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YAZOO PODCAST: My approach for the Titans with free-agent WRs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Should the Titans chase Sammy Watkins or Allen Robinson?

These are the sorts of questions you can learn the answer to in the most recent edition of The Paul Kuharsky Podcast. Madison Blevins rejoins me for a very special edition, out first without new sponsor: Yazoo Brewing Company, a Nashville original since 2003. I'm partial to the Hefeweizen.

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Part 1, like podcast versions of my public Periscope and Facebook Lives, is available through iTunes, here, or directly through the Vokal website, here. Feel free to hook us up with a rating and review on iTunes. We always welcome your feedback.

If you're a member of the site, Part 1 and Part 2 are together, and all you have to do is head below the line.

Other topics: DeMarco Murray's pending release, Mike Vrabel's hands-on participation at Alabama's pro day, free agents the Titans should consider, and a couple draft prospects I'm really curious about.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans have told DeMarco Murray he will be released, and a team that spent a 2016 second-round pick on Derrick Henry is ready to move forward at running back.

Murray brought the team the sort of intensity that had often been missing during the Ken Whisenhunt regime and his work in 2016 shouldn’t be forgotten.

Murray was Jon Robinson’s first big move. He swapped fourth-round picks with Philadelphia as the Eagles undid a free-agent signing that did not work for Chip Kelly. And to bring Murray to Tennessee Robinson got him to agree to a re-worked contract.

The running back helped the Titans re-establish themselves with 293 carries for 1,287 yards and six touchdowns. He also caught 44 passes for another 322 yards and an additional score.

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He was a reliable third-down player, good running routes and effective at keeping blitzers off of Marcus Mariota.

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Ohio State's Sam Hubbard: 'Reminds you of a young Mike Vrabel'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – No position is of bigger need for the Titans heading into 2018 as edge pass rusher.

Their depth is lacking and their two incumbent starters, Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan, are getting older and heading into the last year of their deals.

We will look at a lot of guys at the spot, but as I discussed one of them -- Ohio State's Sam Hubbard --  with a scout, he gave me a comparison that I couldn’t wait to discuss.hubbard Sam OSU17PSU jq 20

“Good player, smart guy, very tough,” he told me. “Average athlete. But makes plays. Reminds you of a young Mike Vrabel.”

It’s clear how much Jon Robinson liked Vrabel’s playing style and leadership. It’s clear how much Vrabel prided himself on using his smart to help him be a playmaker.

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Why bad predictions shouldn't be lumped in with bad reporting, bad takes and bad jokes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Like most writers/reporters/analysts who closely follow a team, I have certain insight into the Titans.

It doesn’t make me good at predicting things about them, because, as I say, again and again, the single biggest attraction the NFL has is its unpredictability.

The desire fans have for predictions is strong, but it’s not as strong as the urge to bash people for missing on predictions.

IMG 7051Sometimes I have a strong feeling about whether they will win or lose the upcoming game. But I don't know who's going to win on a given Sunday. Such fortune-telling better coming from Vegas guys, who advise you on which way to bet, as it's their job.

For a writer/reporter/analyst/columnist, the job is to find out new information, to tell you what new information means when it surfaces and to craft opinions based on information and what we see and hear.

When I recently wrote about how NFL reporters seem wary of saying they were wrong, I saw, again, how people mix things up. A news report that is wrong is a far different than a game prediction that is wrong.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – No one had a bigger role in creating the opportunity Mike Vrabel has stepped into than Marcus Mariota.

It’s a bit odd to think of it that way.

But in no uncertain terms, Mike Mularkey’s inability to maximize Mariota’s talents was the chief reason Mularkey lost his job, creating an opening Jon Robinson picked Vrabel to fill.

That, combined with the fact that the quarterback is any team’s most popular topic, creates questions for Vrabel about Mariota.MariotaHeadJags

But the new coach has been reluctant to talk much about his signal-caller.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – That stereotypical crusty old scout chomping on a cigar with a billion Holiday Inn points in his account isn’t part of the Tennessee Titans anymore.

Among the changes Jon Robinson has made in his two seasons as the franchise’s GM is a significant turnover in the scouting department.

Gone are old-guard guys like Phil Neri, Marv Sunderland, Tim Ruskell and Mike Yowarsky.Scouts1

The college scouting staff Robinson inherited in 2015 had an average of 22.8 years of NFL experience heading into that season. By my count, the current staff has an average of 8.3 heading into this season.

Old scouts can be set in their ways and that can be a positive or a negative. New scouts haven’t seen as much and that can be a positive or negative.

The overall shift is not good or bad, but it is different. I think this is the youngest college scouting staff the franchise has had in the Tennessee era.

“I want them to continue to improve as evaluators,” Robinson said. “We’ve obviously tried to teach them what we are looking for in players, certain skills sets, position skills, critical factors, developing relationships

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Pickers mailbag: Hand-timed 40s, Ben Jones' future and combine player visits

pickers vodka 847x63NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Greetings from Music City, where I've returned from the scouting combine. The Midday 180 had a successful trip, and you should head here to catch up on all our interviews, including sit-downs with Mike Vrabel and Jon Robinson.

PK: The answer is one people who embrace change won't like. It’s mostly because they’ve always done it that way.

If you’ve "hand-timed" for year and years and you want to be able to compare Player A from this year to Player B from 10 years ago (when he was hand timed) and to everyone else you’ve ever timed, then it’s more apples to apples.

I’d think at some point you’d flip the switch to going by official electronic time, but that doesn’t seem to be happening.

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With heavier college influence than ever, NFL has been too slow to adjust to incoming talent

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – For the longest time, football was a trickle-down sport. The NFL influences colleges and colleges influenced high school and on down the line.

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Now, things are trending the other direction.

“It’s trickling up,” Jason Garrett said.

As prospects and teams collide at the NFL scouting combine, pro teams who can best adapt to the talent pool are increasingly going to fare better.

That’s why it was big when Mike Vrabel at his introductory press conference didn’t set himself up as a coach who will fight against the tide of spread offense feeder programs, instead acknowledging those concepts are “where the game is at."

Said Bucs coach Dirk Koetter: “I think the NFL’s been slow to adjust because I don’t think the NFL wants to change. Heck, I don’t want to change. You’re all set in your ways. But what they’re giving you is what they

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