We'll continue our preseason positional analyses by taking a look at how the Tennessee Titans stack up at tight end.
Since our last examination of the TE position, there's certainly been a change or two. Much-maligned and everyone's favorite safety valve, Bo Scaife, has left the building and his presence has been replaced by fellow veteran Daniel Graham.
Of course, as they say..some things never change, such as the yearly expectation that Jared Cook is finally going to have his long-awaited breakout campaign.
More on whether or not this is finally the season that Jared Cook steps up and other matters regarding the Titans' state of affairs at the TE position...after the jump.
The time may finally be now for Jared Cook
Cook's always had the ability but this season, there appears to be a fire in the talented tight end's belly that's going to translate into a very productive 2011 for #89.
Unlike the previous regime, the current Titans' coaching staff has all the confidence in the world in Cook's abilities and seem eager to get the most out of his talents by making him a prime target of the team's passing attack. As evidenced by Cook emerging as the team leader in receptions during the preseason, getting the ball into his hands is going to be a recurring theme in 2011.
I'm expecting a breakout campaign for Cook, with him tallying in the neighborhood of 50-65 catches for 700 yards or so and a few trips to the end zone.
While Cook serves as the primary receiving threat, the next two guy's I'll examine will predominantly serve in the role as blocking tight ends.
Craig Stevens is first up on the depth chart and if he's able to avoid the pitfalls of the injury bug, he should continue to serve as the team's primary blocking TE. In addition to his blocking skills, Stevens also has the ability to make a few catches in the team's passing game.
If anything happens to him, offseason signee Daniel Graham is more than capable of stepping up in his place.
Graham could emerge as one of the team's unsung free agent signings. He's a solid vet who has alot of experience in this league and if Stevens gets injured, I'm not going to lose much sleep if Graham is forced into significant action.
The rest of the bunch
There are two other tight ends on the roster: Cameron Graham and Riar Geer.
Graham is an undrafted free agent and Geer is a holdover from the team's practice squad in 2010.
With the three aforementioned veterans firmly ahead of them, both Graham and Geer face long odds to make the roster.
Your turn...audience. Will Cook have his long-awaited breakout season? Any other thoughts on the TE position?