> When safety LAMONT THOMPSON walked into Jeff Fisher's office before last season, the coach quickly got to the point. "I told him that if he didn't make it here, he was finished [in the NFL]," recalls Fisher. Thompson earned playing time in the postseason as the nickel corner. This year he could displace Lance Schulters at free safety.
ENEMY LINES An opposing scout's view
They've got a very good system in place. Jeff Fisher is a great coach, and Mike Heimerdinger is an underrated offensive coordinator.... Steve McNair doesn't run as much as he used to, but he can make all the throws. If you had to pick your poison, I'd rather face [the Colts'] Peyton Manning than McNair.... Derrick Mason is as underrated a receiver as there is, and Tyrone Calico will be downright scary when he figures out how good he can be. He's big and fast and just needs to catch the ball more consistently.... The cornerbacks are the strength of the defense--they use Samari Rolle and Andre Dyson to press outside and work everything else off them--but they've taken some big hits on the line. They drafted some guys, and I don't think they have any idea how good any of them will be.... Albert Haynesworth is a talent, but will he go hard every play? He hasn't so far.... At linebacker Keith Bulluck is a very good player, but I'm not a Rocky Calmus fan. He's undersized and isn't strong enough.... I see them right there with the Colts; they should make it back to the playoffs.
" Tyrone Calico will be downright scary when he figures out how good he can be. He's big and fast."
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP with 2003 statistics
2003 RECORD: 12-4
NFL RANK (rush/pass/total):
COACH: Jeff Fisher; 11th season with Tennessee (88-62 in NFL)