By: Brendan Smart (@bsmart21)
If there was one thing I could pin point about the Tennessee Titans before a ball was snapped in the 2017 season, hype, motivation, and now uncertainty.
Motivation stems from a heartbreaking 2016 season ending that left the Titans one game from giving themselves a chance at “the dance” Titans left tackle recalls. Motivation stems from being underdogs in many games, and winning, but when expected to win last season, seemed to let those games slip through the cracks. Is motivation driving this team in 2017?
Hype began post draft when the Titans drafted wide receiver Corey Davis, and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson. The Titans picked up a Super Bowl champion wide receiver in Eric Decker, who has been excellent in camp, just hasn't been able to stay healthy in camp.
The Titans were on majority of boards to take the AFC South, but with injuries lingering, and questionable cuts lead me straight to the uncertainty stage for this team. With Decker playing in one game with no receptions from quarterback Marcus Mariota, rookie wide out Davis not taking a snap in game, the receiving core looking weaker than when camp started, and the defensive secondary fragile with each deep ball thrown, the uncertainty is there for this team. With the lingering injuries of Davis, Decker, and Harry Douglas, who, was placed on IR today, makes me think, should the Titans have kept Tre McBride?
It is a logical question, the Titans added depth to their offensive line today, bringing Brian Schwenke, why not bring back McBride instead of the cut? Now, McBride with Kendall Wright in Chicago, is long gone, and the Titans have another veteran wide receiver/special teams specialist Eric Weems.
Looking at the defensive side, who is the nickel cornerback? No one knows first two games it was Brice McCain, and the last two it was rookie Adoree’ Jackson. Both had their struggles, but it's time to show some trust in the guys on the defensive end.
Compared to last season there isn't that many questions heading into week one, but concern, uncertainty, hype, and motivation seem to be there for the Titans. This can be good and bad, but for one thing it'll definitely be interesting come Sunday in Nashville against the Oakland Raiders.