With the regular season upon us, it's time to return to an old Big Cat Country favorite! The return of FIVE QUESTIONS!
Yes, you see every week we find someone who actually knows something about our opponent and ask them five hard questions about their team. This is vastly superior to using ESPN.
This week we have our friend Jimmy from Music City Miracles!
Big Cat Country 1. Vince Young: Great Quarterback or Greatest Quarterback? In all seriousness, how will Vince do this year with many of the players he worked with on offense leaving during the off-season? Will he struggle?
Jimmy: Obviously greatest quarterback. Seriously, I am not as concerned about the losses the Titans suffered in the offseason as most people are. Drew Bennett and Bobby Wade were the #1 and #2 receivers, but in reality neither one of them were that good. I think the Titans have guys on the roster that will put up better numbers than those 2. The loss of Travis Henry does hurt but LenDale White has pushed away from the table, and Chris Brown will be effective when he only has to carry the ball 8-10 times a game. I don't think the skill players are any worse than they were last season. That is not really a good thing though because last year's skill players weren't that good either.
That being said, I am sure Vince will struggle some this season. He is still a young, no pun intended, quarterback in the NFL, but he will win 4-6 games by himself. The question is will he play well enough in the other 10-12 games for the Titans to get some wins. Is he going to have some games where he looks a little lost? Of course he is, but all in all I think he will make a huge leap
Big Cat Country: 2. Who are a few players to watch for that we might not know about out side of Tennessee?
Jimmy: The first one is Kyle Vanden Bosch. He has gotten a little attention outside of Tennessee, but not as much as he deserves. He had 12.5 sacks in 2005. Last season he only had 6.5, but that was because he was constantly double teamed because the rest of the defensive line was not a threat. Antwan Odom is back this season to play the other defensive end, and he at least will merit some attention from other teams. I think Vanden Bosch will have another double digit sack season.
Chris Davis, a rookie out of Florida State, is another guy to keep an eye on. He will, more than likely, be the slot receiver. He is a better player than Bobby Wade, so he should put up some pretty good numbers this season. Davis will probably also be the punt returner.
The final guy is another rookie, Michael Griffin. He may not start at corner in week 1, (I think he will but they haven't announced it yet), but he will be starting very soon. He has great ball skills and is a sure tackler. He is going to be a good corner in this league.
Big Cat Country: 3. What was the biggest surprise during training camp/preseason? Did the team do anything that shocked you, for better or for worse?
Jimmy: There really weren't any huge surprises during the preseason. Probably the most talked about move was Lamont Thompson being cut. He had been pretty bad as the free safety for the last couple of season, so it wasn't really the cut that was surprising, but they way it was handled. Calvin Lowry and Thompson pretty much split snaps with the first team in camp and the preseason. Thompson actually outplayed Lowry in the games but was cut. The good news is that Lowry can't be any worse than Thompson.
Big Cat Country: 4. Did you know that the Titans/Oilers have played each other 24 times in the regular season? The series is in the Titans favor (13-11) , so clearly there is some history between us. That said, do you have any particular thoughts on the "rivalry" or history between the teams? A favorite moment (other than that terrible terrible AFC Championship game)?
Jimmy: This rivalry is actually pretty fun. The 2 teams actually have very similar philosophies. Both teams like to run the ball on offense and hit people in the mouth on defense (the Titans more so a few years ago). You can always expect some big hits and a lot of running when these 2 teams play each other.
If I cannot use the AFC Championship game and Derrick Mason's punt return, then I will have to go with the other game in Jacksonville from 1999. I just remember it was raining the whole game and it was a slobber-knocker game like those games with the Titans and Jags were back then. In the 4th quarter Samari Rolle intercepted a Mark Brunell pass in the end zone to seal the win.
Big Cat Country: 5. This is sort of a broad question, but enlighten us as to what we should watch for on your defense? Who's the sleeper star? Who's going to have a great year?
Jimmy: I pretty much covered this one in question #2. If you want a real sleeper keep an eye on Antwan Odom. If Odom stays healthy, he will put up some pretty good numbers. He is not great against the run, but he is a very good pass rusher. The problem with Odom thus far in his career has been his inability to stay on the field.
Thanks Jimmy! Don't forget to read my 5 questions over at Music City Miracles!!!