Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Chris Palmer was on a conference call Thursday with season ticket holders. Here are some excerpts and highlights of what Palmer said to the fans.
Q: What can the Titans expect from their young receivers this year?
CP: I think some of those young receivers that got some time last year, I think will step up this year. (Nate) Washington had a good year for us, but we're expecting (Damian) Williams and (Marc) Mariani to do more things. (Lavelle) Hawkins had a good preseason for us last year. I'm anxious to get to camp and see what those guys are all about.
Q: How much of the offensive terminology will be different and how much will be the same as the old system?
CP: I think it'll be about 50 percent new and about 50 percent from past years. The run game will be pretty much intact as far as verbiage is concerned. The passing game will be a little bit different.
Q: What are your impressions of tight end Jared Cook:
CP: I was very, very impressed with him. I went back and looked at some preseason film, and he is very, very athletic. He hurdled a guy in a preseason game. He's a guy that I'm counting on to be a player for us. I've been fortunate in my coaching career to have Ben Coates up in New England, Pete Mitchell in Jacksonville. We've had some good tight ends. Kevin Boss came in and played very, very well for the Giants and had a key play for us there in the Super Bowl. … I think Cook is very, very explosive and he knows we're counting on him. I think you'll see us with one back, two tight ends and two receivers a little bit more this year.
Q: Will the offense be more explosive than it has been in years past?
CP: It's gonna be getting consistent play out of our quarterback spot, whether it's a veteran or Jake Locker or Rusty Smith. One of those guys has got to come in and play, and play well for us and let us work on all cylinders. I do think that the team offensively we have some decent players and it's our job as coaches to put them in position to make some plays.
Q: Can Jake Locker have enough time to win the starting job on opening day if training camp starts on time?
CP: That's hard to say. When I was with the Patriots, we drafted Drew Bledsoe, and we traded with Miami to get Scott Mitchell. And our thought was that Scott was gonna hold down the fort until Bledsoe was ready. Ten days into camp, it was very clear to our coaches, our players and fans that Bledsoe was our best quarterback. I think Coach Munchak and Mike Reinfeldt have said that it's open competition and the best man will win the job. I will say this to you that as this lockout continues, we may have to pare down some of the things we do, but I don't think it'll affect our play on the field, and when they're ready to play, they're ready to play.
Q: Is Matt Hasselbeck an option for the Titans as they look for a veteran QB, since he and Jake Locker already know each other?
CP: I've known Matt since 1986. We lived in the same town in Massachusetts. We lived in Medfield. I've known him since he was in high school. I know him and Jake have worked out together. I think our pro personnel people and Mike Reinfeldt are working on bringing in a veteran quarterback. Who that guy is gonna be, it's too early to say. But I do know the Hasselbecks. I know Timmy, his brother, and I know the dad. I do have a home on Cape Cod, so I see them quite often. Hasselbeck is a good player and has had an outstanding career.
Q: How will you make free agency work in the lockout situation?
CP:] We’ve looked at some players that the pro personnel people have targeted. We can’t comment on those guys right now. But all of our coaches have a list of guys that they’re sharing with the pro personnel people and our pro personnel people have shared with us. Once this is settled, I think it’ll be a hectic time, but Mike Reinfeldt and our pro personnel department will do a great job of getting us some players that can help us.