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The Paul Kuharsky Podcast: Why The Titans Waited For 2024 Rebuild

The Paul Kuharsky PodcastNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Earlier this week I looked at the Titans' 2024 depth chart based on who they currently have under contract next year.

It's not pretty, and it will be awfully difficult to avoid calling it a rebuild.

Some of you read that and wondered, why wait?

That's where I start this week's road edition of the podcast.

The new episode awaits you on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, iHeart and YouTube, which is below.

Other subjects I dive into:

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Titans' new pass rusher Arden Key relies on more than bend

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Among the Titans' biggest additions to their defense, it would be great if Arden Key was the highest impact.

Tennessee Titans linebacker Arden Key (49) runs during an OTA practice at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park in Nashville, Tenn., Wednesday, May 31, 2023.
Arden Key/ © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

He will take over for Bud Dupree, playing opposite Harold Landry. In the Mike Vrabel era, the team has been at its best when the front four has generated consistent pressure on its own. If Landry, back from an ACL repair, and Key can do that in combination with Jeffery Simmons and Denico Autry in between them, the Titans will be in prime position to impact games defensively.

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No doubt about rebuild ahead when considering Titans under contract in 2024

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A lot has been made of the semantics of what the Titans are doing this year. Is it a rebuild? Is it a soft rebuild? Is it a retool?

Azeez Al-Shaair
Azeez Al-Shaair only signed with the Titans for one year/ Courtesy 49ers

I don't know that it has to have a label. They've managed to keep Ryan Tannehill without extending him and Derrick Henry, too, is heading into the last year of his contract. Meanwhile, they drafted likely replacements for each in Will Levis and Tyjae Spears.

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Titans' Mail: How Much Can The Offense Change With Derrick Henry In The Middle Of It?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Welcome to the mailbag.

I'm glad you are here.

If you've not checked out the podcast somehow, here are handy links to the new episode, Vrabel Converting Me: AppleSpotifyGoogle PodcastsTuneIniHeart and YouTube.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) hands the ball off to running back Derrick Henry (22) during an NFL football minicamp Wednesday, June 7, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn.
Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill/ © Mark Zaleski / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

There is some vacation ahead for me, that will be centered around some travel baseball, a beach and some time with one of my brothers and his family. So I hope the pod and this mailbag will hold you over for a while.

Onto the best of what you asked.

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The Paul Kuharsky Podcast: An Area Where Mike Vrabel Is Converting Me

The Paul Kuharsky PodcastNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- When the Titans are flat, we look for energy from players to get the team started. 

But Mike Vrabel is not a big believer in the idea that energy produces plays.

"Energy is brought by making plays on the field," he said in 2019. "Finishing. Whether it be a block downfield, an extra effort run, a great catch. The people who make plays are the ones who bring energy. That’s who we count on.”

I've always thought he overly downplayed the amount of energy that could come from non-playmakers. But watching u13 baseball last weekend did a lot to convert me to Vrabel's thinking.

That's a piece of this week's podcast.

The new episode awaits you on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, iHeart and YouTube, which is below.

Other subjects I dive into in an edition heavy on analytics:

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Four Free Agents Beside DeAndre Hopkins Who Still Make Sense For The Titans: Mike Herndon

Four Free Agents Beside DeAndre Hopkins Who Still Make Sense For The Titans: Mike Herndon

By MIKE HERNDON, columnist

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- While DeAndre Hopkins is the only true needle-mover on the NFL free agent market for the Titans, there are certainly a few other capable veterans still looking for work that could help reinforce a thin roster in Tennessee.

Cleveland Browns John Johnson III celebrates his interception against the Denver Broncos on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 in Cleveland, at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Browns won the game 17-14. [Phil Masturzo/ Beacon Journal] Browns
John Johnson III/ © PHIL MASTURZO / USA TODAY NETWORK

The cap situation remains tight – the Titans have $7,764,628 in 2023 space available according to the NFLPA – so I don’t imagine we will see a sudden spending spree this late in the offseason, but a small deal for one or two of these players could make some sense for Ran Carthon.

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The Titans' Three Quarterback Conundrum Compared To What The NFL Did Last Season

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Reports of how Will Levis and Malik Willis looked in offseason practices got spun into tidy and incorrect headlines by aggregators.

They said Willis outperformed Levis.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Will Levis (8) runs a drill during an NFL football minicamp Wednesday, June 7, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn.
Will Levis/ © Mark Zaleski / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

Which just makes things too simple.

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Podcast: The Wrong Comparison for the Titans

The Paul Kuharsky PodcastNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Will Levis has been on display for three OTA practices and three minicamp practices and he benefitted from too many comparisons to Malik Willis, a quarterback project who was a bomb as a rookie.

It's super-early, but there still should have been at least some moments where we saw a guy who looked like a potential successor to Ryan Tannehill.

I didn't really see them.

That's where we start this week's podcast.

The new episode awaits you on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, iHeart and YouTube, which is below.

Other subjects I dive into:

💥 Ryan Tannehill's new kind of takeoff
💥 Colton Dowell's hand technique
💥 Stars on Mars
💥 Kristian Fulton getting it is good, but it taking this long is bad

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