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Terry -- Game 1 recap

  • Hi Terry

    I was wondering if you could put together a recap of the first preseason game? Who stood out, how did the team look, etc.

    Also...what kind of season do you except from Tennessee this year? Record prediction?

    Thanks

  • I'm also interested in Terry's take, but for the sake of discussion I'll throw out my impression as well.

    The first thing to take away are the first drives for both offense and defense.

    On the offensive side of the ball, the Titans had a solid drive to put points on the board. Young was efficient (going 4/4) and showed good touch on the screen pass to Hall who rumbled down the field for a big gain. There were some kinks to be worked out in terms of exchanging the ball for Young/Amano which led to the fumbled snap but that's to be expected in the first pre-season game.

    Young showed good signs of his progress during the first preseason game even though there was a questionable decision to fit the ball in a tight window on the deep comeback for Gage which resulted in an interception. (Speaking of which, I feel that Gage telegraphed the route by looking over his shoulder while waiting for Young before breaking for the comeback. The defender knew exactly when the ball coming out and made a great play on the ball. However it was on a bootleg which doesn't have the timing of a five-step drop. Regardless, it was too risky of a pass for Young and he should have scrambled for the first. We hope that both Fisher and Young were being honest when they said that in a regular season game he would have run for the first down).

    Simms seemed a bit tentative under center delivering the ball a bit early when under pressure. In his defense, the offensive line protection seemed a bit shaky as the first and particularly the second string guys continued to work out their communication/chemistry/rhythm etc. (which is typical early in camp and preseason).

    Rusty Smith showed that he had a lot of confidence for such a young QB. He was rather poised in the pocket and seemed unafraid of getting hit after delivering the ball. He showed that he still has a lot to learn though which is typical for a rookie QB in the NFL. Defenses are much faster and opportunistic. Passes that are underthrown or a little off target can result in interceptions. Ringer ran the ball well and showed coaches that he can be trusted as the #2 running back.

    On the defensive side of the ball, the first team played with plenty of speed and intensity. They did a solid job of forcing a punt against the first string offense. The defensive line was very active, getting penetration from the tackle position and pressure from the ends. Tulloch had an excellent pass breakup and seems committed to showing Reinfeldt and Fisher that he can be trusted to hold down the MLB position long term. Despite Mouton's error on the Mike Williams touchdown (which was Cover 0, no safety help up top) he had a few plays including a solid pass breakup on a Hasselbeck pass to Branch and an interception on a bad pass by second string QB Whitehurst. I would think that the team has to be satisfied with competition for the #2 spot and the quality of depth at the position.

    Verner continued to impress coaches (and fans) with his big play ability by intercepting a pass by Whitehurst with an athletic dive in front of WR Martin. The replay following Pete Carroll's challenge showed viewers what made Verner such a successful corner in college: great football IQ, excellent concentration and the athleticism to make the play.

    The Titans showed some good things out of their limited playbook but it's important to not take too much away from a single preseason game. There's plenty of plays to be made and inevitable mistakes to occur in the coming weeks. We'll see how Fisher's team progresses up to the opening game against the Raiders and beyond. There's a lot of second and third year players to step up for the Titans over the coming season so it's hard to give a good prediction on what might happen. A game in the NFL can come down to a fumble bouncing the right (or wrong) way so it's too hard to predict what might happen until it does. I would anticipate though that the Titans could finish anywhere from 6-10 to 10-6.

  • TerryMc13

    Guys, I was impressed with the offense - at least on the first drive. VY still has to gain the one thing that has eluded him thus far, and that is consistency. Things like the interception simply cannot happen.

    I know a lot of people fret about Britt's immaturity and inconsistency, but he is far and away their most talented receiver, and needs to play IMO. They also need Cook to step it up and get better.

    The o-line is going to be even better than last year, if the top five stay healthy. Leroy Harris might have a Pro Bowl in his future someday. He just pancakes people in the interior.

    On defense, I think McCourty is probably going to get the first shot at the starting cornerback job, but Verner could have it before the season is over. The kid is a natural ballhawk, and you need guys like that in your secondary even if they give up an occasional play.

    The defense has lots of questions, but to me the key guy is Jason Jones. If he can stay healthy for 16 games, he will give them an inside push and make life easier for the ends. That was a big part of what was missing last year. Marks is also improved. Some are saying Haye is better in this camp, but to me the jury is still out on that one. They need Tony Brown to get healthy.

    Linebacker won't be an issue once McRath is back, and as long as there are no injuries.

    There are still a lot of holes. Many questions to answer and things have to go right, especially on defense. VY is the key, along with keeping CJ upright. If VY is consistent and takes care of the football, and the defense jells they can be decent. But with all the questions, I'm saying about 7 to 9 wins right now. But I reserve the right to adjust up or down once I see how VY and also the revamped defense do in real games.

    TitanInsider: Any closer and you'd be in the huddle.

  • What a nice job on this site! (This is CFfan from Titans Central, CFfan was already taken, but I like AV too...)

    In addition to what has already been said, I was struck by a very smooth transition from Crumpler to Stevens. I had and have a lot of confidence in Harris, but I was less certain about Stevens. With our running game and use of 2 TE sets, he will be very important. Young and Washington also looked more comfortable/familiar with each other.

  • TerryMc13

    AVfan said... (original post)

    What a nice job on this site! (This is CFfan from Titans Central, CFfan was already taken, but I like AV too...)

    In addition to what has already been said, I was struck by a very smooth transition from Crumpler to Stevens. I had and have a lot of confidence in Harris, but I was less certain about Stevens. With our running game and use of 2 TE sets, he will be very important. Young and Washington also looked more comfortable/familiar with each other.

    They appear very confident in Stevens. The only concern is that he does have a history of concussions. The thing about Washington is he had to relearn the entire way he ran routes last year. The Titans are timing offense that involves throwing to a spot and having the receiver get there, whereas Pittsburgh's passing offense is predicated a lot on Roethlisberger buying time and the wideouts almost "freelancing" after the route is run, if Roethlisberger is still buying time with the scramble.

    TitanInsider: Any closer and you'd be in the huddle.

  • AVfan said... (original post)

    What a nice job on this site! (This is CFfan from Titans Central, CFfan was already taken, but I like AV too...)

    In addition to what has already been said, I was struck by a very smooth transition from Crumpler to Stevens. I had and have a lot of confidence in Harris, but I was less certain about Stevens. With our running game and use of 2 TE sets, he will be very important. Young and Washington also looked more comfortable/familiar with each other.

    Again with the double post, I'd buy a new mouse, but I use a laptop.

    This post was edited by Blaize Penningt 4 years ago

  • AVfan said... (original post)

    What a nice job on this site! (This is CFfan from Titans Central, CFfan was already taken, but I like AV too...)

    In addition to what has already been said, I was struck by a very smooth transition from Crumpler to Stevens. I had and have a lot of confidence in Harris, but I was less certain about Stevens. With our running game and use of 2 TE sets, he will be very important. Young and Washington also looked more comfortable/familiar with each other.

    So you think Stevens will get the start over Jared Cook? Fisher was saying Cook is having a great camp and in the first preseason game they wanted to involve him more in blocking than in receiving to see what he could do. And he did pretty well.

  • MBarnett said... (original post)

    So you think Stevens will get the start over Jared Cook? Fisher was saying Cook is having a great camp and in the first preseason game they wanted to involve him more in blocking than in receiving to see what he could do. And he did pretty well.

    I'm not sure if it matters all that much whether Cook is technically "starting" as he'll be an important piece in certain packages. He's more of a receiver than a blocker, where Stevens is the reverse. That doesn't mean that he won't be in for run blocking plays as Heimerdinger doesn't want to tip his hand everytime Cook takes the field, but don't be surprised to see Cook in a lot of single back formations (2 WR 2 TE 1 RB) where he'll be on the play with Stevens or Scaife.

    All three tight ends could see a steady amount of action if they're performing at a high level. Whose number gets called for certain packages totally depends on what Dinger wants to do and what the defense is giving them.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Cyrus 4 years ago