The Tennessee Titans are trying to get back into the playoffs. Unfortunately, camp has gotten off to a tough start on the offensive side of the ball.
The Titans need a better season. Marcus Mariota needs a breakout season. Not a good start.
Mere days ago, left tackle Taylor Lewan was slapped with a four-game suspension for failing a drug test for a banned substance. In a critical season for Mariota, the quarterback will now need to be more keenly aware of his blindside protection for the first quarter of the season.
Then, on Friday afternoon, running back Derrick Henry and receiver A.J. Brown were taken inside early. Henry only stretched before leaving, while Brown slipped in a drill before exiting the field. The terms of what was bothering each player is unknown to the public at this point.
Henry is coming off a tremendous run at the end of last season which allowed him to top 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his career. As for Brown, drafted in the second round in April to work opposite of Corey Davis. If either player is out for an extended period, it will be cause of concern for a Titans team that is trying to create some momentum on the offensive side of the ball.
The team is looking to build on an impressive stretch at the end of the 2018 season, where it went 4-1 in its final five games only to lose the ‘win-and-your-in’ game Week 17 to the Indianapolis Colts. Towards the end of last year, the Titans had found their identity on offense.
The Titans hired their fifth offensive coordinator in as many years when they promoted tight end coach Arthur Smith. This promotion has tasked Mariota with learning another new system.
As we await more information on Henry and Brown, Mariota’s room for error is minimal with Ryan Tannehill waiting in the wings. Mariota needs to seize control of the new offense and grow into the leader he was drafted to be. As it stands right now, he’s left to hope two of his top four weapons aren’t compromised.