TicketsBar2By John Glennon, guest columnist

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- He was never the fastest skater in the league to begin with, so it's safe to say that 17 seasons into his storied career – at the ripe old age of 36 – Predators forward Scott Hartnell isn't going to blind anyone with his speed.

StanleyCupPlayoffsBut the player who almost two decades ago earned the nickname “Baby Bull” still has plenty of bite to his game. That's exactly what the Predators needed heading into Game 4 of this Western Conference semifinal series.

As close as this series has been, the big, bruising Winnipeg Jets were clearly winning the physical portion of the match-up through three games, in large part because of the colossus known as Dustin Byfuglien.

The Jets' 6-5, 260-pound Byfuglien had been doing a pretty good impression of the Abominable Snowman in the first three contests. He'd

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – No one is tuning into Monday Night Football because Jason Witten is in the broadcast booth.

Tony Romo was a huge hit in his first year as a CBS analyst. While some felt he talked too much, his ability to forecast what was coming and tell us why was different, and better, than anybody else.MNF

And so in a copycat world, ESPN’s Monday Night Football’s fix post-Jon Gruden is Jason Witten, another ex-Cowboy going straight from the field to the broadcast booth.

He might be good, he might not.

But it’s another remarkable example of how star-struck ESPN and NFL broadcast partners continue to be, despite the constant failures of the approach.

When’s the last time you decided whether to watch a game or not based on who was on the call?

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TicketsBar2NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Jon Robinson has made 13 trades involving draft picks in his three years on the job, from the massive deal involving the 2016 No 1 pick to a seventh-round condition pick exchanges for a back end defensive linemen.

He’s remarkably unafraid to go up or down in the draft to get what he wants or to back out when he’s not in love with something.

Titans logofenceLast week he dealt up three times, turning six picks into four, but coming away with three players he coveted and a fourth he felt was too good to pass up.

Determining winners and losers in trades isn’t easy, particularly with a short turn around.

But I think he was 5-0 in 2016 in deals that netted him DeMarco Murray, Austin Johnson, Derrick Henry, Corey Davis, Jonnu Smith, Dennis Kelly, Jack Conklin, LeShaun Sims and Kalan Reed.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With an archaic offense over the last few years, the Titans were late to the modern NFL trend.

It’s all about 11 personnel. That’s three-wide.

The Titans aren’t going to jump from 44 percent (the second least frequent use of the personnel) to the league-high 81 percent the Rams used. But Matt LaFleur came from the Los Angeles and seems highly likely to pull the Titans close to the NFL average of 59 percent, if not beyond it.ByardOAK

Defenses face a special challenge when they are trying to stop Delanie Walker, and they’ll face more of that in the passing game against Dion Lewis. But those two can be on the field and the Titans can be in three-wide all at the same time.

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TitansHelmetLeftNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- With the Titans’ four-man draft class complete, here’s the depth chart for the offense and defense I sketched out.

I went with a base three-wide offense and with a nickel defense, the sets I think we will see the Titans in the most. In a base defense, one of the three corners would be off the field and Austin Johnson or Bennie Logan would work as the nose tackle.

We are unlikely to see the Titans first unofficial depth chart much before their first preseason game Aug. 9 in Green Bay. But when the hit the field in late July for public training camp practices, we'll know publicly how they are lining up.

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TicketsBar2NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Over and over after shedding Mike Mularkey, Jon Robinson talked of how the Titans failed to maximize the talents of their players in 2017, when they won a playoff game but felt very much like a team that rarely played to its potential.

That’s what prompted the franchise to move away from Mularkey, Terry Robiskie and the vast majority of the staff despite a second consecutive 9-7 season, despite the playoff upset in Kansas City.TitansCards

In free agency, the Titans added only one major piece on offense, running back Dion Lewis. While he will have a big role, he may not qualify as a starter.

Beyond that, the veteran additions were depth pieces: backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert, offensive linemen Xavier Su’a-Filo and Kevin Pamphile, low-ranking wide receiver Michael Campanaro.

And now, with two trades up that pared the Titans down to just four picks, the team spent only one on offense. Luke Falk is in line to be a developmental third-string quarterback.

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TicketsBar2NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Regular-season practice snaps will be limited for Luke Falk as a rookie.

Falk1Marcus Mariota is going to get as many as he can in Matt LaFleur’s new offense while new veteran backup Blaine Gabbert is likely to run the scout team and step into a game if Mariota goes down.

So spending the 199th pick in the 2018 draft on Washington State quarterback Luke Falk dictates the Titans be patient.

It's the same draft slot that will forever be connected to Tom Brady.

Falk said LaFleur traveled to Logan, Utah to work him out.

"I'm not going to lie, it was a pretty grueling process... I expected to get off the board a little earlier," he said. "I think I am one of the most accurate guys, really elevate the guys around me. ...I'm a winner."

(Photo courtesy of Washington State.)

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TicketsBar2NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans filled the biggest hole on their depth chart with Arizona safety Dane Cruikshank, who should be slotted as the team’s No. 3 safety once he gets involved in the system.Cruikshank1

The Titans used one of their 30 prospects visits on Cruikshank, who picked off both Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen playing for the Wildcats. He said he made a lot of big plays and that those were only two of them.

Cruikshank is 6-foot-1, 201 pounds and ran a strong 4.41 and looks have qualities that make him versatile enough to play as a strong safety or a free safety.

(Photo courtesy Arizona.)

“Whatever they need me to play, I'll play,” he said. “I can play in the box, I can run to the post."

The Titans will list him as a “DB.”

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