1. My obvious one: how has Marcus Mariota looked so far? Is he the franchise quarterback you're looking for, and are some fans still pining for Zach Mettenberger?
Mariota has looked really good. He got off to a bad start in the first preseason game, but has looked really sharp since then. The coaching staff is thrilled with the amount of time he has put in and how quickly he has picked up the offense. The sky is the limit for him.
As for Mettenberger, the pining was loud three drives into the preseason, but it has died down since then. Mariota has clearly been the better quarterback in the preseason.
2. Dick LeBeau's a new addition to the Titans defense. How has the veteran coordinator impacted the Titans defense? Are you expecting big things from them this year?
It is hard to tell how much he has impacted it so far. They have been so vanilla in the preseason that his fingerprints haven't really been seen. That will change with the beginning of the regular season. I am excited to see what he has in store for Jameis Winston.
As for expecting big things, no, not really. They just don't have enough talent on that side of the ball. They signed Brian Orakpo this offseason, and he will help, but they still need another pass rusher. We have expected them to take a pass rusher early in the last 3 drafts and they haven't.
They also have a lack of talent at corner with Jason McCourty out for the first month of the season. Blidi Wreh-Wilson will most likely start opposite Perrish Cox. That is like Christmas to whatever receiver ends up lined up across from him.
3. How good do you think the Titans as a whole will be this year? And will they be good enough to save Ken Whisenhunt's job?
They will be better than they were last year- which isn't a high bar. So much of this will depend on Marcus Mariota (something you are obviously familiar with). If he is the real deal, and I really think he is, this team could win 6-8 games this year and be primed for a playoff run with a good draft in '16.
Ken Whisenhunt isn't getting fired this year barring an absolute disaster.
4. How is the rest of your rookie class looking? Who's starting, and who isn't? And does it look like Dorial Green-Beckham has overcome his off-field issues?
DGB has overcome the off-field issues, but the football stuff on the field is taking some time. He has shown flashes of the big-play guy they drafted him to be, but the consistency hasn't been there yet because he didn't play football for a year. His role will increase as the season goes along, and he will be a guy that a lot of people are noticing in the 2nd half of the year (if not sooner).
The only other starter from this rookie class is Jeremiah Poutasi at right tackle. He was the Titans 3rd round pick out of Utah. The Titans reshuffled the entire offensive line after the first preseason game. We will see how it goes.
5. Which relatively little known Titan should we look out for to play a crucial role on Sunday?
Avery Williamson. He was a 5th round pick last year and is one of the starting inside linebackers. Williamson was one of the only pleasant surprises of last year's team. He will play a crucial role in limiting the Buccaneers rushing attack on Sunday.