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Saturday, August 23, 2008
Special teams on Titans' list of issues

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

The Titans talked Saturday night of a sense of urgency and the feeling that they are running out of time to get in prime position to compete with Jacksonville in the regular-season opener at LP Field on Sept. 7.

"We've shown some good things in the preseason, but I don't think we've played well enough as a team to beat Jacksonville yet," Kyle Vanden Bosch said after a 17-3 loss in Atlanta. "Our time is running out. We've got to get some things fixed in a hurry. But we do still have time. We can't panic yet. We just have to really focus in and fix some things right now.

"A lot of our season is going to hinge on how well we play our first game. It's no secret Jacksonville is one of the most physical teams in the league, so we're going to have to be able to run the ball well and stop the run when they come to town."

The Titans issues extend to special teams, where they had a poor showing against the Falcons. While total return yards didn't look bad at the end -- Atlanta had 133 to Tennessee's 98 -- the Titans' average drive start was the 14-yard line while the Falcons' was the 27.

Falcons punt returner Adam Jennings was able to pick up a lot of blocks moving side to side before turning upfield.

"We've got to make sure our contain people are containing when we get to our lanes and just pay more attention to the details in the meetings," Josh Stamer said. "I wouldn't say it's just coverage teams, I think our return teams were not good either.

"So we've got a lot of work to do. Jacksonville's always got great special teams. We really need to step it up, all teams included. It's very disappointing. We should be a lot further ahead than we are right now. Like coach was saying, it's coming down to the point where we've got to get everything shored up. We've got a little time. We're going to put a lot of time in on it I am sure."