Tennessee Titans fans will enter this season with some trepidation as quarterback Vince Young will be trying to improve on a disappointing season last year. Was it due to his injured quadriceps, a sophomore slump or the Madden curse (for those of you who believe in those things)?
How will the change at offensive coordinator affect Vince? Can Mike Heimerdinger help Vince get it turned around or will Vince find it difficult to work with the Dinger?
One thing is certain — the Titans’ offense was ranked at or near the bottom of the league in many passing and passing-related categories last year. That needs to change. It would be nice if the offense were a little more balanced. It would be nice if the offense even had the threat of being more balanced. But until it is, defenses will continue to load up against the run and dare the Titans to beat them passing.
Vince Young – The mainstream media was making a big deal out of Vince going back to school to get his degree. I don’t know what the big deal is, but I think it’s great he’s doing it. Vince needs to take some time off, away from football, for a while. He’ll have the summer and training camp to work on his game after he’s been able to recharge his batteries. The main thing that worries me about Vince was his TD to INT ratio of 9 to 17 last year. That’s totally unacceptable. I’d like to see him break even on that stat this year and then improve it again the following season. Young also fumbled ten times but was fortunate that only three were lost. The main positive I see in Vince’s development is QB coach Craig Johnson, who will provide some stability and continuity. I’ll sure feel better if Vince has a good training camp and preseason. And it will also be nice to see him operating on good wheels this year.
Kerry Collins – After a dismal 2006 season, Collins did everything that was asked of him in 2007. As with any backup quarterback, his job is to replace the starter when necessary and win games. In his only start last year, the Titans scored a season-high 38 points. Collins’ last minute game winning drive against the Texans should give all Titans’ fans a comfort level if anything happens to Vince again. From all I’ve heard, Collins has been tremendous in helping Vince with a variety of things. This is the last year on his contract. A 13-year veteran, Collins is 35 years old and this may be his last season.
Ingle Martin – Will the Titans keep two quarterbacks or three this year? Probably two, but if they keep a third, Martin has the inside track on the job, at least for now. A Nashville native, whose career since high school is familiar to the locals, Martin was a fifth-round draft pick of the Packers and spent last year on the Titans’ practice squad.
Outlook: Drafting a quarterback in the late rounds isn’t entirely out of the question but it would surprise me a little. My best guesstimate is the Titans will go with just Young and Collins.
Next in the series of positional reviews: the running backs.