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Three Questions About the Titans as Training Camp Gets Closer

Following a season in which the Titans went 9-7 and missed the postseason by just a game, the team is set to get back to the NFL’s second season and there’s plenty of excitement as 2019 approaches.

Now that the calendar has turned to July, the start of training camp is closing in and things are ramping up for the franchise to get ready for 2019.

Today we take a quick look at three questions about this team as they get set to embark on what they hope will be a better season that could end with a playoff birth.

1. Get More Out of the Offense

Last season the Titans were 27th in the league in scoring points at 19.4 per game, which if this team is going to make the playoffs, they’ve got to be better in that area.

For a large part of the season the club just didn’t that have second gear to the offense, and that starts in camp with new OC Arthur Smith making sure that the players on the team know the game plan.

That also goes along with QB Marcus Mariota knowing his role with the offense, and knowing what is expected of him and how he fits in the puzzle of this team making more big plays.

2. Can the Defense Stay the Course?

The Titans defense didn’t get the credit they deserved for how well they played, as they were 3rd in the league in points allowed, and 8th in yards allowed.

While the offense likely still has to find itself with new OC Arthur Smith, the defense will have to carry the load early in camp and possibly early in the season to make sure they stay competitive.

The defensive line is the strength of this club, led by Jurrell Casey who led the team with seven sacks a season ago. There’s a couple players that the team needs to step up to make this defense even better in 2019.

3. Dominate the Division

The AFC South was the Titans for the taking in the final game of 2018, but a final game 33-17 loss to the Colts ended any chances of the postseason.

They went 3-3 in the AFC South, and while that may be .500, that’s not good enough if they are going to make a big impact overall in the league.

The Texans, Jags and Colts are all looking to be even better just like the Titans, but early in the year Tennessee has to come out and throw the first punch in the division, winning in weeks two and three against the Colts and Jags to set the tone for the season.

Video – Football Gameplan’s 2019 NFL Team Preview: Tennessee Titans

00:48 – 4-Minute Offense

2:31 – Positional Breakdown

8:23 – Hunt’s Playbook

12:01 – Fantasy Focus

13:36 – Best Bets

14:17 – Training Camp Quick Takes

17:09 – Road to the Super Bowl

Titans One-Time Second-Round Pick DE Austin Johnson May Not Make the Roster

Former second-round pick Austin Johnson isn’t in great standing with the Titans, Andrew Ortenberg of Profootball Rumors reports. The 43rd overall pick of the 2016 draft has struggled to make an impact and might not be long for the team.

The defensive lineman is going to be fighting for a roster spot in training camp, according to Jim Wyatt of the team’s official site.

Wyatt does note that defensive coordinator Dean Pees had some praise for him earlier this offseason, but he won’t be guaranteed a spot because of his draft pedigree.

Last season, Johnson played around 38 percent of the team’s defensive snaps in a rotational role.

In 16 games and nine starts, he finished with 22 tackles, one sack, and two passes defended. It was by far the most playing time he’s received in his young career.

Heading into the final year of his rookie contract, Johnson is scheduled to make $1.8MM in 2019. Wyatt does note that his salary won’t be held against him, and Tennessee will only cut him if he gets beat out by someone better.

Free Agent Strong Safety Johnathan Cyprien Not Expected to Be Back with the Titans

From the sounds of it, the Titans are not expected to be able to bring back free agent strong safety Johnathan Cyprien to the team’s roster.

The six-year veteran is expected to land somewhere with a “better opportunity,” according to the Titans’ official team website.

The 28-year-old inked with the Titans in 2017 as a free agent. He started 10 games in his first season with the franchise, but missed the entire 2018 season due to a torn ACL he sustained in training camp.

The Titans released Cyprien in March. He has since been linked to the Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles. Cyprien had 57 tackles, a sack and a pass defensed during his 2017 campaign. He had at least 100 tackles in each of his first four seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

He had a career-high 126 tackles in 16 starts in 2016, his final season with the Jaguars. Cyprien also had four passes defensed, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a sack during his 2016 campaign.

Titans to Retire Eddie George and Steve McNair’s Numbers in Their Home Opener

Two of the greatest Tennessee Titans will be immortalized during the team’s 2019 home opener, as both running back Eddie George and quarterback Steve McNair will have their numbers retired.

George will have his #27 put in the history books, and McNair’s number nine will also be retired.

The two will make the seventh and eighth players to have their numbers retired in the history of the Titans/Oilers franchise.

Jim Norton (No. 43), Elvin Bethea (No. 65), Earl Campbell (No. 34), Mike Munchak (No. 63), Bruce Matthews (No. 74) and Warren Moon (No. 1) are the others.

George was the 14th overall pick by the Titans in 1996 and played with the team until 2003 when he left to join the Dallas Cowboys for one season.

He was the 1996 Offensive Rookie of the Year and ran for 10,441 yards and 68 touchdowns in his career.

McNair was the third pick in the draft out of Alcorn State in 1995. He was the league’s co-MVP (with Peyton Manning) in 2003, earned three Pro Bowl nods (2000, 2003, 2005), and in 1999 led the Titans to their only Super Bowl appearance.

The QB went on to play the last two years of his NFL career in Baltimore. He was killed July 4th of 2009 after being shot to death by his mistress, Sahel Kazemi in a murder-suicide.

Titans Release Defensive Lineman Dee Liner

The Titans made a roster move Tuesday, releasing defensive lineman Dee Liner according to Pro Football Talk.

Via Jim Wyatt of the team’s official website, the Titans have waived defensive lineman Dee Liner.

Liner played at Arkansas State after transferring from Alabama, but was undrafted last year.

He spent time last year on the Chiefs practice squad, and the Titans signed him to a future deal in January.

Titans TE Delanie Walker Says He Nearly Died from an IV

On the debut episode of “Bussin’ With the Boys,” the podcast hosted by Taylor Lewan and Will Compton, guest Delanie Walker was part of a lengthy conversation about pain meds and IVs that are a regular part of NFL Sundays, Paul Kuharsky of reports.

Both Walker and Lewan spoke of issues or apparent issues with IVs, which are commonly taken at halftime or before games to prevent or deal with dehydration.

“If you get a certain amount of CCs of air in your blood system… like 100 CCs will kill you,” Lewan said. “If you get enough, it will make your heart dilate in a certain way…” [Unlocked]

“Yeah,” said Walker. “I got fluid in my lungs and damn near died almost in the game… The guy just wasn’t paying attention and the fluid was out so air seeped into my…”

He seemed to be talking about a preseason game against the Raiders in Oakland in 2016.

Former Titans Cornerback Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones Announces Retirement

Former Titans cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones has announced his retirement from the NFL after 14 seasons according to Josh Alper of Pro Football

Jones announced the news himself in an Instagram video on Friday. The No.6-overall pick in the 2005 draft out of West Virginia by the Tennessee Titans, Jones immediately made an impact in the league as both a shutdown corner and a returner but numerous off-field incidents threatened to permanently derail his career at several junctures.

In one of the most shocking, Jones was involved in a fight at a Las Vegas strip club that was followed by someone in Jones’ entourage returning to the club and opening fire. Three people were injured and Jones was charged with felonies before pleading no contest to conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct.

Jones was suspended for the entire 2007 season by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as a result of the off-field troubles and returned with the Cowboys in 2008. He served another suspension during the season, didn’t play at all in 2009 and then joined the Bengals for the 2010 season.

Jones finally seemed to turn a corner in Cincinnati under coach Marvin Lewis, where he played eight years, even being named first-team All-Pro in 2014. But he has struggled with injuries the past few seasons and has not played a full 16-games season since 2016.

The 35-year-old has been out of the league since being cut by the Denver Broncos in November. Jones ends his career with 17 interceptions, 12 fumble recoveries, and five punt-return touchdowns.