Paul Kuharsky: I can’t give some definitive response on what sort of leader Marcus Mariota is based off the little we’ve seen so far. Indications are good. He’s certainly more of a seize-control guy than Jake Locker ever was, but Locker wasn’t anointed the starter as he walked in the door. Matt Hasselbeck had quarterbacked a team to the Super Bowl and knew how to lead and carry himself as an NFL quarterback. It would be tough for any rookie to match up to what he brought in that department.
#PKmail Thoughts on the ILB competition? Which guys actually fit the system? Are they big enough?— Brandon Knecht (@BKnechtion) June 11, 2015
Paul Kuharsky: I don’t think there is a competition or that there should be one. Zach Brown and Avery Williamson are the two best guys. And they’ll only have two inside backers on the field in base. One will leave the field for a defensive back in nickel packages pretty often. Wesley Woodyard should be the third option and provide experienced depth at this point. I wrote about Brown this week.
Paul Kuharsky: Yes. It is both greater and more positive for Mariota. And it should be. He’s far better coming in. He was drafted second and plenty of scouts and pundits expected he would go there. He won a Heisman Trophy and played in a national championship game in college. He’s way, way more accomplished and polished as he comes into the league than Locker was. Locker was a shocking pick at No. 8 in 2011.
Paul Kuharsky: Derrick Morgan tore an ACL as a rookie. Outside of that, he’s missed two games in four seasons. So I can’t go along with a premise that he’s injury prone. Brian Orakpo has had multiple pectoral injuries. So there is some worry there. They are not deep at all. The third guy should be Jonathan Massaquoi, who had a falling out in Atlanta but could be good if Dick LeBeau can shape him. Rookie Deiontrez Mount is pretty raw but is also a LeBeau project type. If they lose a starter, we’ll find out a lot about the Titans’ ability to evaluate a waiver claim and a sixth-round pick.
Paul Kuharsky: The Titans speak of Angelo Blackson, a fourth-round pick, as a five-technique. That means he would be lining up on the outside shoulder of a tackle -- the spot DaQuan Jones is in with the starting three now. Blackson can play nose, but it’s Al Woods behind Sammie Hill. I don’t think Hill is in any danger of not starting based on how much they complimented his play last year.