Titans are thinning the herd

Every time one player encounters adversity it creates opportunity for someone else. That’s how it’s been going in the Titans’ offseason, training camp and preseason so far, in a synergistic sense, as the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
Each time a player misses practice, he falls two practices behind someone else — the practice he missed and the one somebody else gained.
After nearly three weeks of camp, it’s become much clearer who has the inside track for many of the roster spots, usually because of poor play by and/or injuries to others.
Tackle: Mike Otto has missed a lot of time with a knee injury and has far less reps in the battle for the backup tackle spot, which has narrowed the competition to Dan Loper and Seth Wand. I’ve got to confess I’ve never been a fan of Wand’s. How good can he be when he was cut by the team with the worst o-line in the league? Loper, on the other hand, can play every position on the line but center.
Tight end: Jamie Petrowski seems to have taken himself out of contention by missing multiple practices with leg injuries. It appears that Troupe, Scaife, Hartsock and Cramer will be the four tight ends, with Petrowski and Wallace on the outside looking in.
Quarterback: The two rookie QBs didn’t last long, leaving Vince Young and Kerry Collins as the first two QBs. Tim Rattay hasn’t had a particularly good camp and needed to outperform Collins by a wide margin. His only other hope is for the Titans to keep three QBs.
Receiver: Jonathan Orr is in serious danger of being cut. Orr spent all of last season as a gameday inactive and has also missed a lot of time since camp opened. Justin Gage hasn’t performed well at all and doesn’t look to make the team as is also the case with Joel Filani. I don’t see any way David Givens can play at even a low level and will start the season on either the PUP list, or more likely, IR. Moulds, Roby, B. Jones, R. Williams, P. Williams and Davis all seem pretty certain to make the roster.
Running back: I don’t recall a time when the Titans went into a season with more than three backs. I haven’t seen Ganther or Moore do anything to make the Titans want to change that this year.
Cornerback: Michael Waddell needed to have a great camp; instead he’s missed more practices than he’s made. Andre Woolfolk is now on IR. Ryan Smith hasn’t looked too good and the other six corners appear to have been given roster spots by default.
Linebacker: See above. Toone, Allred and Nande look like they’re giving the other six contenders jobs by default.
Defensive tackle: Antonio Johnson is on IR with an ACL, giving Randy Starks, Rien Long and Jesse Mahelona all a better chance to make the team, after Albert Haynesworth and Tony Brown. Long has missed a lot of practice time as well.
Defensive end: Same story, second chapter. Jacob Ford was just placed on IR with a severed Achilles’ tendon. KVB, Odom and LaBoy should have three spots locked down, with Sean Conover having the inside track for the fourth DE spot, ahead of Josh Savage.
Safety: Although he’s had a decent camp thus far, Lamont Thompson is skating on some very thin ice. It’s my belief that Calvin Lowry and Vinnie Fuller both are, or will end up, ahead of Thompson. Chris Hope will once again be the starter at strong safety with Donnie Nickey and Bryan Scott competing for the backup spot. Give the edge to Nickey for his special teams play.
All team rosters must be trimmed to 75 players on August 28 and to 53 players by September 1. I fully expect the Titans to pick up at least one player off the waiver wire at that time. DE and DT appear to be the most likely positions for that to occur.

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