Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/29/12

Coming off a season in which the Titans quietly finished 9-7, just one game behind the division-winning Texans, head coach Mike Munchak headed into camp with a singular vision.

Instead of being an also-ran, Munchak was prepared to shake up a solid roster with the goal of kicking down the door to the playoffs.

The Titans featured an offense and defense that were both solid, but not spectacular.

With offensive coordinator Chris Palmer having graduated from the Kevin Gilbride school of spread offenses influenced by the pass-heavy run-and-shoot system, the Titans prepared to open up the passing game.

The defensive unit, while an effective, generated only 28 sacks as an entire team.

One quarter of those came from defensive tackle Karl Klug.

That lack of pressure allowed opposing quarterbacks more time to read defenses and avoid errant passes, with cornerback Jason McCourty and safety Michael Griffin the only players with more than one interception.

Both had two each.

Here is a look at the depth chart adjustments that Munchak has made to make some noise in the AFC playoff picture.

Quarterback

This is the most obvious depth chart shake-up, with second-year quarterback Jake Locker winning the position battle this preseason over veteran Matt Hasselbeck. Although Hasselbeck put together a surprisingly solid year last season, the cards were stacked in Locker’s favor for a few reasons.

First of all, Palmer’s offense is suited for a strong-armed and mobile quarterback that can make down-field throws. He adjusted it last season to suit a quarterback, Hasselbeck, that never had the strongest arm even in his prime.

His mobility was still decent, but he was always a better fit for the timing throws of a West Coast offense.

Locker on the other hand has blazing speed and a strong arm and does not lose and velocity when throwing across his body on the run. He will make throws through tight windows, and, even with his shaky accuracy and suspect touch, spreading out a defense vertically and horizontally with tough throws outside the numbers predicates Palmer’s offense.

Running Back

By spending the offseason training with the team for the first time in his career, Chris Johnson has shown up to camp with extra muscle and a renewed focus. Never one to overpower a defense, running into a crowded line of scrimmage with Hasselbeck under center did not lend itself to his skill set.

After critics questioned whether the all-muscle, no-finesse Javon Ringer was the better back, Johnson is on a mission to prove that last season was an eight-men-in-the-box fluke. Taking advantage of his renewed explosion and more wide-open running lanes, Johnson ripped off a pair of 14-yard touchdown runs during his first preseason game with Locker as the starter.

He may never replicate his 2,000-yard season, which is something that no back has ever achieved twice, but Johnson has a firm grip on the starting spot in Tennessee.

Wide Receiver

Kenny Britt was on the way to a monster season in 2011, recording 136 and 135 yards receiving in his first two games, respectively. After being derailed by a knee injury in the third game, Britt has yet to take the field due to setbacks in his recovery. Another brush with the law has not helped matters, either, but Britt has finally been activated off the PUP list.

With the addition of Kendall Wright in the first round of the Draft and the success of Nate Washington at the flanker position, Britt has not needed to be rushed back. With the ability of Washington to excel out of the slot and Wright to bounce around in any position, the depth chart for the position is mostly in name only.

Nevertheless, Wright is still listed behind Damian Williams at the Z receiver, while Nate Washington is listed as the starting X receiver. Britt has not yet been added to the chart since his recent activation, but has the strength and speed to be the most viable option at the X position.

It will be interesting to see the different ways that the three are used to create mismatches.

Defensive End

While Derrick Morgan has fallen behind in production from another defensive end from his draft class, Jason Pierre-Paul, his injuries have cleared up and he has shown improvement this preseason.

Although he only has one sack to show for his efforts, that is still one-fourth of his career totals in the regular season.

With Klug as the team's only consistent pass-rusher, Tennessee made the move to sign Kamerion Wimbley this offseason. While Wimbley has played standing up as a 3-4 linebacker for many years, he is a formidable pass rusher, recording 16 sacks in the past two seasons. With Klug collapsing the pocket from the inside, look for Wimbley and Morgan to revive the Titans’ pass rush.

Cornerback

After Cortland Finnegan followed former Titans coach Jeff Fisher to St. Louis, there is a hole to fill across from Jason McCourty. Third-year cornerback Alterraun Verner looks to step up using the same physical skill set and ability to play in the box rushing the passer and stuffing the run that Finnegan displayed in Tennessee.

During his rookie season in 2010, Verner started 12 games and snagged 3 INTs. He only picked off on pass in three starts last season, but is an imposing cornerback that, along with McCourtey and free safety Griffin, will benefit from a better pass rush.



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