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49ers opponents 2013 preview: Tennessee Titans in free agency and the draft

We take a look at the Titans in anticipation of the upcoming season.


Veteran Additions: RB Shonn Greene, WR Kevin Walter, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick,OT Barry Richardson, RB Jalen Parmele, G Andy Levitre, G Chris Spencer, C Rob Turner, S Bernard Pollard, DT Sammie Lee Hill, DT Ropati Pitoitua, ILB Moise Fokou, TE Delanie Walker, S George Wilson.

Veteran Subtractions: RB Javon Ringer, G Steve Hutchinson, QB Matt Hasselbeck, G Leroy Harris, C Eugene Amano, G Deuce Lutui, DE/DT Jarius Wynn, TE Jared Cook, CB Ryan Mouton, DT Sen'Derrick Marks, OLB Will Witherspoon, DT Leger Douzable, OLB Gerald McRath, RB Jamie Harper, ILB Zac Diles, S Jordan Babineaux.

Rookie Additions: G Chance Warmack, WR Justin Hunter, CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, OLB Zaviar Gooden, C/G Brian Schwenke, DE Lavar Edwards, CB Khalid Wooten, S Daimion Stafford.

Strengths: The Titans are the type of team that makes me question my current "strengths and weaknesses" model of evaluation. Most of the time, there are clear cut strengths and weaknesses. But, every once in a while, a player comes along that is a bit hard to place. With the Titans, the tricky player is Jake Locker. He hasn't been a lights out player or a really crappy one, mainly because he is wildly inconsistent. At times, he looks lights out and others really crappy. I am discussing him in the strengths, however, because he is young and has probably the best offense with which to work since he has entered the league.

First off, Locker has Chris Johnson to lean back upon. While Johnson's drop off in production the last few years has been well-documented, his bounce back last season went a little more unnoticed. For Titan fans, the most hopeful statistical indication that this will continue is his continued rise in yards per attempt. Last season he was at a very respectable 4.5, up from 4.0 the year before that.

Johnson, like Locker, should also benefit from a re-vamped o-line. The Titans brought in stud G Andy Levitre from the Bills and then drafted Chance Warmack. They join Fernando Velasco, Michael Roos, and David Stewart to round out what looks like a very solid o-line. Maybe they could just give us Delanie Walker back, since they don't really need his blocking skills...

Locker also has to hope that Kendall Wright continues to emerge as a legitimate target after his strong rookie season.

On defense, the Titans are good at rushing the passer. LBs Zach Brown and Akeem Ayers and DEs Derrieck Morgan and Kamerion Wimbley all got about six sacks last season, which is solid production in the aggregate. The addition of Sammie Lee Hill from the Lions should also bolster this strength.

Weaknesses: The Titans need to hope that this pass rush helps the secondary. Their front office attempted to upgrade the safety position by bringing in Bernard Pollard and George Wilson. The latter is pretty solid, especially in pass coverage, though he is getting up there in age. Pollard, however, was a -5.3 in pass coverage last season according to PFF. Jason McCourty at CB is across from the less impressive Alterraun Verner.

The weaknesses section wouldn't be complete, however, without mentioning Jake Locker once more. I'm a bit optimistic that he will take a step forward this season, but if he doesn't, expect this team to continue its roughly 8-8 ways. The team has a surprising amount of strengths, thanks largely to an aggressive FA period. But, nobody else on the team is good enough to carry the team in place of good QB play.