Titans Training Camp Preview: Tight Ends



In camp: Delanie Walker, Craig Stevens, Anthony Fasano, Phillip Supernaw, Alex Ellis, Jerome Cunningham.


Offseason developments:** Coming off his first Pro Bowl appearance, the Titans awarded Walker with a contract extension in May. Walker returned to the start of the team's offseason program in great shape. He added cycling to his offseason training regimen. Earlier in the offseason, the team also re-signed Stevens to a one-year deal. Ellis, who played at the University of Tennessee, signed with the team as an undrafted free agent. The team claimed Cunningham, previously with the Jets and Giants, off waivers.

In the spotlight: Walker. The 11th-year pro led the Titans and all NFL tight ends in receptions in 2015 when he caught 94 passes for 1,088 receiving yards, with six touchdowns. He set a franchise records for tight ends in catches and receiving yards, and became just the ninth tight end in NFL history to record 90 catches in a season. Yeah, it's a tough act to follow. Walker did his damage even when defenses knew he was the team's primary target. In 2016, he should benefit from the presence of running backs DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, and improved play around him. Will a more talented supporting cast cause his eye-catching numbers to decrease? That's what fantasy football owners are worried about. But the extra weapons could also free him up to make bigger plays.


Battle to watch:** Stevens vs. Fasano. This isn't necessarily a battle for a roster spot as much as it is for additional playing time. The veterans made solid contributions in 2015 (Fasano had 26 catches for 289 yards and two TDs while Stevens caught 12 passes for 121 yards and two scores), and they'll be counted on again this fall. Stevens is a top-notch blocker with reliable hands while Fasano is a crafty veteran capable of producing big plays in the clutch. Remember, it was Fasano who made the game-winning catch in overtime against the Saints last year.

Keep an eye on: Supernaw. The Titans like Supernaw's toughness, and his ability to help on special teams. He was one of five tight ends to make the roster out of training camp a year ago, and he stuck. He played in all 16 games for the first time in his NFL career in 2015. The Titans want Supernaw to play with more discipline in 2016 after some untimely penalties last year. Supernaw was second on the team in special teams tackles last season, when he also forced a fumble. With the top spot on the waiver wire, this is a position the team could look to make a move at some point as well to add to the competition.

Tomorrow: Offensive line.

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