TRAINING CAMP PREVIEW: QUARTERBACKS
In camp: Marcus Mariota, Matt Cassel, Alex Tanney.
Offseason developments:** Marcus Mariota added five pounds to his 6-foot-4 frame, and is now closer to 225 pounds. He's looked stronger, and more confident. The Titans signed veteran Matt Cassel in March after releasing Zach Mettenberger, who started 10 games over the past two seasons. Cassel has won games in the NFL, and he's been a good sounding board for Mariota this offseason. Mettenberger was claimed by the Chargers, where he was reunited with former Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt, now offensive coordinator in San Diego. Alex Tanney returned to compete for the No.3 spot in Tennessee, and he's had a solid offseason.
In the spotlight: Mariota. Of course it has to be the starter. Mariota set franchise records for most touchdowns (19), completions (230), passing yards (2,818) and passing attempts (370) in his first NFL season despite missing four games with knee injuries. The Titans have been pleased with his progress, but cleaning up things at the line of scrimmage and being more accurate throwing the deep ball are among the things on his preseason checklist. So far, he's looked very comfortable while working with new offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie. With more weapons around him, there's reason to believe he'll make a big jump in 2016.
Battle to watch:** Cassel vs. Cassel. The reality here is Cassel isn't competing with Mariota for the starter's spot, and he's not in danger of being passed by Tanney. The Titans signed him to be the No.2, and he's been just what the team had in mind this offseason. The offense has been more efficient in practices with Cassel on the field compared to work previously with Mettenberger. Cassel's mission is to keep improving, and make sure he's ready to play in the event something happens to Mariota.
Keep an eye on: Tanney. The Titans thought Tanney was cool and confident when he played in the season finale last year at Indianapolis. He showed a commitment this offseason by being a regular at the facility, starting in January. The team thinks he's a good No.3. But can the Titans keep three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster? It depends on some other players on the roster, and whether the Titans feel they can afford the luxury of keeping 3 on the roster. Tanney has practice squad eligibility.
Tomorrow: Running backs.