Tennessee Titans 2020 Team Overview

Tennessee Titans 2020 Team Overview

Titans 2020 Team Overview

Tennessee Titans 2020 Team Overview

Owner:

Amy Strunk and KSA Industries.  The original owner, Bud Adams owned the franchise originally when it was in Houston, known as the Oilers. 

Amy is the daughter of Adams.  She owns ⅓ of the franchise.  The other ⅔ are also owned by family.  KSA Industries is the company that controls all of Bud Adams businesses. 

Amy is the acting and controlling owner.  She is very well liked in Nashville because she has promoted the team around town unlike her late father. 

She is so well liked that a lot of Titans fans refer to her as mom. 

She just recently gained controll after her sister, who owns another ⅓ of the franchise, gave her control. 

Strunk has done a pretty good job in getting a new general manager and team president around 2016.

General Manager

Jon Robinson is the GM.  Jon’s picture on wikipedia has him in a suit with his shirt collar open and some nice shades on. 

Self esteem is not lacking with him and neither is his Nashville country superstar look.  He started as an area scout for the New England Patriots in 2002.

So it makes sense why he hired Vrabel. Then in 2016 he became the Titans GM. 

Since becoming the GM in 2016, he has drafted Derrick Henry, Kevin Byard and signed Ryan Tannehill and Demarco Murray. 

He has also gone through a couple head coaches but looks to have a young bright coach in Mike Vrabel.  The Titans have a really good identity now Robinson is a big part of that.

Head Coach: 

Mike Vrabel.  Vrabel was a really good linebacker in the NFL for the Steelers and most notably the Patriots. 

Vrabel got into coaching shortly after his playing career at Ohio State and then went to Houston. 

After being the defensive coordinator for the Texans in 2017, Vrabel became the head coach in 2018 for the Tennessee Titans. 

In 2018 he went 9-7 and also went 9-7 in 2019.  In 2019 his team caught fire down the stretch and made the playoffs as a wild card team. 

His team beat the Patriots to end Tom Brady’s career in New England and then the next week beat the NFL MVP, Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. 

The Titans were then up against the Chiefs in the AFC championship game but then the Chiefs exploded in the 2nd half to win easily. 

Vrabel has done a really nice job in getting the Titans to play tough week in and week out.

Fantasy Outlook for the Titans

QB: Ryan Tannehill

If Ryan Tannehill started the first 4 games of the season then, based on his 20 fantasy points per game, would have finished at the 6th best fantasy QB in the NFL. 

He had a 70% completion percentage and also had a 7% touchdown to completion percentage. 

This is all due to a successful running game that opens up the passing game.  I know that the Titans will run the ball again a lot in 2020 but I think they let Tannehill open things up a little more often. 

The Titans really like WR AJ Brown and Corey Davis flashes from time to time but this isn’t an amazing receiving crew.  Jonnu Smith is a pretty good tight end and is primed for a breakout year. 

Smith has always done well when he played but has been behind Delaine Walker the past couple of years. 

Another reason Tannehill’s completion percentage is so high and his interceptions low, is because he likes to tuck the ball and run when he doesn’t see anybody open.  He had 4 rushing touchdowns in 2019 too. 

The Titans also have 4 out of the 5 starting offensive lineman back for 2020 and have a reliable replacement for the departing Jack Conklin. 

That reliable replacement is Dennis Kelly.  The Titans also drafted a Tackle in the 1st round of the 2020 NFL draft. 

If last years numbers are no fluke then you should definitely look to draft Tannehill as your starting QB in 2020. 

At worst, Tannehill should be drafted as your backup and play whichever QB has the best matchup that week.

RB: Derrick Henry

The Titans drafted a running back in the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL draft but that shouldn’t slow big Derrick Henry down. 

That draft pick is more likely to be a pass catching 3rd down back.  Henry has pretty much the same offensive line, the same coordinator and the same QB in 2020 as he had in 2019.  The Titans love their offense being called exotic smash mouth football. 

They will be running Derrick Henry until the cows come home.  Bank on it.  Henry, if healthy, will be a top 5 fantasy running back in 2020. 

His health is a concern though.  He is 27 years old and is projected to have 300 carries.  He missed the fantasy championship in week 16 of last year and this is definitely something to consider when drafting Henry. 

However, if I was sitting at the 5th pick or even the 3rd pick in my fantasy league then I would be drafting Derrick Henry.

WR: AJ Brown

AJ had an amazing rookie year. He and Tannehill had great chemistry.  AJ is definitely worth his average draft position of late 3rd round or early 4th round. 

He is probably the 2nd most gifted WR in the NFL behind Julio Jones.  I know that the Titans will run the ball a ton and that Brown will probably only have around 100 targets but he’s still worth it in my opinion. 

Whenever Brown touches the ball he is electric.  His fantasy floor is probably 7 points a game but then he will have multiple 20 point games for you this season. 

I would definitely draft him as your #1 WR.  

WR: Corey Davis

I am staying away from Corey.  For whatever reason, he has not panned out after being taken 5th overall by the Titans a couple years back. 

Some games he explodes and it makes you wonder where has this been at.  I can’t take the chance of drafting him but I will monitor his season. 

The talent is there but the volume and consistency is lacking.

TE: Jonnu Smith

Delanie Walker used to be Marcus Mariota’s security blanket.  Now Ryan Tannehill is the Quarterback.  This is bad news for Jonnu. 

Jonnu started 14 games last year and only had 44 targets.  That is not what you need from your fantasy tight end.  Stay away from Jonnu unless Derrick Henry gets hurt.

Titans Offensive Preview 2020

Offensive: Arthur Smith is the offensive coordinator and play caller for the Titans.  He played Guard in college at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. 

He has been with the Titans since 2011 coaching various offensive positions.  He was promoted to the offensive coordinator and play caller in 2019. 

His offense is known around the league as exotic smash mouth football.  In Smith’s 1 year as OC, he fell in love with running the ball with Derrick Henry. 

He was 2nd in the league in calling running plays.  He was 31st in the league in calling passing plays.  The Titans were still efficient in the passing plays that they did which led them to have the 21st most passing yards in the NFL. 

However, this team has a great offensive line coming back in 2020 and there will be no surprises with what plays are called. 

They will be running the ball with big Derrick Henry.  The thing to pay attention to is that they just signed Ryan Tannehill to a long term contract. 

Ryan has been up and down throughout his career and also injured.  It will be interesting to see if Tannehill can progress or lead his team to comebacks in 2020.

Titans Defensive Preview 2020

This is a mystery.  Last years Defensive Coordinator was Dean Pees but retired after the 2019 season. 

Mike Vrabel has decided to not go with a designated defensive coordinator.  Since Mike has been a defensive coordinator before in Houston, it kind of feels like Vrabel will be calling the plays in 2020 and being the head coach. 

Interesting side note is that the linebackers coach is Jim Haslett who used to be Vrabel’s defensive coordinator when Vrabel played for the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Vrabel has said that he does not want to bring in anybody who hasn’t been with him in Houston or that isn’t on the staff in Tennessee. 

This might have to do with the Covid-19 situation in players getting to know a new coach virtually. 

Whatever the case may be, the Titans have a close knit coaching staff who gets along with one another really well. 

Maybe it will be a joint effort or maybe Vrabel thinks it is too much for him to do and wants to give Haslett the play calling responsibility come September. 

Whatever happens, this defense looks to be impressive if they can all stay healthy.  However, they did struggle on pass defense. 

Defensive Line/Linebackers

They were also middle of the road in terms of sacks, takeaways and rush defense.  The Titans run a 3-4 defense and are pretty happy with their defensive line. 

They have 2nd year guy Jeffrey Simmons who was their 1st round pick in 2019.  In the middle is DaQuon Jones who was really good against the run. 

The other lineman position looks to be up for grabs by lack luster veterans and a 5th round draft pick. 

The outside linebackers are Harold Landry III and Kamalei Correa. 

The Titans like both Landry III and Correa.  Landry III had a pretty good rookie year with 9.5 sacks but they need him to have a better year in 2020 to help give the Titans a consistent pass rush. 

The Titans also signed Vic Beasely this offseason but he has been up and down as a successful pass rusher. 

Beasely had 8 sacks last season with the falcons.  However, the Titans still think they need a more reliable pass rusher and this is why they have been linked with free agent Jadeveon Clowney.  As of now the pass rush looks to be Beasely, Landry III and Simmons. 

This is definitely an average pass rushing group that will have to rely on blitzing in order to rush the passer. 

The inside linebackers are former 1st round draft pick Rashaan Evans and Jayon Brown.  Evans had a really nice year last year leading the Titans in tackles. 

He had a lot of impactful plays and great goal line stands against the Patriots in the playoffs. 

He says he is working extremely hard this offseason and wants to make a huge impact in his 3rd year.  Jayon Brown is excellent in pass coverage and is a great tackler too.  This inside linebacking crew is a great duo for the Titans. 

Safety

The secondary for the Titans looks to be a solid group.  They are led by safety Kevin Byard.  Byard is arguably a top 5 safety in the NFL. 

The other safety is Kenny Vaccaro.  Vaccaro is an 8 year veteran who didn’t wow anybody last year.  He is a serviceable NFL safety. 

They drafted safety Amani Hooker in the 4th round in 2019 but he didn’t play a ton last year. 

Cornerbacks

The corner backs are Malcom Butler and Adoree Jackson.  Adoree has been a bright spot at times for the Titans and the Titans picked up his 5th year option. 

However, I don’t think Adoree has made an All-Pro team or Pro bowl as a corner.  The couple games that I have watched Adoree in, he has not overly impressed me either. 

I would consider him to be a quality NFL cornerback.  Butler has struggled since he left New England. 

Butler was most known for the game winning interception in the Super Bowl against the Seahawks.  Since joining the Titans he has struggled. 

The Titans are aware of this and drafted a rookie cornerback out of LSU, Kristian Fulton.  Fulton was considered by many to have a chance to be drafted in the 1st round in 2020 but ultimately fell to the Titans in the 2nd round. 

Fulton had a really nice senior year with LSU.  He definitely will have a chance to start by the middle of the season.

Jonathan Joseph is 35 years old and is the other corner on the team and he is a veteran that has played under Vrabel in Houston. 

Maybe they brought Joseph in to help train the younger corners.  Hard to imagine at 35 or 36 years old that you can be a huge contributor at cornerback. 

With all of this said,  the weakness of this team is the pass rush followed by the cornerback group.  You could make a case for which one is worse. 

Defensive Conclusion

They are not terrible but they will need to be better then average in order to give the Titans a chance to win the division.  The run defense looks stout and should be a strength. 

I am concerned about how good safety Kenny Vaccaro will be this year.  If the rookie cornerback, Fulton, does not pan out then this secondary could have some major issues. 

Overall, I do think the pass rush will be a middle of the road to even potentially a bad pass rush. 

The secondary is a question mark but I think has a little more upside then the pass rush. 

This defense will have to rely on successful blitz packages and turnovers in order to give the Titans a chance in securing a division title.

Fun Facts About Coaches

As previously mentioned, Jim Haslett used to be Mike Vrabel’s defensive coordinator as a player when Vrabel played with the Steelers in the late 1990’s.

Depth Chart:

Contract Year Players:

RB: Derrick Henry

DE: Vic Beasely

DT: DaQuan Jones

TE: Jonnu Smith

LB: Jayon Brown

Titans Offensive Line Preview

The Titans have a lot of the same pieces in place this year. 

They especially have a very impressive left side of the line with Tackle, Taylor Lewan and Gaurd, Roger Saffold.  They also will have Ben Jones who was last years starting center.

The concern with this offensive line is the right side.

They lost Tackle Jack Conklin in free agency but the Titans are high on Tackle Dennis Kelly and the rookie from Georgia, Isaiah Wilson.  Wilson was their 1st round draft pick in 2020. 

They are so high on Dennis Kelly that they signed him to a 3 year extension this off season for around $20 million dollars.  Kelly has played some Guard during his NFL career and is also the brother of the Houston Texans offensive coordinator.

The Titans also like Kelly enough to throw touchdowns to him.  He caught 2 touchdown passes last year.  So between Wilson and Kelly, the Right Tackle position looks to be in pretty good hands.

The main concern is Right Gaurd, Nate Davis.  I wouldn’t categorize him as a huge concern but in his 2019 rookie season, he played like a rookie at times.  Davis gave up 7 sacks last year and had 8 penalties.

The only silver lining is that he started in all 3 playoff games and now has a lot of experience and game tape to look back on and study.

Overall, this offensive line has a lot of continuity and are familiar with one another.  This will be especially important due to the Covid-19 off season that has kept teams from OTA’s and mini camps. 

With the same offensive coordinator, Arthur Smith and a majority of the offensive line returning in 2020, Derrick Henry is set for another monster year.

 

Eric

Thank you for reading my post. Dominique and I hope you find our website helpful. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or comments!

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