I've heard Amano played like crap at C last season, so Titan homers, with him out for the year (tricep) is that a good thing, or is the 2nd string C that much worse? That could have a big impact on CJ's performance.
Yes...Amano was really bad last season -- though, to be totally fair, he wasn't the only problem on the interior-OL, as Leroy Harris was wildly inconsistent and Jake Scott was clearly over-the-hill and horrible. Amano was a pretty decent OG for the Titans a few seasons ago; however, we overpaid to re-sign him and he never quite worked out as a replacement for Kevin Mawae. Amano is really a backup quality OG in the NFL -- the type of player who can play OK for a few games each season but not someone that you want starting week-in-and-week-out. All that said, you never like to see a guy get hurt and this probably marks the end of his career with the Titans.
From a team perspective, I think this actually helps the Titans' starting OL, and it certainly makes the coaches' decision easier. The candidates for the starting C job are now Kevin Matthews, Fernando Velasco, and William Vlachos. Matthews has a good pedigree and his dad is the OL coach, which could help him win the job (i.e. nepotism). Velasco has played well when given the chance, and he offers some nice versatility. Vlachos is a rookie and lacks great physical tools but gets by on technique/smarts. Really...I think it comes down to Matthews vs. Velasco for the starting gig. In my opinion, Velasco is the superior player of the three; but I fully expect Matthews to "win" the job -- partially because of the family connection and partially because the Titans value Velasco's role off-the-bench and his ability to play both C and OG in the event of injury. I think all three make the 53-man roster, although Vlachos probably won't dress out for the games.
In terms of CJ, I think Matthews or Velasco would probably be an improvement over Amano.
I agree with all of this, except that Matthews won't win the job on nepotism. I heard his dad on the radio last week, and he said it is understood with his son that he will have to leave no doubt before he will name him the starter, and that the rest of the staff would largely make that decision before he would.
He seems to REALLY want to go out of his way to avoid charges of nepotism.