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Tennessee Titans preseason primer

2006 season recap

A bright Young start
Rookie quarterback Vince Young began the season on the bench behind veteran Kerry Collins. But when the Titans opened with three straight losses, head coach Jeff Fisher inserted Young into the starting lineup and watched as both his rookie quarterback and his team showed steady improvement. Though the Titans narrowly missed the playoffs, Young gave fans plenty to get excited about, leading his team to victories in six of their last seven games.

Key camp questions

Can the defense improve enough over last season's league-worst ranking to make a difference?
The Titans allowed 369.7 yards per game last season, yet were in the playoff hunt down the stretch. Losing Adam "Pacman" Jones will hurt the secondary, but the Titans moved quickly to sign Nick Harper when it became clear Jones' off-field issues might sideline him. Still, without major improvement on defense, the young and developing offense will find itself playing from behind more often than not.

How will the loss of Pacman Jones and all the offseason controversy affect the team?
Losing Jones not only takes away the Titans' most dynamic player on defense and kick returns, but it also has the potential to create a huge distraction in the locker room as the saga drags on. The Titans players and coaches will have to try to block it out and focus on the tasks at hand. That might not be easy if the media continually reminds them of it.

Can the team put enough offensive weapons around second-year QB Vince Young?
There will be a lot of pressure on Young to repeat the magic from 2006, but that won't be easy with the losses the team suffered at the offensive skill positions. Drew Bennett signed with St. Louis in free agency, leaving wide receivers Brandon Jones and David Givens atop a rather unimpressive group. Likewise, Travis Henry departed for Denver, leaving second-year man LenDale White to compete with veteran Chris Brown and rookie Chris Henry at running back.

Key position battle

Running back
LenDale White should be the frontrunner entering his second season, but his work ethic has been a concern since before he was drafted. The Titans also re-signed Chris Brown and drafted Chris Henry from Arizona in the second round. All three will duke it out for the starting and backup roles.

Rookie spotlight

Michael Griffin
With Pacman Jones out and Nick Harper in, there will be a bit of a new look to a secondary that was one of the league's worst last season. Griffin, a free safety out of Texas, should get the opportunity to play a major part in the defensive backfield.

Player on the spot

Norm Chow
The man responsible for developing Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart at USC was brought in to make it all work in Tennessee. While he had some success with Young last season, he will have his hands full trying to squeeze consistent production out of a young and inexperienced rushing and receiving corps.

Fantasy focus

Brandon Jones
Slated to be the No. 1 wide receiver in Tennessee due to the uncertain status of David Givens, Jones enters his third NFL season with real sleeper potential. The former Oklahoma standout is well worth a middle- to late-round choice and could emerge as a viable No. 3 fantasy wideout.

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