The Tennessee Titans will kickoff their 2012-13 NFL season when they host the New England Patriots on September 9, 2012. Until then, the Titans will evaluate players during their final two preseason games. The Titans will host the Arizona Cardinals on August 23. The Titans will host the New Orleans Saints on August 30.
The Titans must trim their roster from 90 players to 75 players by August 27. They must trim their roster to 53 players by August 31. The third and fourth preseason games are critical for players who are barely making the cut on the 53-man roster. Darius Reynaud, Zach Clayton, Dave Ball and Ryan Mouton are amongst players who are believed to be on the bubble.
Here's the Titans up-to-date roster from ESPN. The following is my 53-man roster predictions for the upcoming season.
Jake Locker, Matt Hasselbeck, Rusty Smith
Rusty Smith has played well enough to be kept as the long-term backup quarterback to Jake Locker. Matt Hasselbeck isn't going anywhere.
Chris Johnson, Javon Ringer, Jamie Harper, Darius Reynaud, Colin Mooney
I'd consider Colin Mooney as the "54th player." That's because Kenny Britt will likely start the season on suspension. The Titans have considered using Jamie Harper as a fullback. That "54th player" could also go to anyone who excels on special teams.
Nate Washington, Kendall Wright, Lavelle Hawkins, Damian Williams, Marc Mariani
I'd be surprised if Marc Mariani were released. The Titans won't have Britt if he's suspended. They don't need anymore experiments like Kevin Curtis and Donnie Avery.
The only scenario where I could envision Mariani not making the team is if they preferred D.J. Woods as a wide receiver. Darius Reynaud would be used as a return specialist. Woods would be the emergency return specialist. That's very unlikely.
Jared Cook, Craig Stevens, Taylor Thompson
The Titans' tight ends are set.
Starting OL (5)
David Stewart, Michael Roos, Steve Hutchinson, Fernando Velasco, Leroy Harris
The Titans' starting offensive line is set.
Reserve OL (3)
Mike Otto, Kevin Matthews, Byron Stingily
Most teams retain at least eight offensive linemen (excluding long snappers). Maybe they'd keep another one if Mike Otto isn't ready for Week 1?
Kamerion Wimbley, Derrick Morgan, Leger Douzable, Pannel Egboh, Keyunta Dawson
Dave Ball has become too much of an injury hazard. I'm taking Keyunta Dawson over Scott Solomon if (big if) the Titans believe that they can sneak him on the practice squad. Don't forget that they traded back into the seventh round of the 2012 NFL Draft to take Solomon.
Karl Klug, Jurrell Casey, Mike Martin, Sen'Derrick Marks
Zach Clayton is on the bubble. Clayton would hardly play because four defensive tackles are ahead of him. Don't forget that Leger Douzable has the versatility to play inside. The Titans could stash DaJohn Harris on their practice squad.
Mike Martin has made Shaun Smith expendable.
Akeem Ayers, Colin McCarthy, Zach Brown, Will Witherspoon, Patrick Bailey, Tim Shaw, Zac Diles
Zac Diles is another player on the bubble. The 27-year-old linebacker is two years removed from having a career season with the Houston Texans. Diles had 82 tackles in 15 games (10 starts). Since 2007, Diles has four-plus years of AFC South experience with the Indianapolis Colts and Texans. He has five tackles with two pass deflections and an interception this preseason.
Jason McCourty, Alterraun Verner, Tommie Cambpell, Coty Sensabaugh, Chris Hawkins, Ryan Mouton
Jason McCourty, Alterraun Verner, Tommie Campbell and Coty Sensabaugh are locks. Ryan Mouton is on the edge.
Michael Griffin, Jordan Babineaux, Robert Johnson, Aaron Francisco
Robert Johnson or Aaron Francisco should be expendable when Markelle Martin returns from the physically-unable-to-perform list (PUP).
Rob Bironas, Brett Kern, Beau Brinkley
Long snapper, kicker and punter.
Physically-Unable-To-Perform (PUP), Injured Reserve (IR) or Suspended List
Kenny Britt (Suspension)
Markelle Martin (PUP)
Eugene Amano (IR)
Gerald McRath (IR)
Dave Ball (Released or IR)
Practice Squad (8)
Nick Stephens (QB)
D.J. Woods (WR)
James Kirkendoll (WR)
Cameron Graham (TE)
William Vlachos (OL)
Scott Solomon (DL)
DaJohn Harris (DL)
FREE AGENT (RB or DB)
Bubble Trouble (Players On The Bubble)
Colin Mooney (RB), D.J. Woods (WR), Pannel Egboh (DE), Keyunta Dawson (DE), Dave Ball (DE), Scott Solomon (DE), Zach Clayton (DT), Zac Diles (LB), Chris Hawkins (CB), Ryan Mouton (CB)
Joshua Huffman graduated from Middle Tennessee State University as a marketing major in 2009. He's been a Middle Tennessee resident from 1986-88 and 2001-present. He lived in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin from 1988-01 and for approximately eight months in 2009-10 as he completed a 20-game volunteer position with the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. His favorite sports organizations include the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cubs, Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans. He can be found on Twitter HERE.
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