyDec 20 03:32p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, WR Jeff Maehl, S Jerome Couplin III, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, DE Taylor Hart, LB Trent Cole inactive for Week 16.

DeMarco MurrayDec 20 03:22p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) reportedly plans on playing this week despite a broken bone in his hand.

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