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Pickers mailbag: At his best, comps for Marcus Mariota

Pickers mailbag: At his best, comps for Marcus Mariota

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Wow, was that a whirlwind of a week. The Titans have four new players who hit on four majorly deficient areas, plus they re-signed two of their own. So we opened up the mailbag and I dive in.

PK: Well, I think it’s a bit more complex than your simple question, which I know you can claim is a cop out.

Because starters in the NFL are basically haves or have nots. Until you are on the list, you’re not on the list. He’s not on the list, which is: Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, Philip Rivers, Patrick Mahomes, Matt Ryan, Deshaun Watson and probably Matthew Stafford. Eleven guys.MariotaChestEagles

Can Marcus Mariota be any of them in terms of what he can do as a passer? No.

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In imperfect Ryan Tannehill, Titans give Marcus Mariota his best backup

In imperfect Ryan Tannehill, Titans give Marcus Mariota his best backup

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In Ryan Tannehill, the Titans have acquired the best backup Marcus Mariota has had in his career, and thus the best chance the team has to win games in the starter’s inevitable absence.

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(Photo courtesy Miami Dolphins.)

The franchise cannot count on Mariota to play 16 games.

In his four seasons, he’s missed four, one, one and three starts, not to mention the games he couldn’t finish that led to those misses.

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Release of Josh Kline again shows Jon Robinson's willingness to admit mistakes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – All NFL GMs have a list of mistakes, but plenty hold on to them too long out of principal.

Jon Robinson is not afraid to eat his.

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He raised his hand and said my bad on Kevin Dodd. He bailed on Matt Cassel after one year and made at least a bit of an upgrade in turning to Blaine Gabbert. traded out Johnathan Cyprien for Kenny Vaccaro. He cut Sylvester Williams. He admitted things couldn’t work with Rishard Matthews when he released him. He let go of Nick Williams right after his dropped TD cost the Titans a game in Buffalo. [Unlocked]

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First impression: Adam Humphries and Rodger Saffold will be fan favorites like Kenny Vaccaro

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Kenny Vaccaro said he did a lot of retweeting while waiting on his new deal with the Titans because there was so much positive stuff coming at him on social media and he knows how unusual that is.

All those good vibes were flying at him because of the way he played for the Titans in 2018. He brought the team a style and level of production that, paired with his personality, made him a big-time fan favorite.

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After Vaccaro chatted with us, what struck me most as two of the Titans three outside additions – Adam Humphries and Rodger Saffold -- met the media is that they are in line to be just as well-liked. [Unlocked.]

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Take a Lap: The Titans' genetic failings at wide receiver

Take a Lap: The Titans' genetic failings at wide receiver

FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- A bit in campus and certainly in size, Battle Ground Academy reminds me a bit of a little place in Somerset, N.J. know as Rutgers Preparatory School, where yours truly was in the class of 1987 and joined the Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017.TakeALap 2

David Jackson joined me for our newest edition of Take a Lap at BGA, where he pays some tuition, this week. 

We fought through the wind and talked about the Titans' Nashville-long failings at wide receiver, the need for some sandpaper in a locker room, how free-agency so far affects the team's draft strategy, coaches as scouts and my top Springsteen concert.

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Titans' acquisitions don't erase needs at those positions

Titans' acquisitions don't erase needs at those positions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- When the Titans’ new deal for Kenny Vaccaro came to light on Monday, I ran through their list of needs:

“The Titans need at least one outside linebacker, at least one defensive lineman, at least one interior offensive lineman, at least one receiver and they should upgrade at backup quarterback from Blaine Gabbert.”TitansChromehelmet

Wednesday, at or shortly after 3 pm, they will announce they’ve signed Rodger Saffold, a guard, Adam Humphries, a receiver, and Cameron Wake, an edge-rushing outside linebacker.

That ends them as a player in Tier 1 free agency.

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Adam Humphries had more first down catches out of the slot than any WR in 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With the Antonio Brown pursuit over, Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel stepped back and assessed what was available they didn’t force something that wasn’t there.SwordsStadium

In Adam Humphries, they landed a guy who’s nothing like Brown in style and skill (or price). But there is no all-around receiver No. 1 on the free-agent list. There never is. There is also no clear-cut deep threat to back defenses up.

Rather than trying to force those expectations on someone, they found a guy who’s good at what he does. It is certainly a narrower role but something the Titans need.

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