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Tennessee Titans camp: Three key goals and top battle


New England Patriots defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois (94) sacks Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) in the third quarter of the AFC Divisional round playoff game on January 13 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Photo by Matthew Healey/UPI

By Terry McCormick, Titans Insider, UPI

Three goals:

--Shore up the offensive line. What was a strength of the team in 2016 descended into a big question last year and now is a full-blown interrogation as to how good the offensive line will be in the new system. There is left tackle Taylor Lewan's contract situation hanging over the club, and right tackle Jack Conklin is likely to start camp on the PUP list as he continues to rehab from a torn ACL suffered in the playoffs. The guard situations are in flux as well. Starters Quinton Spain and Josh Kline were both re-signed, but the Titans brought in free agents Xavier Su'a-Filo and Kevin Pamphile to create camp competition this summer.

--Get comfortable in the offense. The revamped offense looked sluggish at times. Some of it is simply getting used to a new system -- this is Marcus Mariota's third scheme in four years. Other problems centered around the Titans' top wide receivers in Rishard Matthews and Corey Davis being out and/or limited during offseason work.

[post_ads]The most consistent cog was once again tight end Delanie Walker. Also as a side note to watch, keep an eye on how the running back reps are divvied up between Derrick Henry and newcomer Dion Lewis.

--Add some pass-rush help. The Titans have two reliable veteran pass rushers in Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo. But both are getting some age on them, and there are no proven rushers behind them, as the Titans opted to get younger by not re-signing veteran Erik Walden. Kevin Dodd has been a disappointment and could be tried as a five-technique end. The Titans have to hope that second-round pick Harold Landry comes on quickly as an edge rusher in preseason.

Top battle:

--Guard. Both guard positions on the offensive line could conceivably be up for grabs, even though the Titans brought back both left guard Quinton Spain and right guard Josh Kline. Lurking in the wings are veterans Xavier Su'a-Filo and Kevin Pamphile, both imported in as free agents. The Titans' switch to a zone-blocking scheme with their new offense, probably benefits Kline more than Spain among the incumbents. Chances are, the Titans will mix and match some early in camp, and then try to settle on a starting five early in the preseason.


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U.S. Daily News | Sports: Tennessee Titans camp: Three key goals and top battle
Tennessee Titans camp: Three key goals and top battle
U.S. Daily News | Sports
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