Tennessee Titans Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles
On November 3, 2015, the Titans relieved Ken Whisenhunt of head coaching duties and announced that Asst HC Mike Mularkey would step in as interim head coach for the remainder of the 2015 season. On January 16, 2016, Tennessee officially named Mularkey as their full-time head coach for the upcoming season.
2016 Team Outlook– Indianapolis had won the the AFC South in 2 consecutive years, prior to 2015. With the Colt’s QB Andrew Luck on the sidelines last season, there was a better chance for Tennessee, Houston or Jacksonville to take the division. Houston ended up winning the AFC South, with a 9-7 record. Tennessee had a new rookie quarterback and ended with a 3-13 record. The Jaguars were 5-11 because they did not have a defense to compete with. If QB Luck is 100% healthy, I like the Colts to rebound, but Houston is making it interesting with their recent player acquisitions.
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook–
QB– QB Marcus Mariota went #2 overall to the Titans in the 2015 NFL Draft, and started in Week 1. The rookie quarterback wasn’t able to play an entire 16 game season, diagnosed with a sprained right MCL after Week 15. Tennessee’s record dictated shutting the rookie QB down for the remainder of the season. Mariota ended 2015 with 2818 passing yards, 19 passing touchdowns and 10 INTs. In Week 13 vs Jacksonville, Mariota had 9 rushes for 112 yards and 1 TD. (most of the yards coming on a fun-to-watch 87 touchdown run in the 4th quarter) New HC Coach Mike Mularkey has stated that the Titans will “design more running plays” for Marcus Mariota in his second NFL season.
RB- Down around #46 is where you’ll find the Titan’s top running back last season, Antonio Andrews. He had 556 rushing yards and 3 TDs. If you keep digging deep, you can find Tennessee’s other backs if you want, Bishop Sankey, Terrence West and David Cobb. Fantasy football owners were disappointed, and so were the Titan’s. On March 7, 2016 Tennessee traded for former Eagle RB DeMarco Murray. Happy to be out of Philadelphia, Murray signed a 4-year contract worth $25.5 million. Murray is a solid running back, but he was made special by Dallas’ #1 offensive line in 2014. There were 14 running backs I ranked ahead of Murray at the start of 2015, and #15 is my ranking for Murray in 2016. UPDATE: Titans acquired RB DeMarco Murray from the Eagles in exchange for undisclosed draft pick compensation.
WRs– The Titans have used the NFL Drafts to fortify their receiving corps over the past 4 years. Kendall Wright was selected in 2012 and Justin Hunter in 2013. In the 2015 NFL Draft, the Titans grabbed 2 more….6’5″ Dorial Green-Beckham ( 2nd round) and 6’0″ Tre McBride ( 7th round). Still trying to surround their quarterback with weapons, Tennessee signed former Dolphin wide out Rishard Matthews on March 9th, 2016. It’s an imposing core of receivers, and now fantasy football owners need to decide who will help them the most. No Titan receiver ranked in the top 50 last year. I would wait until the late rounds in 2016 fantasy football drafts to get a receiver from this team. UPDATE: former Dolphin WR Rishard Matthews signed a 3-year deal w/ TENN.
TEs– A tight end can be a rookie quarterback’s best friend. After the 2015 season was in the books, Walker was the #5 tight end in the NFL. He led all NFL tight ends with 94 receptions. He is a weapon that QB Mariota likes to get the ball to.
K– Mr. Irrelevant from 2009, Ryan Succop, did not have a great fantasy football season in 2015, but you can’t blame Mr. Irrelevant from 2009, Ryan Succop. The man only had 16 field goal attempts in 2015, and made 14 of them. That’s good for a 87. 5%…..11th best in the NFL. The Titans re-signed K Ryan Succop to a three-year contract.
DEF– The Titans were the 23rd worst defense in 2015. Tennessee was 24th vs the pass and 24th vs the run. Houston was the only team in that division with a strong defense (#8 in the NFL) and they won the AFC South. The Titans need a defense that isn’t ranked in the bottom 3rd every year.
2015 Tennessee Fantasy Surprises– 1) If you get as far as the NFL, you are a special talent. Tennessee had talented running backs on their roster in 2015, but none of them did very much, so they traded for RB DeMarco Murray. 2) I am a believer in letting a quarterback hold a clipboard for year, before throwing them at NFL defenses filled with world class athletes. Mariota was given very little time to be a starting NFL quarterback, and he was one.
2016 Free Agents that Tennessee Needs to Address– TE Craig Stevens, ILB Zach Brown, CB Coty Sensabaugh, NT Sammie Lee Hill, NT Al Woods, RT Byron Bell, G/T Jamon Meredith
2016 NFL Draft– The immediate needs of Tennessee is protecting the quarterback that they spent a #2 overall 2015 NFL Draft on. The Titan’s allowed a league-high 54 sacks in 2015. The Titan’s need defensive backs in April and need reinforcements on their defensive line. TENNESSEE’S 2015 DRAFT-
Did You Know– While playing for the Titans, Chris Johnson twice had the longest TD run of the season in the NFL. He did this with a 91 yard scoring run in 2009 and then again with a 94 yard touchdown run in 2012.
Team Home Page: www.titansonline.com
All team reports can be seen at this link- TEAM REPORTS