The new look Tennessee Titans will open their four game pre-season schedule at home against the New Orleans Saints on August 12th in a 7:00 p.m. contest at LP Field.
The Titans will travel to Denver for an August 19th battle against the Broncos. They will return home for an August 26th date with the Atlanta Falcons and conclude the preseason with a September 1st game at Green Bay.
Highly successful Tennessee head coach Jeff Fisher returns for his twelfth season at the helm, but gone are quarterback Steve McNair and left tackle Brad Hopkins, two of the cornerstones from the Titans glory years of 1999-2003. The Titans, the youngest team in the league a year ago, are rebuilding. They will attempt to rebound from a 4-12 mark with a mixture of improving young veterans and four solid off-season free agent acquisitions.
There are also a pair of highly touted draft choices waiting in the wings who may get a chance to make their mark this year.
One of the youngsters who must step up is second year man Michael Roos, who is slated to replace Hopkins. Roos will be protecting the blind side of a new starter at quarterback, Billy Volek.
Volek, who filled in admirably when McNair was injured two seasons ago, will be able to hand off to a pair of capable running backs in Chris Brown, who rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2004 and Travis Henry, the former Tennessee Vol. The seven year vet out of Fresno State will also benefit immensely from two of the free agents the Titans targeted in the off season, veteran center Kevin Mawae and wide receiver David Givens.
On defense, where the Titans struggled a year ago, safety Chris Hope and linebacker David Thornton were brought in to help. Kyle Vander Bosch, a Pro Bowl defensive end, cornerback Pacman Jones are two key returnees.
But of course, the biggest off season buzz was created when the Titans selected quarterback Vince Young from the national champion University of Texas Longhorns with the third overall pick in the collegiate draft. Young will back up Volek, at least initially, while he learns the offense. The Titans took big running back LenDale White from USC with their second selection, and he is expected to compete with Brown and Henry for playing time.
There will be plenty of talent on hand and a lot of optimism in the air when the Titans open training camp July 28th.
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