Position Primer 2013 - Linebacker

Discussion in 'Tennessee Titans and NFL Talk' started by Carpy, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Carpy

    Carpy Disgruntled foreign veteran

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    2013 Cap hit for all LB’s – $5.0m (4.7% of team spend)

    Players under contract:
    Akeem Ayers (6’3”, 254) – 23 years old
    2013 Cap Number - $1.342m ($0.822m salary + $0.520m SB pro-rata)
    2014 Cap Number – $1.576m ($1.046m salary + $0.520m SB pro-rata)
    2015 Cap Number – UFA
    Colin McCarthy (6’1”, 238) – 24 years old
    2013 Cap Number - $0.678m ($0.555m salary + $0.113 SB pro-rata)
    2014 Cap Number – $0.758m ($0.645m salary + $0.113m SB pro-rata)
    2015 Cap Number – UFA
    Zach Brown (6’1”, 242) – 23 years old
    2013 Cap Number – $0.876m ($0.565m salary + $0.311m SB pro-rata)
    2014 Cap Number – $1.052m ($0.741m salary + $0.311m SB pro-rata)
    2015 Cap Number – $1.227m ($0.916m salary + $0.311m SB pro-rata)
    Patrick Bailey (6’4”, 235) – 27 years old
    2013 Cap Number – $1.07m ($0.97m salary + $0.1m SB pro-rata)
    2014 Cap Number – $1.3m ($1.2m salary + $0.1m SB pro-rata)
    2015 Cap Number – UFA
    Tim Shaw (6’1”, 236) – 28 years old
    2013 Cap Number – $1.07m ($0.97m salary + $0.1m SB pro-rata)
    2014 Cap Number – $1.3m ($1.2m salary + $0.1m SB pro-rata)
    2015 Cap Number – UFA

    Expired contracts
    Zac Diles
    Xavier Adibi
    Gerald McRath
    Will Witherspoon

    3 burning questions
    1. Can McCarthy stay healthy?
    This time last year, there was unbridled optimism that we had found our best MLB since Randall Godfrey and a bonafide starter for the next 5 years. One season and a number of injuries later and there is some questions surrounding McCarthy that will take a while to go away. Both his quality and quantity of on-field work was a disappointment in 2012 and we desperately need a bounce-back season.

    2. What can Zach Brown do for an encore?
    The much-maligned rookie selection had a fantastic season and proved to be a real difference maker for a defense short on star power. Brown made big plays in all three phases of the game and showed more toughness than he was ever credited with. As McCarthy showed this season, the challenge is for Brown to take his game to another level next season.

    3. Where are the back-ups?
    Right now, not on our roster! Shaw and Bailey are getting too expensive to keep, and at least one of them is a certainty to be replaced by a younger, cheaper special teams player. A combination of draft and free agency is needed to provide us with much needed insurance, as I don’t expect Witherspoon or McRath will get another look.

    Free Agency:
    Unless the team has given up on McCarthy, we are shopping for depth. With our other holes, I think that is the right strategy.
    Leroy Hill
    Rocky McIntosh
    Tavares Gooden
    Larry Grant
    Antwan Barnes
    Shaun Phillips
    Larry Foote
    Akeem Jordan
    Phillip Wheeler
    Bryan Thomas
    Scott Shanle
    Jasper Brinkley
    Erin Henderson
    Brandon Siler
    Marvin Mitchell
    Daryl Smith
    Moise Fokou
    Bradie James
    Tim Dobbins
    Keyaron Fox
    Brad Jones
    Erik Walden
    DeAndre Levy
    Justin Durant
    Vistor Butler
    Keith Brooking
    Scott Fujita
    Ray Maualuga
    Thomas Howard
    Geno Hayes
    Brian Urlacher
    Bryan Scott
    Dannell Ellerbe
    Mike Peterson
    Paris Lenon
    Keith Rivers


    Possible Cap Casualties:
    Stewart Bradley
    Jon Beason
    Chris Gocong
    DJ Williams
    Desmond Bishop
    Jonathan Vilma
    Michael Boley
    Bart Scott
    Rolando McClain


    Potential Draft Targets:
    I honestly can’t see us taking a Linebacker high. I know there are some in the T’eo Camp, but I’m certainly not. I think using the #10 pick on a player that is questionable as an upgrade is a real waste. Mid-late rounds are where we shop in this draft, in my view.

    Jamie Collins, Southern Miss
    Jelani Jenkins, Florida
    Travis Long, Washington State
    Sio Moore, Connecticut
    Devonte Holloman, South Carolina
    Kevin Reddick, North Carolina

    Summary
    We have 3 young starters that were drafted in the last 2 years, and if healthy could be the strongest area on the roster. To say that we should be building our defense around these guys is a massive understatement. Chicago built a monster defense on the back of Urlacher and Briggs and made everyone around them better. We have that sort of opportunity. The biggest opportunity to maximise the talents of these guys is to keep them clean, by improving our D-Line. We obviously need to address depth as well, but our starters are set.

    My take
    Of our existing players whose contracts are expiring, I think Diles is the clear priority. The staff were high on him this season and he is a versatile back-up that can play all 3 positions in a pinch (Best suited to MLB or WLB). Presuming they re-sign Diles, I think we chase a free agent backup OLB like Akeem Jordan, Marvin Mitchell or Bryan Scott. I also think we draft at least one LB who has special teams experience to take Bailey’s roster spot. In an ideal world, a rookie would also step in and take Shaw’s spot.
    #1
    • High Five High Five x 3
  2. satkins2252

    satkins2252 Starter

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    Teo would be an upgrade because he is more probable to stay healthy over McCarthy who has been injury prone his entire career nevermind the good linebacker that he is. I have no doubt that Ayers and Brown are and should be great players for the Titans. With the level of talent we have at OLB I think an ILB who tackles consistently and plays the pass well is a perfect fit. I would like to see the Titans bring in Jasper Brinkley who is a talented player but looks like has injury concerns because of hip surgery two years ago. It looks like he played every game last year and did well.
    #2
  3. Carpy

    Carpy Disgruntled foreign veteran

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    "Injury prone" is such a fallacy. McCarthy had a shoulder injury in college, an ankle sprain in week 1 and a concussion later in the year.

    If he was having recurring injuries to the same body part, I could understand the concern, but not when he is having different injuries over his career.

    There is nothing to suggest he is any more likely to get injured than anyone else when week 1 rolls around next season.
    #3
  4. Gunny

    Gunny Lord and Master Tip Jar Donor

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    McCarthy could be really good, take the risk with him for next year and sign a decent vet backup who can fill in just-in-case and deal with McCarthy issues the year after if need be.

    We have many other needs to fill in the draft.
    #4
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  5. Just Win Baby

    Just Win Baby Special Teams Standout

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    I have a feeling after last nights dreadful performance, Teo WILL be there at 10. But is he worth it? I think we pass now, as Gunny pointed out we have more pressing needs. I think we resign Zac Diles as the coaching staff was very high on him before he got hurt. Shaw is a good ST player, but I dont want to see him playing LB next year at all. I dont know how to pin posts, but if I did, I would refence my offseason and draft projections/"wish list" under the Offseason thread. I have us taking Andrew Jackson in the 3rd, assuming he leaves early. He is still raw, but would fill in nicely I believe when McCarthy goes down.
    #5
  6. TitanJeff

    TitanJeff Kahuna Grande Staff

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    I'm also optimistic about the future of this position. I don't think the Titans can count on McCarthy being healthy more than half the season. The slow recovery from the concussion is a bad sign, IMO.

    The Titans always draft a LB in the mid to late-rounds for special teams. I would not be surprised to see them grab a FA and use a 4/5-rounder at MLB.

    Or I'd take McClain. :brow:
    #6
  7. xpmar9x

    xpmar9x Vote for Pedro

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    McCarthy scares me every time he makes a tackle, almost like everytime Britt makes a catch. We have little depth. Would like to see a vet FA (who can play all 3 positions) brought in & a 4th round ILB & maybe a 6th round OLB. Resign Diles on the cheap.

    SLB: Ayers, Vet FA, 6th Rd
    ILB: McCarthy, Shaw, Diles, 4th Rd
    WLB: Brown & Vet FA, 6th Rd

    That way, if anyone goes down we atleast have some depth. The "vet FA" can play any positions. If McCarthy goes down, we have Shaw/Diles/4th Rder all fighting for the starting spot. Remember, we've found McCarthy & Tulloch in the 4th.. hopefully we can find another, and not a Rennie Curran or Gerald McRath. 6th Rd'r provides addt'l depth and another young guy.
    #7
  8. citizenthom

    citizenthom Rookie

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    If we can get him back at a decent veteran price then we should keep Witherspoon--and I think we will be able to because there is not a huge market for his style of OLB right now.

    I really like our young LBs, but LBs are only as good as the guys in front of them. If we don't improve the DT position then we'll never see exactly how dominant Brown, Ayers, and McCarthy can really be as a trio.
    #8
  9. xpmar9x

    xpmar9x Vote for Pedro

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    Spoon is terrible. I don't even want him as a cheap backup.
    #9
  10. JCBRAVE

    JCBRAVE Tweet me @JCBRAVE

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    What? Spoon would make a great back-up.

    He could even start for some teams

    how could anyone not want him? he knows all the LB positions, and is a great guy to have around.
    #10