Rookies solid for Titans in finale win

September, 1, 2011
9/01/11
10:48
PM ET
Confidence gained in a game like the Tennessee Titans' Thursday night 32-9 drubbing of the New Orleans Saints is useful. But only if everyone who gained some remembers just what the New Orleans was trying to accomplish.

Just seven days away from a prime-time opener against the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, the Saints played second-and third string guys and didn’t show much urgency.

Drew Brees wouldn’t have held the ball in the end zone to take a safety or thrown across his body across the field for an interception.

The Titans took full advantage of Sean Canfield, the seventh-round rookie who played in Brees’ place. Tennessee’s defense found a lot of plays including five takeaways.

Mike Munchak sat several key guys and didn’t play his starters too long in their preseason finale, either.

Several of Munchak’s rookies performed well.

Defensive tackle Karl Klug had that early safety. Jake Locker was 15-of-17 for 132 yards and a touchdown to go with three runs for 39 yards and another score. Middle linebacker Colin McCarthy made seven tackles and forced a fumble. And cornerback Tommie Campbell had an interception for the second game in a row.

The Titans finished the preseason 3-1. They’ll soon be reunited with running back Chris Johnson, whose holdout ended earlier in the day.

The big question now is whether the good things we saw in the preseason will translate for the rookie coach and revamped roster.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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