Tennessee Titans general manager Ruston Webster answered the cries of his All-Pro running back Chris Johnson when he started free agency off with a bang by upgrading the offensive line and adding much needed depth. Blessed with two of the best tackles in the NFL in Michael Roos and David Stewart, the need to upgrade the interior line was critical. The Titans addressed that need by signing the best guard available Andy Levitre, a mauler who paved the way for his fair share of 1,000 yard backs with the Buffalo Bills. Although their other offensive line acquisition did not garner much attention, guards Ron Turner and Chris Spencer add much needed depth and versatility which gives the Titans the luxury to address other needs with the tenth pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Although upgrading the offensive line was the main priority this offseason, more changes were needed to improve an offense that finished near the bottom in total offense and pass efficiency. Tight end Delanie Walker is a match up nightmare that is a solid pass catcher, underrated blocker and a demon on special teams. Walker will serve as a security blanket to quarterback Jake Locker who clearly lost confidence in his wide receiver last season who often struggled in catching the ball.
Instead of acquiring younger talent with possible character concerns Webster added veterans with great leadership qualities and unrivaled work ethic. For years, Houston Texans wide receiver Kevin Walters has put on a route running clinic often having his best games against the Titans. Walters crisp route running and his professional approach to detail is how he frequently outworked and outlasted faster and more physically gifted receivers. Walters will be expected to serve as a mentor to Kenny Britt and Kendall Wright, improving their approach and development which should improve the Titans offensive production.
With an eye toward the future Webster wisely chose to add leadership, which came at a much cheaper price, to help his younger players reach their potential and build camaraderie in the locker room. Although Johnson may not be happy with sharing carries with Shonn Greene, he will see the benefits late in the fourth quarter. Greene’s punishing running style will tire the opposing defense and make the chances for Johnson’s highlight runs more likely.
The Titans have addressed their needs on the offensive side of the ball and added consummate veterans that should help talented but inconsistent play-makers Locker and Britt finally fulfill their promising potential. At the end of the season we will know which players will be in the Titans future plans and whose time in the Music City will be no more.