Thursday was when Titans quarterback Vince Young returned from the University of Texas, where he is pursuing his degree. Upon his arrival, he will have the opportunity to finally meet a couple of new targets. But what will he make of them?Last season one of the reasons Young struggled so10 Santonio Holmes White jersey
(nine touchdowns against 17 picks, 71.1 rating) was because he didn't have receivers comparable to his abilities.If Young had reliable receivers, his stats certainly would have been a lot better and the offense may very well would have scored more touchdowns (and resort to less field goals).Offseason and the free agency comes, and fans are wanting...no, demanding good receivers. But the Titans blow opportunities to sign Jerry Porter, Donté Stallworth, Bernard Berrian or Bryant Johnson. Instead they signed 30-year-old ex-Falcon tight end Alge Crumpler, ex-Jet (and ex-Titan) receiver Justin McCareins and tight end Dwayne Blakley.Certainly Vince has been keeping up with who's going where, and who's coming aboard in Nashville. With the urgent need of top receivers replaced with these signings, one must wonder what went through Young's mind yesterday..."Tight ends?""No go-to guy?""How am I supposed to succeed with this?""Is this what I have to look forward to?""What's my agent's number?"On the other hand, Young may not need the top-top-toppest receivers to play catch with. All he may need is just some reliability. After all, he was on target quite a few times last season. But an aged (albeit decent) tight end and another tight end and receiver of whom neither got a lot of action is a cause for concern.Of course, Blakley will be used as a blocker, so in essence that's just two new throwing targets.Given these pickups while Young was away hitting the books in Austin, it makes one wonder if Young is secretly confident or skeptical of the upcoming 2008 season. The Titans epitomize the old expression, "you get what you pay for."It all started with the Titans' unwillingness to toss some big salad toward available top receivers, and now the club is in the red in the free agency.The team blew it on Jerry Porter, Donté Stallworth, Bernard Berrian and Bryant Johnson, who have signed with new teams. Now Tennessee is losing its depth at running back and at a time when the Titans are breaking in a new running backs coach in Earnest Byner, after longtime assistant Sherman Smith left for the Redskins. Not to mention a new offensive coordinator in Mike Heimerdinger.The recent news of backup running back Chris Brown leaving for the Texans via two-year contract is a nasty cherry on top of how general manager Mike Reinfeldt and coach Jeff Fisher have blown opportunity after opportunity this offseason.Before the news of Brown's departure, defensive tackle Randy Starks (Miami), defensive ends Antwan Odom (Cincy) and Travis LaBoy (Arizona), guard Jacob Bell (St. Louis) and tight ends Ben Troupe (Tampa Bay) and Ben Hartsock (Atlanta) have all bolted at the first good offer, and good offers are not what Tennessee is putting on anyone's table. The team has only retained two players, receiver Justin Gage and defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.You can bet the bank that if Tennessee didn't stick the franchise tag on Haynesworth, who 10 Santonio Holmes black jersey
has been outspoken on his team's situation, he would be gone as well.Given the four new pickups (Falcons tight end Alge Crumpler, Eagles defensive end and ex-Titan Jevon Kearse, Jets receiver and ex-Titan Justin McCareins, and Colts guard Jake Scott), there doesn't appear to be anything that makes one do more than yawn. The best pickup appears to be Scott, who replaced Jacob Bell.The Titans brass' complete lack of urgency to improve last year's average team smacks of complacency. This isn't college football; talent is far more important than coaching, and the team is about to find that out the hard way.The Titans are about to experience another old expression, "you can pay now, or pay later."