For some Titans, the pressure is on

NBA legend Charles Barkley once uttered the following words to describe pressure: “Pressure is something that goes in tires.”
The quote was the Round Mound of Rebound’s retort to the high expectations he and his Phoenix Suns teammates faced as they attempted to bring the franchise their first championship during the 1992-1993 season.
As we head towards the onset of the 2008 NFL season, like Barkley a decade and a half ago, several Titans face the unenviable task of living up to lofty expectations.
How will the following Titans respond to the pressure that awaits them?

Vince Young
Being the team’s franchise quarterback is the reason why I feel that Young is the Titan under the most pressure in 2008. Despite leading the team to a 10-6 record and a playoff birth, the pressure will be on Young to bounce back from a subpar season in which his interception total (17) almost doubled his touchdown passes (9).
Young should benefit greatly from the return of Mike Heimerdinger, who should do a much better job of utilizing the unique skill-set that Young possesses. I expect Young to bounce back nicely from a dismal second year in the NFL.
LenDale White
White is perhaps the league’s most unheralded 1,100 yard rusher. Despite leading the Titans in rushing last season with 1,110 yards and rumbling for 7 touchdowns with a torn meniscus, there are still question marks surrounding LenDale.
White’s lack of explosiveness made attaining the services of a more explosive back a priority in April’s draft. While rookie Chris Johnson expects to contribute mostly in the passing game and on special teams, he will also probably take away some of LenDale’s carries in the backfield.
Hopefully, Johnson’s presence, (as well as a healthy meniscus) will serve as a means of pushing White to reach his full potential in 2008.
Jevon Kearse
Kearse is hoping to find his fountain of youth with his second stint with the Titans. A productive return to the franchise where he attained his greatest accomplishments as a pro appears to be the perfect Hollywood-script for a comeback story.
As a result of the free agent departures of two DE’s, the Titans will be counting on Kearse to perform well next year. The pressure is on “The Freak” to stay healthy and be something close to the menacing presence he was during his first go-around with the Titans.
Charles Barkley was right about pressure being something that goes into tires. However, pressure is also a force that will surround Vince Young, LenDale White and Jevon Kearse as Tennessee Titans next year.
Hopefully, pressure will motivate these Titan players to accomplish bigger and better things in 2008.

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