Projected Titans Team After Saturday
Final roster cuts will be coming this weekend around the NFL, so it is time to take a look at who might be on the initial 53-man roster for the Tennessee Titans – excluding waiver claims, of course, who might dislodge a player or two following final cuts.
QB (2): Marcus Mariota, Matt Cassel
Alex Tanney puts up a good fight for a spot here, but with needs at other positions and on special teams, a third quarterback is not a luxury the Titans can afford.
RB (5): DeMarco Murray, Derrick Henry, Jalston Fowler (FB), Dexter McCluster, Antonio Andrews
McCluster sticks as the return man and in some situational packages, while Andrews gets the nod over Bishop Sankey because of his special teams skills. The Titans might try to move Sankey in a trade.
WR (5): Tajae Sharpe, Rishard Matthews, Andre Johnson, Harry Douglas, Kendall Wright.
The emergence of Sharpe has been a revelation and might have been part of the reason the Titans gave up on Dorial Green-Beckham. Graybeards Johnson and Douglas stick around and will have roles, with Douglas operating in the slot until Wright returns from injury. Justin Hunter’s time could be up, while Tre McBride’s shot to make the roster was through special teams.
TE (3): Delanie Walker, Anthony Fasano, Phillip Supernaw
The retirement of Craig Stevens opens up a roster spot somewhere on the roster, and possibly leaves a run-heavy team needing to comb the waiver wire for an additional body at this position. Alex Ellis may have shown enough to be a practice squad candidate.
OL (8): Taylor Lewan, Quinton Spain, Ben Jones, Chance Warmack, Jack Conklin, Brian Schwenke, Sebastian Tretola, Dennis Kelly
Tretola doesn’t have the versatility of being able to play multiple positions like most backups are required to do, but left guard Spain can slip outside to tackle, center Jones is a former guard and rookie Conklin could switch to left tackle if needed. So while the versatility may not be in the usual spots with all the backups, it does exist enough for this group to work. The notable omission here is last year’s third-rounder Jeremiah Poutasi, but the way 2015 picks are falling, it wouldn’t be a surprise at this point.
Titans Look To Squish The Fish In Pre-Season Finale
There are still a handful of unanswered issues for the Tennessee Titans to possibly address in the preseason, even though starters won’t play much and some might not play at all against the Miami Dolphins.
But there still might be time for a couple of players on the roster bubble to sway things in their direction or impress another team if things don’t work out with the Titans. There are even a couple of players seemingly locked into spots on the roster with things to prove.
Get Antwon Blake back on track
Blake has had a rough couple of games for the Titans. Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said this week that Blake has been in the right spots on defense, but has missed tackles and did not make plays he had to make. It sounds as if Blake is safe, but that’s the same formula that got Blidi Wreh-Wilson cut his week.
Sort out the cornerback situation
Along those lines, exactly how many cornerbacks to the Titans keep on the 53-man rosters. Youngsters like Kalan Reed, LeShaun Sims and Cody Riggs have made some of the “wow” plays that Mike Mularkey has spoken about. Is that enough for them to earn a spot, perhaps at the expense of a player or two that already knows LeBeau’s system, like Blake or B.W. Webb?
See how Alex Tanney looks
With the injuries to Teddy Bridgewater and Tony Romo this past week, quarterbacks are a scarce commodity around the NFL. The Titans would probably like to have Tanney back on their practice squad, which means exposing him to waivers. The problem is that with teams needing backup quarterbacks, some team could claim him, especially if he continues to show the moxie he has shown in his other preseason outings this summer.
Tre McBride: In or out
The Titans wouldn’t mind if McBride stepped up and claimed the kickoff return job. But doing so might mean keeping six receivers. With Kendall Wright still uncertain due to a hamstring injury, it helps to assure that Harry Douglas has a role as well. McBride is one who may need something special in the preseason finale to stick around.
Who will be the big surprise?
Every year, some player ends up surprising and making the roster. Right now, the odds on favorite for that might be undrafted rookie nose tackle Antwaun Woods, though players like Mehdi Abdesmad, J.R. Tavai and Alex Ellis may be in this conversation as well.