Within the last week, the Tennessee Titans have auditioned several defensive backs at Baptist Sports Park. Veterans such as Ken Lucas, Tye Hill, Aaron Rouse and Tra Battle have made visits over the last few days in their hopes of continuing their NFL playing days in the city of Nashville.
As for the Titans, it’s pretty obvious that the team has learned their lesson when it comes to having adequate depth in the secondary after horrendously dropping the ball in that category in 2009.
A lack of secondary depth played a key role in the team’s forgettable 0-6 start last year. With injuries to veterans such as Cortland Finnegan, Nick Harper and Vincent Fuller, the Titans were forced to give rookies Jason McCourty and Ryan Mouton on-the-job-training.
Of course, the results of that experiment are well-documented, as opposing signal-callers torched the Titans’ youthful corners on a recurring basis.
No disrespect to Vince Young’s re-emergence, but it’s no coincidence that the team’s improved level of play coincided with the return of the previously-injured veteran defensive backs to the starting lineup. Of course, street free agent-turned-playmaker Rod Hood’s solid play also contributed to the defensive backfield’s turnaround in the second half of the season.
In 2010, the Tennessee Titans are taking no chances when it comes to having enough depth in the secondary. In addition to bringing in veteran corners, the previous visit of Sean Jones (who chose to sign in Tampa) and last week’s get-to-know-you session with Aaron Rouse is an indication that the team is fortifying the safety position as well in case of an injury to starters Chris Hope and Michael Griffin.
After last season’s debacle, securing secondary depth obviously gets a thumbs up from this Titans’ blogger.
As for the guys who recently visited, here’s my take on the possibility of each player being signed by the Titans:
Ken Lucas– Like his experience as a starter and considering the wide-open race to find a starting CB opposite of Finny, Lucas could be a nice fit if he has anything left in the tank.
Tye Hill– former 1st round draft pick has the biggest upside of the players who visited last week. He’s either going to tap into the ability that earned him a spot in the first round a few years ago, or continue along the path of being somewhat of a bust.
Considering he’d be a depth signing at worst and a rejuvenated starter at best, Hill is the guy I’d sign if I were in Mike Reinfeldt’s shoes.
Aaron Rouse– not opposed to bringing in him in as a source of much-needed depth at the safety position.
Tra Battle– camp fodder at best, color me not too enthused about signing him.
Gibril Wilson– also scheduled to visit next week, Wilson has a ton of starting experience but hasn’t played that well since taking a page out of the James Washington/Larry Brown playbook by reaping the benefits of being a free agent after starting for a Super Bowl Champion.
Your turn, audience…What are your thoughts towards the Titans securing some veteran DB depth? Of the guys visiting, which one(s) would you like to see brought into the fold?