NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Observations from Titans camp:
1. The day I watched the Titans, Vince Young did not play in the preseason opener for violating a team rule. Is that a penalty, not playing in the preseason? At any rate, it's not a good sign when the franchise player is disciplined for off-the-field stuff. Young needs to be above that stuff. As for his on-the-field work, word is he's having a much better camp throwing the football, although he still struggles with the short passing game. If the Titans are to be a playoff team, he's going to have to do more in the pocket and less with his legs. That can be tough to instill on a young, athletic passer. But it has to happen. The sooner it does the better. As for the off-field issues, remember this is a man who missed a team flight but was allowed to play last year. It was only a preseason game, so coach Jeff Fisher didn't hesitate to force him out against Washington for going home when he was supposed to stay at the team hotel. Young bolted the locker room without talking to the media, another blunder. Stand up for your mistakes, Vince. The Titans allowed Steve McNair to get away with a lot of things when he was the quarterback. He was never the hardest worker, according to team insiders. Young has that same reputation, so he has to nip it in the bud. Young has to take more pride in working to be a better player. It takes hard work. It takes time. Some Titans insiders insist that his success -- overrated at that -- last season as a rookie could be a bad thing. Cockiness and arrogance are how great talents never reach their potential. Here's hoping Young comes to his senses.
2. The Titans let Drew Bennett leave via free agency, and the bad thing is they haven't done much to replace him. They added veteran Eric Moulds right before the start of training camp and he should be good for the third-and-short stuff. He's expected to be a starter. He doesn't run that well. This is a team that needs a young player, maybe Roydell Williams or Brandon Jones, to emerge as a go-to receiver. Both those players have speed but have not done much their first couple of seasons. As a group, this has to be one of the worst receiving units in the league. That could change if some of the youngsters step up. But that's a big if. If you're looking for a fantasy player to watch, keep an eye on backup tight end Bo Scaife. The third-year player from Texas isn't listed as a starter, but he will play a lot. He's a better receiver than starter Ben Troupe. He's also a former teammate of Young's at Texas.
3. Losing Pacman Jones for the year for off-the-field issues will really be felt by this team. Jones was a great as a return man, and he was also on his way to being a Pro Bowl corner. He gave up six completions in 2006 in man coverage, and you can't replace that kind of coverage ability. The Titans did sign Nick Harper as a free agent away from the Colts, but he's not in Jones' class. He excelled in the Colts' Cover-2 scheme, but there are some scouts who wonder if he was a guy who was covered up by a good pass rush in his time with the Colts. Reynaldo Hill is the starter on the other side, but rookie first-round pick Michael Griffin is pushing him for that spot. Second-year player Cortland Finnegan will also be in the mix. He will be the return man in place of Jones.
4. The offensive line is one of the more underrated units in the league. The two tackles, Michael Roos on the left side and David Stewart, are one of the better young duos in the league. Both players are in their third year and both are now coming into their own. With veteran Kevin Mawae anchoring the middle of the line, and two solid guards in Jacob Bell and Benji Olsen, this line should do a nice job in front of Young.
5. Tennessee went out and signed Ryan Fowler to fill their middle linebacker spot. He plays between David Thornton and Keith Bulluck, a good duo of outside linebackers, so how he plays will determine if this can be one of the better units in the league. At 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, he's got good size and they think he will help improve the run defense. Bulluck, by the way, remains one of the league's most-underrated players.