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Tennessee Titans have several familiar faces in Training Camp

 

Tennessee TitansNashville, TN – While the Tennessee Titans did experience significant roster turnover during the spring, they are not without a young and vital returning nucleus.

On offense, Chris Johnson leads the running backs group once again. Now in his sixth NFL season, Johnson’s 6,888 rushing yards from 2008–2012 ranked second in the league and ranked sixth in NFL history for a player’s initial five campaigns.

Tennessee Titans

Johnson ranks third in franchise history in rushing yards, and no other player in NFL history has more than half of his six career touchdown runs of 80-plus yards.

The wide receivers corps includes last year’s top three pass catchers: Kendall Wright, Kenny Britt and Nate Washington. Britt, who averages 16.1 yards per reception in his career, is nearly two years removed from an ACL injury and enjoyed his healthiest and most productive offseason since his rookie year.

Washington arguably has been one of the team’s most consistent performers since signing with the team in 2009. In that span, he has never missed a game, has a team-high 23 touchdown receptions, and has caught at least one pass in every contest.

Likewise, the defense has no shortage of players with experience in a Titans uniform who have yet to pass their primes.

Brown, middle linebacker Colin McCarthy and strongside linebacker Akeem Ayers make a formidable young trio. Combined, they have 68 career games, 57 starts and 412 tackles in only five cumulative seasons.

The Titans secondary was led in 2012 by cornerback Jason McCourty, elected as a team captain for the first time, and safety Michael Griffin, a former first-round pick who has two career Pro Bowls under his belt. In their fourth and sixth seasons, respectively, McCourty and Griffin each started all 16 games and tied for the team lead with four interceptions. Both are back in 2013, as is cornerback Alterraun Verner, another 16-game starter who last year led the squad with seven tackles for loss and ranked second with 10 passes defensed.

Three of the team’s four regular starters from the defensive line return from a year ago: defensive tackle Jurrell Casey and defensive ends Derrick Morgan and Kamerion Wimbley.

Morgan (6.5) and Wimbley (6.0) contributed 12.5 of the squad’s 39 sacks, a total that tied for ninth in the league. Morgan, a first-round pick in 2010, also led the defense with 19 quarterback pressures. Casey has led the defensive line in tackles in each of his first two NFL seasons, including an 80-tackle effort in 2012. The Titans also boast one of the league’s top specialist batteries.

Rob Bironas is the third-most accurate kicker in NFL history (85.6 percent) and the second all-time leading scorer in Oilers/Titans annals. Brett Kern possibly had the best punting season the franchise has ever seen in 2012, setting records in both gross average (47.6 yards) and net average (40.4).

Meanwhile, the returner’s job could be one of training camp’s top competitions, as Marc Mariani, a Pro Bowl selection in 2010, and Darius Reynaud vie for the top spot.

When Mariani went down with a season ending leg injury during the 2012 preseason, Reynaud took the reins and produced a 13.2-yard punt return average, the third-highest average in the NFL. His combined punt and kickoff return yardage total of 1,650 yards led the NFL and qualified as the third-highest total in team history.

The Titans headed to training camp with the NFL-maximum of 90 players on the roster. They will have to pare the squad twice before the regular season, going to 75 players on August 27th and to 53 players on August 31st, after which time they can also form an eight-man practice squad.


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