AFC South: Charlie Batch

Will Washington do more with Locker?

November, 30, 2012
11/30/12
4:35
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In his first two seasons with the Titans, Nate Washington looked like an overpaid free agent miss. He was good for a periodic big play, but he also dropped a lot of balls and made a lot of excuses.

I remember speaking with a powerful personnel man about Washington. He said the Titans had overspent on a guy who was very good when plays broke down and got extended by a scrambling Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh, but very average on a regular play that lasted a regular length of time.

Last year, with a big assist from new receivers coach Dave Ragone, Washington blossomed in a big way. He was a much more mature locker room presence, he was a quality leader on and spokesman for the offense, and he posted career highs in the big three categories with 74 catches for 1,023 yards and seven touchdowns.

Playing mostly with quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, Washington’s yards per catch were the second-lowest of his career -- 13.8.

Still, among active players with at least 300 catches, Washington’s 15.0 ranks eighth. (Vincent Jackson is first, at an outrageous 17.9. Calvin Johnson is second at 16.2, the rest are 15.6 or below.)

Washington was good at turning into a target for Roethlisberger under Pittsburgh’s scramble rules. The Titans thought he would do the same for Vince Young in a relationship that never really panned out.

Now, with Jake Locker healthy and set as the Titans' quarterback, Washington is working for another mobile quarterback with the chance to make some especially big plays when Locker can extend a play and coverage is asked to last too long.

Here’s a look, thanks to Matt Willis of ESPN Stats and Info, at Washington’s yards per catch by quarterback.

RTC: Hasselbeck is understanding

March, 16, 2012
3/16/12
9:43
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Reading the coverage…

Houston Texans

The Texans are in cap hell, and to avoid it being worse down the road, they’ll have to find a way to sign guys like outside linebacker Connor Barwin and left tackle Duane Brown to avoid free-agency problems in 2013, says John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

Mario Williams called Gary Kubiak shortly after he reached his deal with Buffalo, says McClain.

The Texans defense will collapse in Year 2 under Wade Phillips, predicts Nate Dunlevy of Bleacher Report.

Indianapolis Colts

Reggie Wayne isn’t ready to say the 2012 season will be a wash, says Phil Richards of the Indianapolis Star. “"I just want to help build that foundation. It's not set in stone we're going to (stink)," Wayne said. "Who knows? We might shock the world. This time next year, you might be writing that these Colts are some bad boys."

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars might not be finished in free agency, they might just be on pause, says Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union. And interest in Ryan Tannehill in the draft could be advantageous for the Jags, GM Gene Smith said.

Chad Henne’s addition creates competition, not controversy, for the Jaguars at quarterback, writes Vito Stellino.

The Jaguars see Laurent Robinson as a guy on the way up, says John Oehser of jaguars.com.

Tennessee Titans

Tennessee likes the leadership and toughness of new guard Steve Hutchinson, says John Glennon of The Tennessean.

Matt Hasselbeck's been talking with the Titans and understands that the Manning chase is out of his control, says Terry McCormick of titaninsider.com.

A Tennessee House resolution urged Peyton Manning to return to the state, says Chas Sisk. What a silly, hokey, useless waste of time.

The Titans don’t get better with the addition of Hutchinson, says Nate Dunlevy of Bleacher Report.

Wrap-up: Steelers 19, Titans 11

September, 19, 2010
9/19/10
4:15
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What It Means: The Titans may have a quarterback controversy on their hands, though it would have more substance if Kerry Collins had outplayed Vince Young once he replaced him at the start of the fourth quarter. Tennessee fell to 1-1. The Titans aren’t as good as they appeared a week ago against Oakland. They probably aren’t as bad as they were against Pittsburgh either. But imagine if they faced Ben Roethlisberger instead of Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch.

Tomorrow’s Talker: Who’s the quarterback? Young accounted for three of the Titans’ seven turnovers, and a week after a 142.8 passer rating, he posted a 48.3. But Collins threw a pick and a lost fumble upon replacing him. Young reacted poorly in a similar circumstance in 2008, but the indications have been he is more mature now. Does he respond better or do we get more of the sort of drama that unfolded last time? This should be a good offense, but it was horrific against the Steelers and completely nonthreatening once Pittsburgh made Chris Johnson a non-factor.

What I liked: The defense allowed just 12 points off seven turnovers and laid a lot of good hits. This could have been a blowout of monumental proportions given the turnovers. With a great onside kick at the end, the Titans actually had a chance to tie the game with a late drive, but fell short.

What I didn’t like: Johnson might have had a long touchdown that could have changed the tone in the first half, even without the help of a Eugene Amano hold. Amano told officials about how he let go, but the key there is to not hold in the first place not to be able to claim you didn’t hold long. Penalties were a big issue -- the Titans had 10 for 72 yards.

What’s next: Fisher, Young and Collins will address the quarterback situation inside the next hour. But no matter how firm Fisher is about the plans, they will all face further questions about it this week. It’s not the sort of storyline the Titans hoped for heading to New Meadowlands Stadium where they will see old friend Keith Bulluck in his third game as a member of the New York Giants.

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