Breaking Down the Special Teams for Titans

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TRAINING CAMP PREVIEW: SPECIAL TEAMS

In camp: K Ryan Succop, P Brett Kern, LS Beau Brinkley, K/P Jordan Gay, KR/PR Adoree Jackson, KR/PR Eric Weems, KR Khalfani Muhammad, KR/PR Tre McBride, KR/PR Kalan Reed, KR David Fluellen.  

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Offseason developments:** The Titans drafted Jackson in the first round, and Muhammad in the seventh. Both players are speedsters, and capable of making plays in the return game. But long before that the team signed Weems, a special teams ace with the Falcons. The Titans upgraded their special teams units across the board by also signing linebackers Daren Bates and Brynden Trawick, who excelled on special teams with the Raiders. Re-signing linebacker Nate Palmer was also key. The team said goodbye to returner Marc Mariani, who remains a free agent. 

In the spotlight: Weems. When Weems signed with the Titans in March, many fans penciled him in as the team's return man for this fall. Then the Titans drafted Jackson, and Muhammad. It created a question mark in the return game for sure. The thing about Weems is he provides more than just an option as a returner. He's been a core special teams player during his career. He's covered punts and kicks, and lined up at a number of spots on teams. Do the math right now and Weems figures to be deep on the depth chart at the receiver

position. But he still has a good chance to stick because of his value in a number of areas.

Battle to watch: Jackson vs. Muhammad vs. Weems. OK, we're back to the return game again. Jackson and Muhammad are explosive players, with plenty of speed. They're game-changers. Muhammad has to make the team to give himself a chance, and he's battling for the third running back spot with Fluellen, behind DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. Making plays on special teams would help him make a case for himself. Jackson will be busy learning the defense, and getting comfortable. Along the way, can he also prove to be too dangerous to not use in the return game?

Keep an eye on: Trawick and Bates. After signing the former Raiders in March, Titans general manager Jon Robinson revealed something he'd seen watching film last season. Robinson said he noticed Trawick and Bates racing to the goal-line covering kicks, and their sprints continued even on touchbacks, when the play was dead. They'd cross the goal-line like sprinters breaking through tape. And when the ball was in play, they made plenty of plays. Their competitiveness should be fun to watch in Tennessee.

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