That time of year folks, my beloved Titans lace up the cleats and get ready to go out and whoop some ass. After a disappointing 5-11 season last year, I believe that we will be pleasantly surprised by the 2006 squad. And here's why...
Steve McNair- He reinvented himself this offseason, finally having a chance to truly condition his body thanks to the surgery he had in December. They say McNair lost around 15 pounds in the offseason and spent the summer with a personal trainer. As he said himself-"I was eating too much of Mom's cooking." Look for a big year from Big Mac.
New Offensive Co-ordinator Norm Chow-A huge off-season acquisition, Chow leaves the two-time national champion USC Trojans and sets up shop in Nashville. One thing most Titans fans will agree on is that the play-calling we've had in years past was frustrating at times. 3rd and 8? Halfback dive up the middle. Former co-ordinator Mike Heimerdinger showed moments of brilliance but ulitmately reverted to an overly conservative play call that would just stop the offense in its tracks. Chow is known for being a master strategist who always adapts when defenses start to key on certain plays. His ability to shuffle the backfield around with USC will work well with Brown, Henry and Flemming as all three have good hands. I'm very excited to see what he can do with this offense. And so is McNair.
Peter Sirmon Is Back-Last year we lost Linebacker Sirmon during training camp, which took a much bigger toll than anyone realized. Sirmon was the driver of the defense, the guy who would make sure folks were in the right position before the snap. This freed up Keith Bulluck so that he could be wreak havoc all over the field. With Sirmon gone, Bulluck had to take over Sirmons role, which severely limited his natural instincts. Look for Bulluck to have a big year, and Sirmon to help the Defense gel more this season.
Travis Freaking Henry!!- I'm not sure how we stole Henry, but screw it who cares, he's on the team!! A backfield of Henry and Chris Brown has to be giving defensive co-ordinators some headaches, as they both have completely different styles. Brown will slash you, Henry will pound you. If all goes well I see grea things out of these two- you can never have enough 1,000 yard backs on your team.
These are a few of the reasons I think the Titans should surprise most of the nation this year. Yes, we have a tough schedule. Yes, we have a young team. Yes, we lost some big names from last year. But any team with McNair and Bulluck as well as a quality coach in Jeff Fisher is one that should never be counted out.