Titans Have to Figure Out How to Replace Safety Michael Griffin

Michael Griffin

The Titans are faced with replacing safety Michael Griffin, a two-time Pro Bowler who was released last week.

Titans general manager Jon Robinson said the team will consider all options, Jim Wyatt of Titansonline.com reports.

“We have a lot of options,’’ Robinson said. “And there are certainly some guys on this football team that are capable of stepping in and we expect those guys to compete for that spot. And in free agency there’s some players, and in the draft, there’s some players. So there’s definitely several avenues we could go down.

“I don’t know if you ever fill a Michael Griffin or replace a Michael Griffin, you just hope somebody can pick up the torch and carry it like he did.”

Robinson didn’t discuss specific options outside the team. But he made it clear the Titans were thankful for Griffin’s contributions over the years. The Titans released Griffin early so he’d have a better chance to find a new home long before free agency begins in March.

“I know he’s been a Pro Bowl player here, a fixture in the community, he’s been a staple in that secondary for a lot of years,’’ Robinson said of Griffin. “It was certainly a tough decision, one that Mike (Mularkey) and I talked about extensively.

“In the end it was a decision we felt was best for the team, and in talking to Michael we felt it was only fair to him, although hard to swallow, teams are going to start filling their rosters in March and obviously April with the draft. For what he has done for this team and this community, we wanted to do what’s fair for him and his family, to give him a chance to have 31 other teams evaluate him and try to work on something for him, so he has a chance to continue his career. We didn’t feel it was fair for him to let that go later on.”

Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil the Early Favorite to Go Number One in the Draft

The early favorite for the Titans’ choice as the No.1-overall draft pick is Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil according to Tony Pauline of TFY Draft Insider.

In a perfect world, the Titans would prefer to trade down to reap a bounty of draft choices from some team desperate to land a franchise quarterback but at this point there do not seem to be any Jameis Winston/Marcus Mariota/Andrew Luck caliber prospect available in the 2016 draft. Tunsil would be the perfect fallback option.

The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Tunsil is considered a rare “dancing bear” athlete for the left tackle spot. In this scenario, current Titans LT Taylor Lewan would kick to right tackle, upgrading two positions.

Titans With Interest in Free Agent Running Back Doug Martin?

The Titans may be interested in signing impending free agent running back Doug Martin away from the Buccaneers according to Terry McCormick of Titans Insider.

It doesn’t sound like McCormick has any real evidence of this move but he highlights several intriguing factors. New Titans general manager Jon Robinson was hired away from the Bucs and is obviously familiar with Martin’s body of work.

The Titans have a pile of cash to spend in free agency and a desperate need at running back as none of the current options on the roster-which include 2014 draft bust Bishop Sankey, veteran third-down back Dexter McCluster, rookie David Cobb, and pedestrian Antonio Andrews-seem capable of grabbing the starting job.

Andrews led that uninspiring group with 520 yards on 143 carries this past season. For perspective, consider that rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota was the Titans’ second-leading rusher with 252 yards on just 34 attempts despite missing several games.

For his part, Martin has expressed his desire to re-sign in Tampa. Running backs have a notoriously short shelf life in the NFL, however, and no one could blame Martin for opting for the biggest payday available.

Titans Announce Dick LeBeau as New Defensive Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach

Dick LeBeau

The Titans lost Ray Horton to the Browns on Wednesday, but quickly moved to announce a new DC as well as assistant head coach, as the team has promoted Hall of Famer Dick Lebeau to both roles.

LeBeau served with Horton in 2015, and now with Horton gone, it should be interesting to see what the Titans D looks like moving forward, and if the team runs more of the defense the Steelers ran through his time with the team in the 1990’s and 2000’s when he was there defensive coordinator.

Titans Announce GM Ruston Webster Won’t Be Back for 2016 Season

webster600-021815

It’s black Monday in the NFL, and the Titans are among the teams that will look to make changes. Already the club will look to talk to possible head coaches, but today the team announced that GM Ruston Webster won’t be back next season.

The team also announced that Steve Underwood has been permanently promoted to President and CEO.

Owner Amy Adams Strunk put out the following statement on the moves:

“Today, I am glad to announce that Steve Underwood will be continuing in his role as our president and chief executive officer on a permanent basis,” said Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk. “I have had ongoing discussions with Steve on this issue for a while, and I feel his leadership is vital in order to move us forward. He has brought much-needed stability to our organization, and I look forward to progress that will be made under his leadership.

“Additionally, I would like to thank Ruston Webster for all of his efforts with our franchise, as he is a man of great character and integrity and someone for whom we I have tremendous respect. Our mission is to become one of the elite franchises in the National Football League, and we have fallen short of this goal in recent years. We are in the search process for our head coaching and general manager positions. We share our fans’ frustration about the team’s recent performance, and we are committed to doing everything we can to return our team to a perennial postseason contender.”

Titans at Colts NFL Week 17 Inactives

Titans inactives: QB Marcus Mariota, WR Kendall Wright, WR Damaris Johnson, CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, S Josh Aubrey, LT Taylor Lewan, DE Ropati Pitoitua

Colts inactives: QB Stephen Morris, QB Matt Hasselbeck, QB. Andrew Luck, S Winston Guy, LB Sio Moore, LB Trent Cole, DL Kelcy Quarles

Texans vs Titans NFL Week 16 Inactives

Texans inactives: QB Brian Hoyer, WR Cecil Shorts, DB Darryl Morris, S Rahim Moore, LB Justin Tuggle, OG Oday Aboushi, TE Garrett Graham

Titans inactives: QB Marcus Mariota, WR Demaris Johnson, CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, S Josh Aubrey, OL Jeremiah Poutasi, WR Andrew Turzilli, DE Ropati Pitoitua

Titans at Jaguars NFL Week 11 Capsule

TENNESSEE TITANS (2-7) AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (3-6)

SERIES

TITANS JAGUARS
THURS. RECORD 9-8 3-5
SERIES LEADER 22-18  
STREAKS 3 of past 5  
COACHES VS. OPP. Mike Mularkey: 0-1 Gus ?Bradley: 2-2
LAST WEEK L 27-10 vs. Panthers W 22-20 at Ravens
LAST GAME 12/18/14: Titans 13 at Jaguars 21. Jacksonville RBs Jordan Todman & Toby Gerhart combine for 124 yards & 2 TDs. Rookie QB Blake Bortles throws TD to TE Marcedes Lewis.
LAST GAME AT SITE 12/18/14
REFEREE Craig Wrolstad
BROADCAST NFLN (8:25 PM ET): Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson (field reporter). Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Tim Ryan. SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 83 (Ten), 81 (Jax). XM: 88 (WW1), 83 (Ten), 226 (Jax).

STATS

PASSING Mariota (R): 147-224-1795-13-6-98.3 Bortles: 197-356-2381-19 (T3C)-11-81.0
RUSHING Andrews: 84-298-3.5-2 Yeldon (R): 133-531-4.0-1
RECEIVING Walker (TE): 45-508-11.3-3 A. Robinson: 45-758-16.8-7 (T3C)
OFFENSE 321.6 343.7
TAKE/GIVE -8 -4
DEFENSE 326.1 (3C) 362.1
SACKS Orakpo: 6 Colvin: 3
INTs Sensabaugh: 2 House, Posluszny: 2
PUNTING Kern: 46.7 Anger: 45.9
KICKING Succop: 47 (17/17 PAT; 10/11 FG) Myers: 60 (18/21 PAT; 14/18 FG)

NOTES

TITANS: QB MARCUS MARIOTA leads NFL rookies in TD passes (13) & rating (98.3). Has 2+ TD passes in 4 of 7 career games. 1st rookie in NFL history to have 2 games with 4 TDs & 0 INTs…RB ANTONIO ANDREWS has 80+ scrimmage yards in 2 of past 3. Last week, RB DEXTER MC CLUSTER scored 1st rush TD since 2012 (25-yard run)…WR KENDALL WRIGHT had 4 catches for 73 yards (18.3 avg.) in last meeting. TE DELANIE WALKER led team with 52 yards on 3 catches last week. Aims for 6th in row with 50+ rec. yards. Since 2014, ranks 3rd among AFC TEs with 1,398 rec. yards…LB BRIAN ORAKPO has 5 sacks in past 5, incl. 1 last week vs. Car. Aims for 4th in row with sack. Since entering NFL in 2011, DT JURRELL CASEY ranks 3rd amongst AFC DTs with 25 sacks…JAGUARS: In past 5, QB BLAKE BORTLES has passed for 1,385 yards with 13 TDs vs. 8 INTs. Has 2+ TDs in 5 consecutive games, longest streak in Jags history. Since entering NFL in 2014, averages 7.3 yards per rush (85 att., 622 yards), highest among QBs during span…RB T.J. YELDON leads AFC & ranks 2nd amongst NFL rookies with 531 rush yards. Aims for 6th in row with 60+ scrimmage yards…In past 8, WR ALLEN ROBINSON has 44 catches for 731 yards & 7 TDs, incl. 51 yards & TD vs. Bal. Has 5 TDs in past 5. WR ALLEN HURNS has TD catch in 7 consecutive games, longest streak in club history, incl. 5-yarder vs. Bal. In only career meeting (12/8/13 w/ Den), TE JULIUS THOMAS had TD rec…LB TELVIN SMITH is tied for 2nd in NFL with 88 tackles. DE CHRIS CLEMONS has 68 career sacks, 3rd-most among active undrafted players. CB AARON COLVIN leads NFL DBs with 3 sacks. CB DAVON HOUSE had career-high 2 INTs last week.