Tennessee Titans: Vince Young Finally Has Lethal Weapons in Kenny Britt and Co.
Chris Johnson ran for 2,000 yards last season, not because the Titans are a pass first football team, but because they are a run first, run second, and run third football team.
The Tennessee Titans coaching staff makes an effort to breed the classic physical football team. Running the football and stopping the run have been the focus since Jeff Fisher became the team's head coach in 1994.
The Titans rarely ever fail to produce a 1,000 yard rusher, and they haven't missed the mark once during the Vince Young era.
In the past five or so years though, the offense coordinator didn't have much of a choice than to stick with the run. The Titans receiving core was seen as one of the, if not the biggest weakness on the team.
It may be hard to believe for a young fan, but the Titans were very dangerous through the air back in Steve McNair's prime.
In his tenure with the Titans, Derrick Mason produced a 1,000 yard season every single year after being inserted as a full time starter in 2001.
In McNair's 2003 MVP season, Mason had a career high 1,300 receiving yards while Justin McCareins had over 800 yards and averaged over 17 yards a catch. The following year, Mason and Drew Bennett each had over 1,000 yards; Bennett caught 11 touchdowns as well.
Since 2004, the Titans haven't had one receiver go over 800 receiving yards.
For years, fans have longed for Titans to select a receiver early in the draft. 2007 and beyond, receiver has been their sole cry. Year after year the front office failed to assist Vince Young and add an even remotely dangerous weapon to his poorly constructed arsenal.
In 2007, they selected running back Chris Henry over USC's Steve Smith. Henry turned out to be a major bust meanwhile Smith recorded his first 100 catch season last year.
They waited until the third round to select a receiver. Just missing out on Jacoby Jones, James Jones and Mike Sims-Walker, the Titans picked Paul Williams who was cut this past training camp.
Choosing to travel the route of drafting quantity over quality, the Titans also selected receivers Chris Davis in the fourth and Joel Filani in the sixth. Neither is currently on an NFL roster.
In 2008, the Titans drafted Chris Johnson in the first round. No one in their right mind could fault them for that choice, but being that Johnson was projected to go in the second round, a DeSean Jackson selection in the first with Johnson dropping to the second would be a dream that could've, would've, should've come true.
By the time the Titans were up again in round two all the best receiver prospects were taken.
In the third, Mario Manningham, who at one point was a borderline first round prospect, had dropped to the third and was still available with the Titans on the clock. The Titans selected blocking tight end Craig Stevens instead. After struggling his rookie year, Manningham had over 800 receiving yards last season.
Last year's draft could be labeled the year of the receiver. It was the Titans best chance yet to provide Young with some talent on the outside.
They went off the board quickly, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Michael Crabtree, Percy Harvin, Jeremy Maclin, Hakeem Nicks, and the Titans were up. The last of the six first round wide receiver prospects, Kenny Britt was left.
The Titans were probably tempted to take Beanie Wells, but they finally came to their senses and selected Britt.
Desperately needing a fast receiver to stretch the field, the Titans also signed former Pittsburgh Steeler Nate Washington earlier that offseason.
After showing flashes of potential, but major inconsistency in 2009, the receiving core has played a huge part in the Titans latest victories this season.
The group is still not putting up eye-opening numbers because the play calling is still in heavy run mode, but if you actually watch the games you can see their vast improvement.
Week 5 against Dallas started off with a bang as Nate Washington high-pointed a ball in the end zone with a Cowboy defender hanging all over him.
Britt caught a touchdown for the third straight week along with a 52-yard bomb at the end of the third after the Cowboys had come all the way back, but Britt's play turned the momentum again.
The Titans started off their Monday night contest the same way, through the air. Britt scored the first touchdown of the game dragging Jaguar defenders into the end zone for his fourth straight game with a score.
Rookie Damian Williams had the first receptions of his career against Dallas, and continued to impress catching four balls which included a couple of key third down conversions.
They are dropping less passes, getting open more often, and making more plays.
No longer can fans complain about the lack of weapons the Titans have at the receiver position.