Anything about Sports

This site is dedicated to anything that is currently happening in sports, or to anything we feel like talking about.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

"The Show is Over Say Goodbye"


Who doesn't love that song?

Anyways, Billy Volek is a little upset.

Did anyone see this coming? Oh yeah, I did. Billy Volek will not be on this team on Sept. 9th. Book it!!

The Titans need some distractions though because the preseason has gone so well. Great decision by management. The Titans are a playoff team now with Collins at the helm. Wait nope.

But hey it could be worse. It could have been Jeff George.

That picture says it all.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Vols' Backfield

The Vols return their starting RB and FB from last year's team. This position should be one of UT's strength this upcoming season.

Starting TB: #27 Arian Foster So.


2nd String TB: #2 Montario Hardesty So.
3rd String TB: #22 LaMarcus Coker RS Fr.
4th String TB: #6 Ja'kouri Williams So.

Foster took over Gerald Riggs, Jr.'s starting spot last year after Riggs was injured for the year and ended his disappointing UT career. Foster was one of the lone bright spots from last season. Arian ran for over 100 yards in all five of his starts, including a high of 223 yards and 2 td's vs. Vandy. He did have off-season surgery, but has recovered very well and will be the starting tailback vs. Cal. Much is expected from Arian this season.

He has capable back-ups to spell him when he gets tired. Sophomore Montario Hardesty(#34 in picture) drew much praise last summer during workouts and preseason practice, only to tear his ACL in the 2nd game of the year. He was actually above Foster on the depth chart until the injury. Hardesty has also recovered nicely from his surgery and is getting back to the form he was at prior to the injury. Coker came in to UT last year as the most highly touted running back in the class. He struggled in practices, but has been great thus far this summer. He adds a big play threat with his unmatched speed. Look for both Hardesty and Coker to contribute greatly this season. Other reserve running backs include sophomore Ja'kouri Williams and senior David Yancey.

Starting Fullback: #45 Cory Anderson Sr.
2nd String FB: # 30 David Holbert Jr.

Cory Anderson returns for his senior year after considering turning pro following last season. That was a good decision by Cory because he did not have the type of year last year that was expected of him. He is an athletic freak though, and is being counted on to return to the type of player he was two seasons ago. Cory could be a huge factor this season. He is backed up by David Holbert. Holbert has done a good job since arriving in Knoxville. He has shown very good catching ability and decent blocking ability. He should see lots of playing time again this season, and make some great contributions on the field.

Overall Grade: A-, once again talent is abundant, only worry is overall inexperience at TB.

Alabama Offensive Preview


Alabama's offense will be a rebuilding process this year. Good thing the non-conference schedule consists of Hawaii, Louisiana Monroe, Duke and Florida International.

Sophomore Jon Parker Wilson will be the starting QB. He was highly touted coming out of high school. He will struggle a little early but should be fairly well settled in when Bama faces it's first true test on September 23rd at Arkansas.

The running backs are the strength of this team. Kenneth Darby enters the season only needing 1,077 yards to break the school's career rushing record held by Shaun Alexander. He ran for 1,200 yards last season and is a true work horse. Jimmy Johns, who has one of my favorite names and was recruited to be a QB, adds a nice compliment to Darby. Johns ran for 202 yards on 38 carries last year (5.3 yards per carry). He is a great athlete that could see some action at QB in certain sets.

D.J. Hall and Keith Brown will be the starting receivers. Both showed flashes of big play ability last year but both were inconsistent. Tyrone Prothro will take a medical redshirt this year and hopefully return for 2007.

The offensive line starts 3 sophomores so it will be a unit that will get stronger as the season goes on. The line has to be able to run block or the SEC season will be long and not very fun to watch for me.

Overall grade: C. The offense will struggle early but will get better as the year goes on and will be much improved in 2007.

Just Say No


The Titans offense has looked terrible. Volek has been terrible. Young has been terrible. The line has been terrible. Yes, you will not get any arguments from me on any of those points. That said, Kerry Collins is not the answer. What is the point? Give Volek his shot in the season. He has earned it. This just in: The Titans are not a playoff team. Why upset the chemistry of the team by bringing in Collins and making Volek mad. THERE IS NO POINT. Floyd it will only bring this team more problems and could even cost you and Jeff Fisher your jobs.

I had to get that out there. Here is my question: Are we seeing Norm Chow's full offense or has Fisher made him use a conservative version? This offense is not going to win in the NFL. You have to throw the ball down the field to someone other than a tight end. Is the problem the play calling or that we don't have the personnel to get down the field? Honestly, I don't know the answer to that question. I think we will see a whole new coaching staff here next year because Bud Adams will grow impatient and fire Fisher. I hope it doesn't happen but I fear that it will. Who will the Titans hire? Who knows but if they hold true to the rest of the NFL it will be someone who knows Bill Bellichek.

NOTES: I have no idea how to use colons and semi-colons. I also don't have any photoshop skills or photoshop for that matter.

Friday, August 25, 2006

New Mug Shot


Hot off the press!! We are glad to see his hair is still growing.

Adam Jones Arrested


Again I quote my mother-in-law, "nothing good ever happens after midnight."

Adam Jones was arrested last night in Murfreesboro. My #1 question is, "What is he doing in Murfreesboro?" Have you ever been to Murfreesboro? Let me tell you, if I were a professional athlete, which I obviously should be but I caught a few bad breaks, I would never go to Murfreesboro.

Ok, if you read my Titans preview you know that I am not a huge fan of Adam. He is an idiot. He should know he has a target on his back and every little thing is going to be a big deal. BUT, this seems like an arrest that was only made because he is Adam Jones. As a caller on the radio said, "If Pacman gets some good representation he can get the charged dropped to being a rich black man on a Friday morning." That guy is funny. I do love the mugshot though.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Tennessee Vols Offensive Preview



Well, it is almost here...football season!

Let's look at the UT Vols personnel this year. We will start with the QB's:

Starter: #10 Erik Ainge-Jr
2nd String: #8 Jonathan Crompton-RS Fr
3rd String: #14 Bo Hardegree-Jr
4th String: #15 Jim Bob Cooter-Sr

This is the biggest question mark on the offensive side for all of the Big Orange faithful. Ainge has the talent, as was seen his freshman year; but where was that talent last year? He seemed to self-destruct all season. Perhaps, it was because he never felt that he was the true starter. Well, he is the starter now and he needs to prove why he is. If he can't get the job done, RS Fr. Jonathan Crompton will be waiting in the wings. Crompton has done well all summer after a shoulder surgery, and looks to be a great QB in the future. Behind Crompton is Jr Bo Hardegree. Hardegree is a decent 3rd string QB, and has made good progress since last year. He is just does not have enough talent to be a SEC starter.

When discussing the UT quarterbacks, one must consider the new hire of a former UT offensive coordinator. David Cutcliffe has come back to Knoxville as the offensive coordinator and QB coach. This hire was met with much excitement from all UT fans. If anyone can turn Ainge around from last year, it is Cutcliffe.

Overall QB Grade: B-, the talent is there, it is whether it will shine or not.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

This Might Be Going Out on a Limb...



He's good.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Unwritten Rules


Well I had about half of this post written and then the power went out here at lovely Belmont University. Here goes again. I am sure this effort will be stronger.

Let me start by saying I cannot stand Roger Clemens. I know he furnished a locker room but who amongst us thinks he would have done that if his son was not on the team? Anyone, anyone? Ok that is what I thought. I think he is on steroids. Everybody yells, "Look at Barry Bonds. How can you get that much bigger and better as you get older?" Let's do a little geometry here: If Bonds=steroids because he got bigger and better as he got older and Clemens got bigger and better as he got older, then Clemens=steroids. Ok, not exactly a proof Coach Gore would be proud of, but you get the point.

So obviously this post is going to be biases. If not because I hate Clemens because I am a huge Cubs fan.

Ok in last night's marathon game, Clemens hit Jacque Jones between the one's in the first inning. I didn't get to see the game on Monday night but Cubs announcer Bob Brenly said that was from an incident in that game. Of course Clemens felt like he had to go out there and settle the score. Anyways, Clemens comes up in the bottom of the 5th and Cubs rookie pitcher Juan Mateo, making his second major league start, plunks Clemens in the arm. Right then both benches are warned, right? Nope nothing happens. I guess the umpire wanted to give Clemens his chance for retaliation in the fight that he started. Mateo is due to hit 3rd in the top of the 6th but Dusty takes him out. Still not sure why but he does. So Clemens realizes that it is over now because things are even, right? Nope wrong again. Clemens hits Ryan Theriot, pronounced "Terry-O", who pinch hit for Mateo. Then the umpire warns both benches. Too bad Z wasn't pitching.

That umpire is a moron. Clemens gets to start and end the fight. If he were going to warn the benches he should have either done it after Clemens got hit or after the Cubs got a chance to retaliate. Clemens should also have the balls to hit someone like Aramis Ramirez instead of an unknown rookie, but you know what they steroids does to men. I guess that is why he went after Theroit.

I did not mention above but this makes Juan Mateo my second favorite Cubs pitcher behind Z now. Shawn Estes could take a lesson from Mateo.

I am off my soapbox now. Thank you and have a wonderful Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

No more Hope


I have officially given up hope on the Atlanta Braves. I tried to hold out as long as I could, but the time has come to accept the truth: The Braves are not going to make the playoffs this year. There, I said it. After last night's offensive outburst, I thought "Just maybe the Braves can get hot and make a run". That thought was put to rest after tonight's display, which was the exact opposite of an offensive outburst. The Braves totaled two(2) hits. You have to give credit to Pedro Astacio, who pitched a heck of a ballgame...but he is Pedro Astacio. I thought he was out of the league like four years ago.

The Braves have had a great run--14 straight division championships. That run will end this season; however, I feel optimistic that a new run could begin next season.

A look at current players:
C--Brian McCann--one of the best young hitters in all of baseball.
1B--Adam LaRoche--has played great the last couple of months, and has proved that he can hit lefties consistently.
2B--Marcus Giles--a spark-plug, has also had a good second half...but definitely needs to be batting second.
SS--Edgar Renteria--has had a very good year, although he has struggled recently.
3B--Chipper Jones--when he's been healthy, he has been great...but he is getting older, so injuries may not slow down
LF--Diaz/Langerhans/Thorman--Diaz has been killing the ball(had 10 consecutive hits streak end yesterday), Langerhans is great defensively, and Thorman has a bright future. Not really sure if any of these guys are the answer in LF, though.
CF--Andruw Jones--will he back next year? He will be able to veto any trade, and has said that he wants to stay here. Still the best defensive OF in the game. He still has many good years left.
RF--Jeff Francoeur--super streaky. Has power, but still has a lot to work on. Also, a great defensive player.

SP--Smoltz, Hudson, Ramirez, James, ?--Smoltz has been awesome. Hudson not so awesome. Ramirez has been pretty good, except seems to always be hurt. James has done well, especially considering he wasn't expecting to have to be thrown in rotation this soon. No other starters have done much. Thomson, Hampton, and Davies are all hurt. Davies is expected to get back in the rotation soon.

RP--Would love to keep the bullpen in tact, because I feel like it is a solid bullpen right now, and also have some key guys on the DL that should help next year.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE FOR NEXT YEAR:
1. Find a leadoff hitter--The Braves need a legitimate leadoff hitter, preferably a LF. I think this is the biggest concern for next year.
2. Get healthy and stay healthy--A lot of times this cannot be controlled, but injuries have killed the Braves this year.

I do not know all of the contract and free agent stuff, but I am pretty sure that none of the key contributors for the Braves this year will be FA after this season.

Alright, thanks for reading and sorry for my long absence.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Titans Recap


I thought this game would be different than any other preseason game. In reality, it wasn't. It was still just a preseason game. Things were some exciting moments but overall it was boring.

The good:

The first good is the fact Reggie Bush is not in the AFC South. That guy is special. Most guys can't reverse field in the NFL. The Texans are going to regret that pick for a long time.

The offensive line played well. Fisher has said many times this year he is going to re-commit to the run. Saturday's game illustrated he was telling the truth and that this team has the ability to do it.

Chris Brown ran like a man on a mission. He finally came out and said he is not going to hold out. He looked stronger and faster. He will be a great back if he can stay on the field.

Antwan Odom looked like he is finally starting to get it. He was in the Saints backfield numerous times and even ran a play down from behind. If he steps up opposite Vanden Bosch the D-Line will be a force for this team.

Adam Jones was all over the field. He showed a lot of desire in a game that doesn't matter. That tells me he is turning the corner. He might a nice play of a screen pass to Bush pushing him out of bounds and he put a pretty good hit on Bush on a swing pass. Yes, I know he got a penalty on that play but that won't be called in the regular season. He also had a nice punt return that got called back.

Bobby Wade made some nice catches and showed some nice athleticism. He will be a solid #3 receiver for this team. Nice job by me for leaving him out of the Titans preview.

The bad:

The receivers, with the exception of Bobby Wade, did not look good. Drew Bennett had one of his classic "almost make a really nice catch" plays that would have been a huge gain. Roydell Williams dropped a pass from Vince Young that would have been at least a 50 yard gain.

Tyrone Calico couldn't get on the field because of another injury. In the words of Hawk Harrelson, "He Gone!!" You really should click on that link. What a funny website.

LenDale White was suspended one game for the spitting incident we talked about last week.

Randy Starks was arrested Saturday for a domestic abuse incident. This is that last thing the Titans need is an off the field distraction. Starks has never been in trouble before so hopefully this is a one time lapse in judgment.

Vince Young:

He played fine. There really isn't much to say. He looked a little shaky but that is to be expected. He will get better every week.

On NBC's telecast last night Peter King said Fisher plans to get Young on the field for at least one series each half during the regular season. If this can be done without upsetting the rhythm of the offense it is a great idea. They will have plays designed to help him succeed and gain confidence. It will make Young more prepared for 2007.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Let the Games Begin


Does anyone know what happened to Kayne? He used to be a contributor to this page and now he has gone the way of Rafael Palmeiro. Has anyone heard from that guy since last season?

Tomorrow night is the first game of the rest of our lives. I would say this is the most anticipated preseason game since the first one at the Coliseum. Fisher said yesterday the starters will likely play the whole first half, which is a bit unusual for the first preseason game. The game will have a bit of a Rose Bowl flavor to it as Vince Young, LenDale "Robby Alomar" White and Reggie Bush will all be in the house. All eyes will be on Young as he makes his debut as a Titan. This page, as well as every other internet site about sports, will break down his performance early next week so stay tuned.

David Climer has a great column in the Tennessean today about the Chris Brown saga. As the article mentions he needs to take a page from the Billy Volek book and remind his agent who works for whom. (how you like that grammar Don?) If Brown does leave camp the Titans should just fine him every day until he comes back. Brown needs the Titans a lot more than the Titans need him. As I have said before, have a great season this year and you can name your price on the open market. It really is that simple. Shut up and play.

Enjoy the game Saturday night. It is awesome to have football on TV again.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Thursday Night Fights (but really morning)


Ok, I just saw a ESPN article about a fight at Titans camp between rookie Lendale White and Donnie Nickey among others. I'd like to wlak you through my emotions reading the article. Initially, I was disgusted thinking "thats what we get for drafting this dude when no one else would." Then it said that White may have even spit on Nickey which made it even worse.

However, after a few minutes of quiet contemplation, I now have a changed opinion of the situation. I kinda like it. Hopefully, he didn't spit or at least not intentionally, but other than that I like it. These guys are showing heart and a desire to go out there and compete. Last year by the end of the year many of the guys were just trying to make it through the season. I'm glad they are getting after it now.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Maurice Clarett


Anytime something like this happens it always sparks a debate on who has fallen the fastest from grace. I don't think anyone has fallen faster or further than Clarett in the history of sports. Think about this: Just 3 1/2 years ago Clarett was the star running back for a National Championship team. He even scored the winning TD in the Fiesta Bowl. All he had to do was show up for 2 more seasons at Ohio State, probably not even go to class since it is Ohio State, and, barring injury, he would have been a first round pick in the NFL. That would have given him a solid $10-20 million nest egg.

Instead he gets in high speed chases with the police at 2 A.M. while wearing a bullet proof vest with 4 loaded guns in his SUV. Maybe I am way off base here but I don't think he was going to the late night pick-up window at Wendy's. My mother-in-law always says, "Nothing good happens after midnight." My mom doesn't say that because she has never been up past 10.

Clarett will now be spending a few years in jail desparetly trying to hang on to the soap instead of spending 16-20 Sundays a year hanging on the the football. Great choice Maurice!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Quandary


Today I find myself in a quandary. Why you ask? Well I will tell you. The Cubs just finished their best homestand since 1998. Here is my quandary: I want the Cubs to win. I am a Cubs fan whether they are 62-10 or 10-62. I can't make myself watch a game and not root for them. The problem is the more the Cubs win in these last two months of the season the more likely it is that Dusty Baker will get an extension.

Now Don is probably reading this and thinking "but you can't blame Dusty for this season." Don, you are correct. I don't blame Dusty for the disaster that has been this season. I do blame Dusty for being a moron. I blame Dusty for mishandling a young pitching staff since he arrived on the scene in 2003.

I blame Dusty for continuously putting together line ups that make absolutely no since. Someone needs to tell him that just because a guy is playing second base that doesn't mean he has to hit second (see Neifi Perez). Look at D-Lee's #'s from last year. He hit .335 with 46 home runs and 107 RBI's. It is insane a 3 hitter with those #'s to only have 107 RBI's. Most of the year Dusty hit Korey Patterson, I know how to spell his name the K represents his favorite at bat, in the lead-off spot. Korey hit .215 last year. That is laughable. The #2 hitter most of the year last year, the aforementioned Neifi Perez, or Neefi Peter as my wife calls him, hit .274 last year with an OBP of .298. That is terrible for a #2 hitter. How many RBI's would D-Lee have had with Todd Walker and Matt Murton hitting in front of him. We can only imagine.

I also blame Dusty for not making this team practice before games. There have been numerous reports from Chicago that this team has done nothing to work on any kind of fundamentals since Spring Training. Maybe that is why they make more mental mistakes than any team in the history of baseball. (that is probably not really true but I dare you to try and prove me wrong Don)

Dusty also only hires coaches that are a part of his good ole' boy network. I think that means they believe, as he does, that walks only "clog the bases." Yes, he actually said that. I guess he hasn't read the book called Moneyball that Billy Beane wrote. Wait Beane only wrote that book in Joe Morgan's world.

Now you can see my quandary. Jim Hendry loves Baker and would like nothing better than to be able to bring him back. The more games this team wins the more terrified I will be. The Cubs will never win a World Series with Baker calling the shots. Of course they haven't won a World Series in a million years so what am I saying really?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Sunday Post


After an exciting (not really), inspiring (nah), and patriotic (maybe) victory by the MLS(that would be soccer) Allstars over Chelsea, I think it is time to make a soccer post on this sports website. I wanted to do it after the World Cup, but I failed (Just like the US team did).
I don't like soccer. Don't get me wrong; I think it IS a sport, and I imagine my child will one day play. However, I don't like it and here is why:
1. Lack of scoring- I can't really think of another sport where almost scoring is as exciting as scoring. These guys run up and down a giant field and almost score over and over. I end up missing any real goals because they only happen by accident.
2. Flopping- I realize flopping/faking happens in other sports (see Vlade Divac). However, I have never seen anyone cry and be carried off on a stretcher only to return 2 minutes later. If you rarely watch soccer, you may think, "Man these guys get really hurt" until you see that same guy who "broke his leg" sprinting full out on the next play (do they have plays?)
3. The referees- In every other sport, a good day for the ref/ump is a day unnoticed. Not so with soccer. These guys have full page bios in the progams at games and tourneys. People know more about them then they know about the players.
4. People keep telling me why I should- Just don't tell me what to do; I won't do it.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Daily 3 from Thursday, Aug. 3


1. Maddux loses no-no to rain. Newly acquired Greg Maddux pitched 6 innings of no-hit ball for the LA Dodgers before a 45 minute rain delay took him out of the game. Maddux struck out 3 and also walked 3 in his 6 innings of work. The best quote came from Manager Grady Little, "He(Maddux) said he had a no-hitter in Little League that would last him the rest of his life." All that Maddux has achieved in his illustrious MLB career, a no-hitter has eluded him. What has not eluded Mad-Dog is very loud cussing when he gets mad.

2. Floyd Landis' latest excuse. How many reasons can you think of to say that your testosterone level was not normal? What's next? "The hard seat on my bike + my extemely tight spandex = increase in testosterone."

3. USA Today College Football Preseason Poll. You could argue that this is today's news, but I don't care because I am so ready for football to begin. Ohio State is #1, Vols are #23, Crimson Tide is #24. The hated Bulldogs are #14. But, everyone knows that it is the poll at the end of the season that matters.


"Almost made the list" list:
Utley extends hitting streak to 35 games.
Javy Lopez close to going to Red Sox?


"Most Worthless Sports Story of the Day":
Storm beat Mystics in battle of fourth seeds.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Top 3 Sports Stories from Wednesday, Aug. 2


Today will be the first day of daily posts recapping the top sports stories from the previous day.



1. Sooners' starting OL J.D. Quinn dismissed from team. Quinn, along with roommate QB Rhett Bomar, were dismissed from Oklahoma's football team for taking "payment over an extended period of time in excess of time actually worked." Supposedly they worked about 5 hours a week for Big Red Sports/Imports auto dealership, and pulled in an income of $18,000 a year. Maybe they had to work really, really hard for those 5 hours a week? This hurts the team quite a bit as they were predicted to win the Big 12 South with Bomar starting, now they have to find a new QB. Okay, so maybe Bomar getting dismissed is a bigger story than J.D. being dismissed...but I felt like J.D. should get some attention.

2. Chase Utley extends hit streak to 34 games. Phillies 2B Chase Utley was 0-4 going into what was most likely his last at-bat in the 8th inning. Utley hit a bouncing ball to the left of the mound. The Cardinals' pitcher got the ball, looked back the runner at 3B, and turned to throw to first...only to not get the ball there in time. Utley was awarded a hit much to the dismay of the St. Louis crowd...but that is when craziness began: the official scorer took the hit off of the board for further review. Was it an error? Was it a hit? That is what the announcers Eric Karros and Dave O'Brien decided to talk about for the next 20 minutes. Only to it not even mattering since Utley came up to bat in the 9th and hit a clean single off of Jason Isringhausen. Thanks for wasting twenty minutes of my life Eric and Dave!

3. Floyd Landis. Nothing really happened yesterday in all of this, but until this is finally solved, this will be on the list or at least on the "almost made the list" list.


"Almost made the list" list:
Former Ohio State BBall coach wins 2.2 million lawsuit against OSU.
2007 #1 Rated HS RB Caleb King: Where's he going(for High School).
Who needs Big Papi when you have Mark Loretta.


"Most Worthless Sports Story of the Day":
Sun burn Liberty for Record-tying 8th Straight Win!

Titans Preview Part 7- The Adam Jones Show


Camp Notes:
  • This article blows my mind. So because all of the receivers that were drafted in that draft have been busts it is ok that Calico is one too? It is time for Calico to prove something or move on to the arena league.

This is the final day of our Titans preview. This might be the most interesting one of all. The secondary. You can probably tell by reading this page that I am not very impressed with Adam Jones. (see mug shot above) Rumor has it that he legally changed his name to Pacman. As stated earlier, he will not be called that until he does something in the NFL to earn it. Maybe this year he will actually be able to catch a punt. OK, enough of the anger. He has the ability to be a great NFL corner. He has the attitude and speed that he needs to hang in there with the big time receivers. He worked hard in the offseason and has been all over the field in training camp. This is probably because he doesn't know what training camp is since he decided to sit it out last year. See there I go again. Seriously though, look for Adam to take some big steps forward this year both in his coverage and return games. Maybe he won't lead the league in penalties again. I just can't help myself.

Starting opposite of "The Chosen One" is Reynaldo Hill. As you can see from his picture, as well as Adam's picture, the Titan secondary leads the league in hair (see Lamont Thompson). Anyways, Hill was a nice surprise last year after being a 7th round pick in the draft. He beat out 3rd year corner Andre Woolfolk to become the permanent starter. He had some trouble late in the year but look for him to be much improved this year. He might start to get picked on if "The Franchise" really does become the shut down corner he was drafted to be. Hill says that is ok with him.

Speaking of Andre Woolfolk it is time for him to put up or join Calico on the Kats. We are partial to him here on this page because he lives next door to one of our friends. But, that doesn't excuse the fact that he has been a bust to this point. He has been slowed by injuries but last year when he was healthy he lost his job to a 7th round pick. Woolfolk will most likely see most of his action as the nickel corner this year. He is in a battle for that spot with Vincent Fuller.

Fuller was brought in during camp last year. He was on pace to be the nickel corner but an injury sidelined him for most of the season. The coaching staff is in love with him. My guess is they will find some way to get him on the field.

The safeties should be a strength for the team this year. Lamont Thompson, another member of the all hair team, had a strong 2004 campaign but struggled last year. He did a very respectable thing this summer when he came out and said that he had a bad year last year. He reported to camp 19 pounds lighter than last season. Look for him to have a very good 2006 season.

The other safety is one of the newest Titans Chris Hope. He comes over from the World Champion Steelers and should add some valuable experience to a young defense. He plugs the hole left by the departure of Tank Williams.

So ends our Titans preview. Look for this team to make steady improvement throughout the season. Unfortunately, this is probably still a 5 to 7 win team.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Titans Preview Part 6- The Linebackers


Camp Notes:

The Tennessean must have heard that I was going to do a linebacker preview today because there is a nice article in the paper today about the linebackers. Let's start with the obvious: Keith Bulluck is one of the best linebackers in the game, not to mention he is my favorite Titan. He is one of the mainstays of this roster and has gotten better every year. He flies all over the field and is in on pretty much every tackle that is made.

One of the big free agent acquisitions in the off season was outside linebacker David Thornton. He will solidify the outside linebacker spot opposite of Bulluck that was a weakness last year. Hopefully since he played for the Colts last year, he knows what all of the crap Peyton yells between plays means and one time he will get to him and knock him into the middle of 2010.

Currently the middle linebacker spot is held down by Peter Sirmon. Sirmon has struggled since his knee injury in 2003. He is has a pretty high cap number so he could still be cut before that final day. He is an extremely smart player who always seems to be in position.

The Titans drafted three linebackers in the 2006 draft. These linebackers are Terna Nande, the new best name on the Titans taking over for Tank Williams now of the Minnesota Vikings, Stephen Tulloch and Spencer Toone. These guys probably won't see much playing time this season except on special teams.

The Titans also have backup linebackers Rob Reynolds and Cody Spencer who have been with this team for a couple years and provide valuable experience and knowledge of the defense.

The linebacking core will be better this year and will be part of a defense that will be significantly better than last year. Watch for this defense to improve every week during the 2006 season.

Tomorrow: The secondary featuring Adam Jones.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Titans Preview Part 5- The D Line


Camp notes:
  • 2005 5th round pick Damien Nash was cut yesterday after showing up to camp overweight.
  • Erron Kinney will have his knee scoped and miss the next 2 weeks of camp.

On with the preview. The pass rush is one of the most important aspects of a defense. A good pass rush can make up for a lot of other defensive weaknesses. The most notable of these is a weak secondary. The Titans had lacked a big pass rushing presence since Jevon Kearse left until last year when Kyle Vanden Bosch burst on the scene with 12.5 sacks. The Titans rewarded him by signing him to a long term deal.

The only other big name on this line is tackle Albert Haynesworth. When healthy, Fat Albert is a heck of a presence in the middle. He can create that push that moves the line of scrimmage back a yard or two. The problem is he is rarely healthy. Not to mention he hasn't played a full season since his rookie year, any Titans fan knows how many times a game Fat Albert either lays on the field or asks to come out of the game because he needs a breather. Fatty is in a contract year so hopefully that will be the motivation he needs to take the step to become one of the elite tackles in the NFL.

Starting opposite of Haynesworth will be Randy Starks. His role will be expanded this year with the loss of pass rushing tackle Rien Long for the season. Jared Clauss will also be expected to step up because Titans defensive co-ordinator Jim Schwartz loves to rotate tackles in and out. Rookie Jesse Mahelona will need to step in and play some big snaps. One of the stories of this year's camp so far is undrafted free agent Jeff Littlejohn from Middle Tennessee State University. He has been impressing the coaching staff daily and with the loss of Long has a good chance to make this team. Look for the Titans to try to add someone to this group after the final round of cuts.

Besides Vanden Bosch the defensive ends on this roster have a lot to prove. Travis LaBoy is expected to start at the other end while Antwan Odom and Bo Scobel will see significant time. All 3 of these guys are in their third year, see I told you the Titans draft 5 D-linemen every year, and it is time for them to step up. None of them have been very impressive to this point. It is time now to step up or find someone else to fill these spots.

Bottom line: This bunch has a lot to prove this year. If they step up this unit will have familiar faces in 2007 if not it could be another D-Line draft in 2007.