AFC South: Patrick Ramsey
Paul Kuharsky: Define “interesting.”
I would think one of the unknowns they have in house has as good a chance to help as any one available to them on the open market right now.
Mark Froehlich in Jacksonville, Fla., writes: Wow Paul, Jacksonville didn't qualify? Raleigh did? lol I didn't think you were a hater. Definitely will color my take on your writing in the future.
Paul Kuharsky: Mark, you might want to take another look at the item in question.
a) I was pointing people to a link to someone else’s work/ratings
b) I spelled out that by HIS criteria, you had to have three major league teams or two and a major college program within an hour’s drive to qualify.
Thus Jacksonville didn’t qualify.
Henry Milton from parts unknown writes: This is on an item from your chat, which I missed. OK, so you get 1 point for suggesting that Vince Young should hire Tom Condon. But you lose 2 points for predicting that Vince Young would be beaten out by Patrick Ramsey. You lose 2 more for claiming that the Titans should stick with Kerry Collins no matter what, and the only reason to play Young was to let him fail spectacularly and silence his supporters. You lose 2 more for your steady drumbeat of "Vince Young will be released after the season, if not sooner" articles and op-eds. You lose 1 more for your incredulous article ripping Mack Brown for not joining the "trash Vince Young" bandwagon despite knowing full well that college coaches NEVER publicly turn on their former players for anything other than breaking the law. And you lose 3 more for your all but crowning the Colts Super Bowl champions based on Peyton Manning's transcendent greatness, especially when compared to Drew Brees. So, where does that leave you?
Paul Kuharsky: I said he could have been beaten out by Ramsey, which was true in the eyes of the decision-makers at the time. I said they would stick with Collins because I knew their coach wanted to before he was overruled by his boss. I certainly came back and wrote extensively about Young’s success during the Titans' 8-2 run. The Mack Brown thing was a bigger deal to you than anyone else I’ve crossed paths with, though I believe he tends to turn out immature starts primed for struggles in the NFL. And boy was I out on a limb thinking Manning’s Colts would beat Brees’ Saints in the Super Bowl.
I think I regularly fess up when I’ve been wrong in the blog. I think the Vince Young verdict is far from in. And I think I appreciate that you are keeping such an “accurate” score.
Arne Wilson from parts unknown writes: Your fascination with the Atlanta Falcons - whom you picked to make the NFC title game last year and mentioned as a Super Bowl contender in the chat today - is unfounded. The Falcons have a mediocre secondary, no pass rush, and a LB corps that needs their #1 pick to pan out to rate as average. On offense, their OL is pedestrian, and they have no one catching the ball that scares anyone other than Roddy White (Tony Gonzalez can't get down the field like he used to). But they have Matt Ryan, right? Well Ryan is a 59.7% passer, and you have to wonder how much a guy who spent 4 years in a pro-style offense for a major, winning college program is going to improve on that, because there isn't a whole lot of room for things that influence his accuracy like his footwork and mechanics to get better. Pick another dark horse.
Paul Kuharsky: Fascination is a bit strong. I thought they’d make a jump last year, and I think it again. (I picked the Saints to go to the Super Bowl two years ago. Should have stuck with them twice, no?) I like their coach and their quarterback, and those are two big ingredients. I do think we’ll see Ryan improve. I also think the Saints dip, the Bucs still stink and Carolina is overrated.
Ida Clark from parts unknown writes: Why is Jeff Fisher taking a much harder line with Kenny Britt's conditioning and work ethic than he ever did with LenDale White? Leaning on White to get into shape so that he would be more explosive, durable and average more than 3.5 yards per carry would have really helped the Titans in 2007, when they had nothing but third-stringers and practice squad players at receiver. I can't help but thinking that Fisher was mindful of how he lobbied for White when Floyd Reese wanted Pro Bowler Devin Hester instead, had a stake in White panning out, so he didn't want to create a controversy. I agree with what Fisher is doing with Britt; I am just wondering why he didn't do the same with White, the guy that he lobbied hard to get, back when the Titans badly needed better production out of him.
Paul Kuharsky: Different strokes for different folks, to a degree. Fisher figures out which buttons to push for which guys. Britt’s hardly the first guy to get a hard time in public at OTAs. It used to be an annual occurrence and hit not only a bad player like Jason Layman, but Eddie George and Samari Rolle too.
But I give you credit for raising an interesting point. LenDale casts a long, wide, shadow. Gone, but still a topic.
Why do you love the Devin Hester idea? The Titans had just drafted Pacman Jones and had Bobby Wade. The return jobs were filled, no?
Nick in Indianapolis writes: Hey Paul, keep up the good work. Your coverage on the Cushing ordeal was great. If -- big if -- Bob Sanders can remain healthy, is defensive coordinator Larry Coyer looking to utilize Sanders' speed and burst in various blitz packages? When Sanders has been healthy (before Coyer) he was mostly in 2-deep coverage or sagging in the box for run support. Wouldn't dialing up blitzes for Sanders help improve the pass-rush and overall success in 3rd-and-long situations? (Of course considering that means Bethea is on his own covering the deep zones, something he should be capable of, right?)
Paul Kuharsky: Coyer had them blitz a lot more than they did (never) under Ron Meeks. So with an impact guy like Sanders at his disposal, I would certainly think he would be sent after the quarterback once in a while. It should be something to see.
Ryan Johnson in Brownstown, Jamaica writes: Hey PK, I am a big fan. You do a great job with the blog. I have been in the Peace Corps for nearly two years and counted on your blog to keep me updated on the Texans and VY. ESPN doesn’t always do the best job of being unbiased but I cannot say the same about your articles. They are always well written and your mailbag responses are usually funny. It is a pleasure to read your stuff. From reading your article on Chris Johnson; I understand that CJ is the man and he will be back at some point, but why would they not bring in a veteran like Brian Westbrook to speed this process up. It sounds like the power is already in organizations hand but why would they not pressure CJ back by bringing in someone who may take 3rd down snaps away or something?
Paul Kuharsky: Thanks for the kind words, Ryan.
Westbrook would be no threat to Johnson, so signing him would do nothing to the situation. And Westbrook is a great pass-catcher, and the Titans are a team that doesn’t screen much, or well. If he was a Titan, there is zero chance he’d get any third-down snaps over CJ if CJ is healthy.
Not a fit to me.
If they decide they need better depth that Javon Ringer and LeGarrette Blount, they’ll shop later for a better fit.
Contract Match in Indianapolis writes: How much of that did you write yourself? The transitions from "This person said this" to "That person said that". You are worthless, how do you still have a job. I feel like my girl in High School can write a more exploratorative piece with the same information.
Paul Kuharsky: Please leave your email address next time so I can write you back and see if I can’t get some tips from her!
Pink Slip from Nashville, Tenn., writes: I have come calling. How do you still have a job? That MJD article is worthless. As are most of your articles, is it apathy or sloth?
Paul Kuharsky: It’s slothpathy. Or apasloth. You seem like a nice fellow. You choose.
Linebacker Brian Cushing has turned to mixed martial arts as a form of offseason training.
Former Texans receiver Donovan Morgan is working to get another shot at landing on an NFL roster.
John Oehser tries to get a better idea of whom the Colts will draft with their first-round pick.
Might Syracuse’s Arthur Jones be an option? Stampede Blue offers some thoughts.
Walter Curry is back in Jacksonville, continuing his pursuit of the NFL dream.
While answering readers’ questions, Vic Ketchman isn’t buying into the idea of the Jaguars drafting Tim Tebow.
Jim Wyatt says acquiring Albert Haynesworth would be a “reputation-changing move” for Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt.
If the Saints are interested in adding free agent quarterback Patrick Ramsey, they may have some competition in the form of the New Orleans Saints.
To earn his big new contract, DeMeco Ryans “did everything the right way,” says GM Rick Smith, reports John McClain.
Texans faithful are relived and excited about Ryans’ deal, writes Alan Burge.
Looking at needs in Colts’ context with John Oehser.
Robert Mathis had a meeting with a whale and Stampede Blue has the photographic evidence.
The Jaguars should bring back Reggie Hayward, says Alfie Crow. I agree.
Expect a continued focus on acquiring value, says Vic Ketchman.
Jeremy Mincey’s clinging to his dream, writes Ketchman.
Interest in Chris Simms or Patrick Ramsey could help the Titans gain leverage with Kerry Collins, says Jim Wyatt.
The addition of Tye Hill kept the Titans’ focus on defense.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The quarterback news so far Wednesday from Tennessee isn’t about who will start Sunday in Jacksonville.
It’s that John David Booty, who tried out for Houston on Tuesday, became a member of the Titans’ practice squad.
The Titans are practicing right now. As they sort out first-team reps in a week when owner Bud Adams has reportedly instructed coach Jeff Fisher to start Young ahead of Kerry Collins, odds are they felt they needed scout-team assistance.
Fisher started the season with three quarterbacks on the roster, but the Titans cut Patrick Ramsey after three games.
Houston was likely updating contingency plans when it had Booty in for a look with a large group featuring quarterbacks, receivers and tight ends.
With Rex Grossman as the backup to Matt Schaub and No. 3 Dan Orlovsky in the first year of a lucrative deal, it’s hard to imagine the Texans making any changes at the position.
The Titans had made room for Booty Tuesday by cutting running back Lance Ball from the practice squad.
The other players Houston looked at: receiver Dallas Baker, tight end Carson Butler, receiver Patrick Carter, former Titans receiver Chris Davis, quarterback Bobby Reid and tight end Dezmond Sherrod.
Posted by ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky
Greetings from Indianapolis, where I will head over to Lucas Oil Stadium shortly to get ready for Seahawks-Colts.
Here's your mandatory morning pregame reading:
- Matt Schaub is compiling quality stats, writes John McClain.
- The Texans and Raiders are more alike than expected, says Dale Robertson.
- Four Texans will do their part for breast cancer awareness, says McClain.
- Anthony Hill is out of the hospital and talked to Mark Berman.
- Seattle will try to match the Colts’ tempo, says Mike Chappell.
- The running game is making strides, writes Phil Richards.
- It’s almost like Tony Dungy never left, says Alex Marvez.
- Former Colts coach Jim Mora’s grandsons lighten the mood regarding his famous “playoffs?” rant, says Phillip B. Wilson.
- The Colts will also wear a splash of pink, writes Chappell.
- Chappell doesn’t expect to see Marcus Howard back with the team during Dwight Freeney’s absence.
- John Oehser takes questions, several about Clint Session and Jordan Senn.
- Gene Frenette looks at Jeff Fisher’s staying power.
- Daryl Smith is low key but gets high marks, says Michael C Wright.
- Spillover from Wright’s interview with Smith landed in his blog.
- David Garrard and the fans lose out from Jack Del Rio’s radio decision, writes Frenette.
- End Julius Williams plays great in practice but hasn’t translated it into games yet, says Wright.
- Keys to the game from iJax.com.
- Shallow thoughts and aimless musings from bigcatcountry.com.
- The Titans cut Patrick Ramsey and elevated cornerback Cary Williams from the practice squad, writes Wyatt.
- Some Titans are concerned by the results of a recent brain disease study, writes Jim Wyatt.
- Wyatt’s breakdown of the Titans’ matchup with the Jaguars.
- Ryan Mouton’s looking for redemption, says Wyatt.
- Eugene Amano is helping with typhoon relief.
- The AP got Steve McNair’s public service announcement urging young people contemplating suicide to live to see better days.
- Long passes are not a priority for Mike Heimerdinger, says Gary Estwick.
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Inactives and what they mean for Titans-Jets.
Tight end Bo Scaife -- Jared Cook is up and they hope they'll be able to get more out of him than last week.
Defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks
Punter Craig Hentrich -- The Titans signed Reggie Hodges to fill in.
Linebacker Stanford Keglar
Receiver Lavelle Hawkins
Quarterback Vince Young -- He was sick during the week and so the Titans put Patrick Ramsey ahead of him.
Tackle Troy Kropog
Defensive end Dave Ball
Left guard Eugene Amano is active. But he was also sick this week. Leroy Harris will start in his spot.
Cornerback Lito Sheppard
Cornerback Donald Strickland
Quarterback Eric Ainge (third)
Quarterback Kevin O’Connell
Linebacker Jamaal Westerman
Guard Matt Slauson
Defensive end Ropati Pitoitua
Receiver David Clowney
With Shepparad and Strickland out, Dwight Lowery starts at right cornerback and Drew Coleman, a short guy not rated as a high-quality corner, will be the nickel.
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
PITTSBURGH -- Receiver Nate Washington is active but Kenny Britt will start opposite Justin Gage for the Titans.
Here are Tennessee’s inactives for Thursday night’s game:
Posted by ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky
- Another .500 season won’t get it done for the Texans, says Dale Robertson.
- The Texans get a two-week roster exemption for Dunta Robinson, says John McClain.
- Lance Zierlein has no problem with Robinson starting right away and neither do I.
- The Jets will be a major challenge for the Texans, writes Alan Burge.
- Eric Winston is the line AFC South player on Vinnie Iyer’s All-Breakout Team, and like a lot of the guys on here, I believe Winston has already broken out.
- Battleredblog.com thinks DeMeco Ryans needs to be paid.
- The Colts' most recent move -- it appears Tyjuan Hagler will start ahead of Phillip Wheeler at strongside linebacker -- is further evidence of this: “When the Colts make decisions on who starts -- and even who makes the team -- where or even if a player was drafted just doesn't matter,” writes John Oehser.
- Jerraud Powers could be in line to start the opener with injuries to Kelvin Hayden and Tim Jennings, says Mike Chappell.
- Jordan Senn was released to make room for special-teams ace Aaron Francisco. He and the other newcomer, Cody Glenn, are preparing for their first games, says Phil Richards.
- Oehser hits on some of what Jim Caldwell is saying as the Colts prepare for Jacksonville.
- Marlin Jackson will start out working only in the nickel to allow him to return to full speed at the proper pace, writes Oehser.
- The timetable for Bob Sanders is up in the air, says Tim James.
- Deshawn Zombie does nice work here explaining why he dislikes the offseason so much, and it’s an opinion I strongly agree with. “There is simply too much talk about players we know nothing about,” he says.
- A run through of whether the Colts are better or worse unit by unit, from Zombie.
- No news, no ruse on Maurice Jones-Drew’s bruise, says Vito Stellino.
- Jones-Drew didn’t like the hit by Fred Smoot that left him with a shin bruise.
- The Jags added Richard Bartell to their practice squad, giving them a third quarterback for practice.
- Pay the quarterback, the stars and the first-rounders, get everything else on the cheap says Vic Ketchman of jaguars.com.
- LenDale White said his talk is for entertainment value and that he’s actually a soft guy, writes Gary Estwick.
- Nate Washington returned to practice, but his status for Thursday remains in doubt, says Jim Wyatt.
- Wyatt analyzes the decision to keep three quarterbacks. Jeff Fisher can say the decision to keep Patrick Ramsey has nothing to do with Vince Young, but how could it not?
- There is a chance Cortland Finnegan returns punts in Pittsburgh, says Wyatt.
- Links from Titans Radio to Chris Johnson and Kerry Collins talking about preparations for the Steelers.
- Mark Jones failed a physical in Carolina.
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
Biggest surprise: Chris Henry survives again? It’s hard to think that if they look to add someone in the next couple days it won’t put the running back at risk. But the third-year runner got at least an initial spot as the Titans waived-injured Quinton Ganther, a more valuable and versatile player as the fourth back He suffered a calf injury in the preseason finale. Hardly as big on the list of surprises: the end for veteran linebackers Ryan Fowler, Josh Stamer and Rocky Boiman, leaving the team with very young depth; Patrick Ramsey sticking as a third quarterback; and the survival of cornerback Cary Williams.
No-brainers: The Titans kept nine defensive linemen. The lowest ranking of the bunch is probably second-round pick Sen’Derrick Marks and the Titans certainly intend to give him time to develop. They kept four tight ends, a move never in doubt with Jared Cook in his first year and Craig Stevens in his second. Receiver Paul Williams showed very little in two seasons since the Titans spent a third-rounder on him and it was certainly time to look to someone like rookie Dominique Edison instead.
What's next: Sixth-round draft pick Jason McCourty, looks to have an early chance to be a special teams contributor and should survive ahead of Cary Williams at cornerback if the Titans make a move to upgrade depth. But corner depth and the punt return job remain the two largest concerns.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans finished their five-game preseason with a lot of things to feel good about in a 27-13 win over the Packers.
Return man Mark Jones fumbled last week on a kickoff, and his first action of the preseason didn’t instill a lot of confidence. This time he was confident, assertive, effective and fast, opening with a 22-yard punt return and a 44-yard kickoff return.
Did he come into the night thinking his roster spot was in jeopardy?
“After last week, yes,” he said. “I know I didn’t want to put that on tape and tonight I got to come in and show these guys I can come in and be their returner, know that I can make the decisions. I’m feeling pleased with my performance and the guys did a great job blocking.”
He said he’s now not expecting bad news Saturday.
Jones didn’t play any receiver against the Packers. He said he knows the Titans were evaluating a lot of other receivers and what his primary job was to be, so he wasn’t at all upset. But ultimately he knows he needs to show he can help there when needed.
“Most teams have somebody who can also play a position instead of just returning,” he said. “I didn’t get that many opportunities this week in practice but I was ready if my number was called.”
Backup quarterback Vince Young looked good again, making decisive throws and decisions about when to run. He got to work with the first team offense into the second quarter when the Packers pulled their front-line defense quickly and he took it too them like the Titans would expect.
He was seven of 12 for 85 yards with a TD for a 108.0 passer rating and he ran five times for 38 yards and another TD while absorbing two sacks.
“That’s just getting comfortable, man, growing up,” he said when I asked about his pass or run selections. “I think as a quarterback, you can’t just go out there and go right off the top especially when it’s a new offense and last year it was a new offense for me, I was kind of learning on the run.
“Now I’ve had some time to sit back and learn the offense and when you learn the offense you can showcase your talent more just reading the defense and things like that. I take my hat off to the offensive coordinator. Sitting out last year and paying attention to Kerry Collins, the different things that he was doing and how our offense functioned it helped me out a whole lot.”
The Titans have to be feeling as good about him as they have in a while.
Posted by ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky
In the first half of Mike Silver’s annual owner rankings, he’s got Wayne Weaver 25th and Bud Adams 21st.
Brian Cushing is out, James Casey is in for the preseason finale, says John McClain.
Battleredblog.com considers Dunta Robinson’s status.
Is Matt Schaub injury prone? Stephanie Stradley considers.
Bob McNair denies being part of any secret meeting, the AP says.
The back of the roster will take shape in the preseason finale, says Mike Chappell.
The Colts continue to sort out their return situations, writes Chappell.
The Colts were one of eight franchises to lose value, according to Forbes’ analysis.
Clint Session, Kelvin Hayden and Mike Hart are among the players who aren’t with the Colts in Cincinnati, says John Oehser.
Adam Vinatieri has been cleared and is off the PUP list, says Aaron Wilson. Thanks to stampedeblue.com for the link.
Phillip B. Wilson hits multiple Colts’ topics in a blog entry.
According to bigcatcountry.com, Tony Boselli said this on the radio this morning: Eben Britton will start at right tackle Thursday night and Tony Pashos will shift to right guard. Jason La Canfora of NFL.com wonders if Pashos’ salary puts him in jeopardy.
The Jaguars are guarding against offensive line woes with Pashos, says Gene Frenette.
Some starting positions are still on the line as the Jaguars ready for Thursday night’s preseason finale against Washington, says Michael C. Wright.
Troy Williamson is one of five players around the league whose stock has risen in the preseason, says Clifton Brown.
The defense is looking for sacks, says Vito Stellino.
A look at who’s on the bubble from Vic Ketchman of jaguars.com.
The Titans are looking at Jerry Porter and Samie Parker in addition to Matt Jones, reports Jim Wyatt. My two cents: Porter would be a bad call. The Jags would love to see the Titans make that move.
Is Jeff Fisher a title away from greatness?
Wyatt doesn’t expect Nate Washington to play in the opener at Pittsburgh.
Patrick Ramsey on the possibility of being a third QB. Audio from Titans Radio.
Posted by ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky
In his list of trades that should be made, John Czarnecki says the Titans should trade for Anquan Boldin and the Jaguars need to acquire Tavaris Jackson.
As this might evoke responses from both Texas and Tennessee: Bud Adams was elected to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, according to John McClain.
Brian Cushing could return from his knee injury and play in the preseason finale in Tampa Bay, says John McClain.
The Texans shouldn’t push Cushing too hard, writes Jerome Solomon.
Gary Kubiak listed Matt Schaub, Kevin Walter and Eugene Wilson as day-to-day as he looked ahead to the opener against the Jets, says McClain.
The Texans have the right coach in place, says Richard Justice.
A replay of McClain’s chat.
Rex Grossman will play on Friday at Tampa Bay, says Alan Burge.
Run defense from the secondary and Antonio Smith was poor against the Vikings, and it’s fair to discuss Schaub’s durability, says Lance Zierlein.
Mike Chappell isn’t expecting to see Peyton Manning or most of the starting offense in Cincinnati.
Jim Sorgi is ready to play, John Oehser says in these notes on Tuesday developments.
Should the Colts keep two quarterbacks or three? Tom James looks at the question.
Oehser’s second stab at predicting the 53-man roster includes linebacker Ramon Humber and defensive back Jacob Lacey.
Chappell thinks Adrian Grady could make the roster ahead of Terrance Taylor.
The Colts cutting Michael Coe gave Phillip B. Wilson pause to remember the guys he covers are human.
Jack Del Rio may be joining the team’s beard brigade, says Michael C. Wright.
The Jaguars aren’t as young as Del Rio is suggesting, says Terry O’Brien.
Tuff Harris returns often to the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana to talk about the possibilities for those who explore outside its boundaries. John Glennon's story.
Jason Jones is back but Mark Jones has issues, says Gary Estwick.
Patrick Ramsey is working to make the Titans keep three quarterbacks, blogs Jim Wyatt.
An injury report from Wyatt.
Nate Washington feels better, but didn’t say much about his potential to return for the opener at Pittsburgh. Audio from titansradio.com.
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
More: Chadiha: The plan | Scouts: Rating QBs | Rank 'em | Clayton: Next Cassel?
Houston: If Matt Schaub is unavailable, the Texans' situation is shaky. Head coach Gary Kubiak and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan like a lot of things about Dan Orlovsky, but the newcomer who was signed to replace Sage Rosenfels is still learning the offense and breaking old habits. He'll get better as the season moves along, but if they need him to play early on, there will be a significant drop off. Rex Grossman is also on the roster, but has missed most of the preseason with a hamstring injury. The team was never picturing him as a No. 2 candidate, and if he sticks it will be as the third -- which would make a change in philosophy for a team that usually keeps only two.
Indianapolis: If Peyton Manning is unavailable, the Colts' situation is potentially disastrous. No player in the league ranks as more indispensable than Manning, who's started all 16 games in 11 consecutive seasons. The backup is Jim Sorgi, who missed much of the preseason with a hamstring injury. Recently head coach Jim Caldwell emphasized Sorgi's hold on the No. 2 spot. He's played in 14 games as a quarterback over five seasons, posting an 89.9 passer rating, but that came in mop-up work or late-season games when the Colts had their playoff position sealed up.
The Colts spent a sixth-round pick on Curtis Painter. It will be difficult for the Colts to go three deep at a position where they never expect to need the second guy, so the plan might be to develop Painter on the practice squad. But another team could alter that plan.
Jacksonville: If David Garrard is unavailable, the Jaguars' situation is really bad. Garrard is looking to establish himself as the long-term solution at the position. One thing he is not facing is pressure from behind, where Todd Bouman is currently the backup. Bouman's been in the league for 12 seasons, including some time with Jacksonville in 2007, and has played in 42 games with six starts. He's thrown 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, but has not been on the field in the regular season since 2005, when he had a 54.7 passer rating in 16 games and three starts for the New Orleans. Reports say the team recently inquired about Kansas City's Tyler Thigpen. Odds are they bring in someone to replace or at least challenge Bouman before the season starts.
Tennessee: If Kerry Collins is unavailable, the Titans' situation is hard to predict. Vince Young is the backup. If he comes into a game to replace an injured Collins, he can change the dynamic and make things difficult on a defense. But if he's slated to start games, the league has shown he can be well defended by complicating coverages and hemming him in to keep him from running. While Collins is a pocket passer, standing in and running through reads isn't Young's strength. If the Titans turned to him, they'd be wise to alter the plan to allow him to do more of what he's good at, with rollouts, quick and simple decisions and opportunities on the move. Offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger likes the third quarterback, Patrick Ramsey, a lot. Tennessee could carry three.
The Titans lost at Cleveland Saturday night, but took a lot of good developments out of their fourth, and most important, preseason game. Some thoughts from the 23-17 loss:
- It's been clear for some time they will wind up carrying four tight ends -- Bo Scaife, Alge Crumpler, Jared Cook and Craig Stevens. Scaife and Cook on the field together caused some difficulties for the Browns. Stevens did some nice things in the second half of this game. So did the versatile Quinton Ganther, who is going to make them keep four running backs too. No way he's not one of their best 53 players.
- Mark Jones could have gotten away with all types of stumbles in his first action as the primary return man candidate. Fumbling one return away was not one of them. A year removed from a very solid year for the since-departed Chris Carr, the return jobs remain a giant question mark. Titans Radio said Jones suffered a stinger later when he was smothered on a kickoff return.
- In relief of Kerry Collins, Vince Young had one great run and threw the ball decisively much of the time he was in the game. But his two bad plays were big. The first was a lost fumble at the goal line just before the half. And the pick-six interception he threw deep in the Titans' own end was the sort of gaffe that does an awful lot to offset the good. It was good that he bounced back to lead a touchdown drive and threw a scoring pass to end it. Patrick Ramsey, who's dealing with sore ribs, didn't play.
- Cornerback Cortland Finnegan worked on the left instead of his usual spot on the right, getting some work in case the Titans need to shuffle or for an occasion when he might draw a particular receiver and have to follow him over there. Corner depth remains an issue -- Cary Williams started in place of Nick Harper, who sat out, and didn't fare particularly well. DeMarcus Faggins did well to force Braylon Edwards out of the end zone before he could get a second foot down during a remarkable one-handed catch.
- Cleveland played starters into the fourth quarter, while the Titans' went only to halftime.
Think you have better questions or conversation starters than these? Show us. Hit the mailbag here.
Josh in NY writes: This is a continuation of our debate from the chat! Knighton/Ellison/Landri are all definitely serviceable next to Big John, and Rob Meier has proven to be a guy who can come off the bench and put pressure on the QB over the course of his career. Brian Williams is certainly serviceable at corner, he was the same corner we had in 2007, and we now have Cox in the mix for added depth. Nelson is a legitimate concern at safety, as he seems to not have the mental makeup for the position. Holt alone makes this team's receivers better than the combo of Matt Jones and Reggie Williams, you aren't honestly calling those two a legitimate tandem, are you?
Paul Kuharsky: I agree with your assessment here for the most part.
My point is, Terrance Knighton, Derek Cox, Mike Walker, the young receivers, Atiyyah Ellison -- they are all unproven. For the Jags to make a big jump, they need all those guys to produce. What are the odds a half dozen unproven players all produce consistently for the first time at the same time?
Torry Holt should be a great addition, but beyond him what have any of the wideouts done?
Wouldn't you agree that personnel-wise, they rank fourth in the division?
Franklin in Houston writes: I can't understand how you classify Nick Harper as underrated. I view him as a declining CB that is able to stay on the field using smarts as opposed to physical tools. I think he's aptly rated. What frustrates many Titans' fans is games like last year's playoff loss where he got blazed by Derrick Mason. Roughly same size and age, but Mason blew by him for huge gains leading to a TD and setting up the FG. He is arguably my biggest concern on defense. Your thoughts?
Paul Kuharsky: I think corners are going to get balls completed on them, especially when they play opposite Cortland Finnegan, and somehow the expectations for Harper have gotten crazy. People think it's a disaster when a 15-yard pass goes to his side. I think he does pretty much exactly what they ask, and is also a real factor against the run. He's the best second corner the Titans have had since Denard Walker and because Titans fans are looking for a weak spot or have to punch a hole in someone, he seems to me to be over-targeted for criticism.
Kevin Fitzpatrick in Pittsburgh writes: I just read the chat and you say don't jump to conclusions or make assumptions cause teams haven't even played a regular season game, Yet you say the jaguar LB's have regressed. If you base that off the practices you've seen then why is that any different then when someone asks you if the 4th rounder from Indy is better then Britt?
Paul Kuharsky: To clarify, I think they regressed last year. I didn't see the linebackers making a lot of plays, and in conversations with Clint Ingram and Justin Durant they pretty much agreed about their performances in 2008.
Making judgments on draft picks two games into the preseason -- beyond Player A looks good and Player B is lost -- is ridiculous. Though two or three preseason games we're going to declare Austin Collie better than Kenny Britt? They weren't drafted for the same jobs, for starters, so it's not exactly apples to apples.
Rob Bradley writes via Facebook: If you can afford it and love the Jags and the NFL, buy tickets. If you can't afford it or don't care, don't buy tickets. Don't worry about what the media says, and don't worry about making silly excuses for the city.
Paul Kuharsky: I agree.
Aaron Hurley from parts unknown writes: What is going on with the Patrick Ramsey-Vince Young competition? Ramsey has played very little in preseason games - and hasn't done anything notable in the time that he has had - and I haven't read any suggestions that he is standing out in practice. Will Ramsey get to start a preseason game, or at least get time with the first stringers? And will the Titans carry 3 QBs this year? Thanks.
Paul Kuharsky: Young's second game helped his cause, his third game, not so much. Ramsey won't start a game, but he will play some with the twos. I suspect they keep three, calling VY the backup but probably having more faith in Ramsey if Kerry Collins goes down. There is a long time to go still to sort things out, however.