It's time for a slight diversion from our position analysis series. The Titans opened training camp today. Aside from the body and mind shape aspects of training camp, the other big deal is trimming the roster from the current 80 players to the 53 it needs to be come Thursday in Pittsburgh.
You may recall that, before the draft, I did a post on whether or not the Titans had room for all their draft picks. In that post, I did a preliminary stab at identifying which players had a good chance to make the opening day roster. With camp opening, it's time for me to play Jeff Fisher and take my first real crack at who will be among the fortunate 53.
As a reminder, I'll reprint from this article I did last preseason on what sort of breakdown we've see from the Titans in the past:
So, what's my prediction:
QB: Kerry Collins, Vince Young
RB: Ahmard Hall, Chris Johnson, Javon Ringer, LenDale White
TE: Jared Cook, Alge Crumpler, Bo Scaife, Craig Stevens
WR: Kenny Britt, Justin Gage, Lavelle Hawkins, Mark Jones, Nate Washington
OL: Eugene Amano, Ryan Durand, Troy Kropog, Leroy Harris, Kevin Mawae, Mike Otto, Michael Roos, Jake Scott, David Stewart
DE: Dave Ball, Jacob Ford, William Hayes, Kyle Vanden Bosch
DT: Tony Brown, Jovan Haye, Jason Jones, Sen'Derrick Marks, Kevin Vickerson
LB: Keith Bulluck, Ryan Fowler, Stanford Keglar, Gerald McRath, Josh Stamer, David Thornton, Stephen Tulloch
CB: DeMarcus Faggins, Cortland Finnegan, Nick Harper, Ryan Mouton, Cary Williams
S: Vinny Fuller, Tuff Harris, Michael Griffin, Chris Hope, Donnie Nickey
K: Rob Bironas
P: Craig Hentrich
LS: Ken Amato
QB: I think the Titans would prefer to keep 3 quarterbacks, but I think VY shows enough in camp to fend off a challenge from Ramsey, and the roster spot is needed elsewhere.
RB: Another place under a space crunch, with my prediction leaving returnees Ganther and Henry off the team. Ringer looks like the best replacement for LenDale for next season.
TE: Would they really cut Crumpler? Craig Stevens' development from last season will answer that question. I don't think Crump is much of a special teams guy, and that could be the difference.
WR: 4 TEs leaves this position at 5, which is probably one too short. Chris Davis needs to win a returning job to make the team. That could leave Hawkins looking in.
OL: I don't know when Mawae will be healthy, so they're forced to keep an extra body here. My guess is that's Durand, but I'm not very confident of that. That would leave Amano as the backup at C if Mawae is out and Harris goes down. See who replaces Harris at C in the preseason games, and that's the guy who may get this roster spot.
DE/DT: Eleven players, no more than nine spots. I went back and forth on whether Kearse or Vickerson got the last spot. It'll probably be Kearse, but Vickerson has more of a niche. For Jevon, it may be if he's not a starter, he doesn't make the team, and Ball's ahead of him there. Mitch King would have a better shot if the Titans were the Lions or another team that isn't looking to try to go for it in the next two years.
LB: Starters and backups are chalk. I don't have a roster spot for Allred, and think they keep Stamer.
CB: History says they'll keep at least 5. I see 2 names I actually like. 3rd round pick means Mouton is 3. Actually signing Faggins makes 4.
S: 5 returners. Harris's spot depends on special teams play and love from Fish. I probably should have Allred instead of him, and would if I had 6 CBs.
Other: I wanted to see Hentrich retire, and am worried about his performance falling off a cliff. Trapasso will get all the work Craig doesn't want in camp, but Hentrich will make the team.
Ok, have at it. Who makes the team, and who isn't around?