NASHVILLE, Tenn. — When the Tennessee Titans entered Training Camp on August 14, three areas of the roster were particularly concerning: the No. 4 receiver spot, kicker and backup quarterback.
Through two weeks of Training Camp practices, it’s clear that one of those areas of concern has proven to be not-so-problematic after all, while the other two persist as problematic.
No. 4 Wide Receiver
The Titans neglected to add a single receiver to the team over the offseason outside of undrafted free agents. This, at first, seemed odd and to create a hole at the No. 4 receiver spot behind starters A.J. Brown, Adam Humphries and Corey Davis.
Luckily for the Titans, it’s hard to even consider this a weakness for the team anymore. Kalif Raymond, who played a key role for the Titans late in the 2019 season as a deep threat, has arguably been the star of Training Camp.
He’s shown that he still has the burst he put on display in 2019, he’s gotten bigger and he’s improved his ability to play in the slot.
Raymond isn’t going to be a DeSean Jackson or T.Y. Hilton type of weapon for the Titans in 2020, but he figures to be an important part of their offensive plans nonetheless.
When he’s lined up on the perimeter, defenses will have to respect his speed. If they don’t, Raymond has proven he will make them play.
Greg Joseph and Tucker McCann are making most of their kicks in practice, but they always look really ugly and have way too much movement. A concern, for sure. #Titans
— Luke Worsham (@luke_worsham) August 28, 2020
After a season in which they put up some of the worst field goal percentages in NFL history, the Titans elected to pass on trying to upgrade the kicker position.
Instead, they stuck with Greg Joseph, who played in two regular-season games in 2019, and, for competition, signed undrafted rookie Tucker McCann, a 72.2% kicker in four years at Missouri.
So far in 2020, it looks like the Titans should have been more aggressive.
While McCann and Joseph have each made plenty of kicks in practices, they rarely, if ever, look pretty. Each tends to kick wobbly balls that somehow manage to break back between the uprights.
Movement is a death sentence for kickers, and Joseph and McCann each have a problem with it. It figures to only get worse in actual game situations.
The Titans need to go get a veteran kicker like Stephen Gostowski or Stephen Hauschka while there are still good options available through free agency. Entering the regular season with Joseph or McCann would be playing with fire.
Another position where the Titans added very little over the offseason was backup quarterback, and it’s come back to bite them in Training Camp.
Following less than a week’s worth of practices, the team waived seventh-round pick Cole McDonald and signed veteran Trevor Siemian after a litany of on-field struggles from McDonald and Logan Woodside.
Now, the Titans’ backup QB will be decided by a battle between Woodside and Siemian. Currently, it looks like Woodside has the upper hand, based on the number of reps he’s getting in practice.
Woodside, though, has not looked good in practices. He doesn’t get very much power on his throws, and his accuracy downfield is spotty, at best.
Siemian hasn’t looked great, either, though that could be partially because he still doesn’t have a great grasp of the playbook.
If anything happens to starter Ryan Tannehill, the Titans have not put themselves in a good position to have a semblance of success without him.
Cover image: Evan Habeeb, Jim Brown and George Walker IV/USA Today