2006 Season Preview: #26 Tennessee Titans
This will be the first year the Titans/Oilers will be without Steve McNair since 1995. I suppose he will be missed, but to be honest, I think a little more should have been expected of McNair's NFL career. Between the two years it took McNair to become a competent NFL QB, and the last few years that have been riddled with injuries, McNair has actually had a very short period of time when he could be considered to be in his prime. Jeff Fisher, Norm Chow and associates apparently are not happy with what they saw from McNair's replacement, Billy Volek, in the preseason, and as a result Tennessee commissioned the erection of Kerry Collins in the Titans’ backfield. The Collins signing was puzzling, but it must be assumed that it was motivated by the desire to get Vince Young on the field sooner rather than later. The Titans, the epitome of a team with solid, underrated players, gambled in the off-season by bringing in two make-or-break players in QB Vince Young and RB LenDale White. David Givens was also added and he will team with Drew Bennett as the starting wide receivers for the Titans. On defense, Steelers cast-off Chris Hope will patrol the outfield this season, and with two up-and-coming defensive stars in CB Pacman Jones and DE Kyle Vanden Bosch, the Titans should improve upon their 19th ranked defense of 2005. Under Jeff Fisher you can't count on the Titans being down for very long. It appears inevitable that the Titans will have a losing season in 2006. This team’s long-term fate, however, will depend on when/if Young and White mature into the players that can lead a top-tier NFL offense. The best case scenario for this team would be a carbon copy of the Dolphins' 2005 campaign - a young team that struggles early but keeps fighting and ends the season on a postive note and with a clear vision of their future.