Steelers South 2017 thoughts
As Dick Lebeau came to the Titans, so did former Steelers. Coach Mike Mularkey and former coach Ken Whisenhunt were also former Steelers coaches.
Former Titans Hall of Fame player and former coach, Mike Munchak, coaches the Steelers offensive line.
As a free agent considers other teams, one concern is picking up a new offensive or defensive system. The Titans defensive coordinator offers familiarity to former Steelers. Lebeau is a legend too, which helps to attract free agents as well.
This is not looking like it will be a year where the Titans sign several former Steelers.
Leveon Bell is an outstanding running back. The Titans don’t have a need at running back and the Steelers placed the franchise tag on him.
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Landry Jones had an impressive college career at Oklahoma. In Pittsburgh, he has struggled for most of his time there. He has had a couple good preseason games and he did play decent in relief of Ben Roethlisberger. All-in-all his play has been uninspiring. His improvement in 2016 could stir up a smidge of interest. For the Titans, maybe he would replace Alex Tanney as their third quarterback. This is doubtful though.
Cody Wallace and DeAngelo Williams could always join the Titans as cheap veteran backups if there isn’t a market for their services. As has been discussed, this happens in May or June after the players have tested the free agent market and their value plummets. Again, doubtful.
Markus Wheaton is a fast, less than six foot tall, wide receiver. He suffered a shoulder injury last season and didn’t play after week five. He was expected to have a prominent role, but did not. Last season, his contract was roughly $700,000. Like Brandin Cooks, Wheaton went to Oregon State and can “take the top off” a defense. He is cheap and has impressive game speed. It’s possible the Titans are interested.
Ricardo Matthews, David Johnson, and Shamarko Thomas are probably not in the Titans plans.
Lawrence Timmons is interesting. He is a highly paid player that made roughly $9.5 million dollars last year. He is a very good inside linebacker and the Titans do have a spot to fill next to Avery Williamson.
The Titans don’t have a history of big spending in free agency. Jon Robinson hasn’t signed free agents to huge contracts. The Titans were the worst team in football before last season. Were there many players interested in joining them? This is new territory.
The NFL draft does offer some impressive inside linebackers that should be available where the Titans pick. They do not have to sign a free agent inside linebacker, but if they do, that is one less position they need to fill in the draft.
I’d put the Titans interest as definite, but whether Robinson would want to pay handsomely for Timmons’ services is questionable.
This seems like it will be the year the Titans shake the Steelers South label.