NFL Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans: The best is yet to come in 2013 and beyond

Jake Locker Tennessee Titans

Steve Mitchell – USA Today Sports

While the Tennessee Titans spend the post-season as spectators for the third consecutive year, the promise for a brighter tomorrow is not as far fetched as many may perceive. Titans starting quarterback Jake Locker has made significant strides in his third year at the helm, passing for 2,176 yards and 10 touchdowns this past season. The Titans’ decision to retain offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains will hopefully build on the continuity of the offense, as he and Locker will likely spend the off-season buried in the film room to improve on a disappointing 6-10 campaign.

Unlike the many teams who will be making early selections in the NFL Draft, the Titans have play-makers at running back and at wide receiver. All-pro running back Chris Johnson ran for nearly 1,300 yards and 4 touchdowns in spite of an offensive line that was decimated by injuries. The Titans have the talent at wide receiver to form a dynamic duo of Kendall Wright and Kenny Britt, but the production of both receivers will based on Britt’s ability to avoid legal troubles and Wright’s commitment to film study in the off season.

Despite ranking in bottom half in nearly every defensive category the secondary and the linebacker core fields a number of promising young players. The Titans have two gazelles at linebacker in Akeem Ayers and Zach Brown, both of whom made running backs think twice about bouncing their runs to the outside. The Titans secondary is very talented, their 26th ranking in passing defense was largely due to the failure of the Titans defensive line to provide a consistent pass rush.

The Titans needs on both sides of the ball are no secret. the addition of a pass rusher and shoring up the offensive line are two needs the Titans must address via free agency and the NFL Draft. Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jake Long and the Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril would solve their biggest needs if the Titans are able to win the bidding war for their services during free agency.