AFC South: Tyrone Poole
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
By popular demand, here's the list of the Titans' unrestricted-free-agents-to-be.
|AP Photo/John Russell|
|When the dust settles this offseason, Albert Haynesworth could be the richest defender in the NFL.|
They are in rough order of importance, with comments.
We'll give you similar lists for the Texans, Colts and Jaguars soon.
- Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth: In line to be highest-paid defender in football. A critical piece of what the Titans do.
- Quarterback Kerry Collins: The right guy for this team right now, on the field and in the locker room.
- Nickelback Vincent Fuller: Has provided continuity and steady play at a crucial spot.
- Tight end Bo Scaife: A quality target, but could end up being overpriced.
- Kicker Rob Bironas: Big, strong leg has been clutch for the most part.
- Return man/cornerback Chris Carr: Provided a huge boost to return games and was quality depth on defense.
- Punter Craig Hentrich: Has been great for them, but his game had dropped off some and he's talking retirement.
- Offensive lineman Daniel Loper: They like him a lot as a versatile backup.
- Cornerback Eric King: Finished hurt, but provides excellent depth when healthy.
- Wide receiver Brandon Jones: Coming off his steadiest season, but may be a No. 3 at best.
- Quarterback Chris Simms: He likes the team, the team likes him. But the No. 3 job is probably all the Titans can offer.
- Wide receiver Justin McCareins: Hard to imagine they can't or won't upgrade opposite Justin Gage.
- Cornerback Tyrone Poole: A veteran who was added late as insurance but never really needed.
- Cornerback Reynaldo Hill: The team made it clear by hurrying him to IR that he's got no standing left.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Jeff Fisher said throughout the season that he intended to play his guys through the season, even in a game that didn't have playoff implications.
I won't count anything on the defensive line against him, as the Titans are without the injured Albert Haynesworth, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Dave Ball. But among the healthy guys in the back seven, four -- Michael Griffin, Chris Hope, Cortland Finnegan and Keith Bulluck -- have already been pulled.
This is fine and probably the right thing to do. I just wish Fisher hadn't spent so much time and effort selling how he wasn't going to do it this way this quickly.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans didn't deactivate either of their injured starting cornerbacks and didn't announce any lineup changes with their inactives.
With their top corners on the field, I expect the Titans will throw anything extra they feel necessary to complicate life and rush decisions for third-string quarterback Ken Dorsey, who makes his first start of the season at LP Field.
It's quite cold in Nashville, but with clear skies and minimal winds so far.
|Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images|
|Leon Washington scored on runs of 61 and 4 yards in the fourth quarter.|
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
"That's up to them," Tennessee's veteran linebacker said. "I know where we're going to be."
Up until Sunday, the Titans had been able to survive their share of bad stretches, dropped passes and failed third downs on both offense and defense. Against the Jets, all the things they'd been negotiating around piled up and became insurmountable in a 34-13 loss.
Give a Brett Favre-led offense 40:30 in time of possession ("Yikes," Bulluck said when he learned that number), allow a season-worst 192 yards rushing and score all of three points when the outcome is in doubt and odds are not in your favor.
"They executed their game plan a lot better than we did ours," nickel back Vincent Fuller said. "...The feeling sucks and I think us winning shouldn't be taken for granted, it's bad. It wasn't a goal to be undefeated. Definitely we appreciate being able to win the first 10 games of the season."
Fifteen minutes after swallowing their first loss of the season, the Titans had little choice but to concede the obvious -- that they weren't close to being the best team over 60 minutes.
"They put up 30 and we're used to giving up 12," Bulluck said. "When a team puts that many points up, they're doing something right. You can't say anything bad about what they did. The Jets are a good football team."
"If you watched that whole game," cornerback Chris Carr said, "you know the team that deserved to win was the Jets because they outplayed us all day."
The Titans have been a team greater than the sum of its parts all season, an equation that makes them somewhat anonymous and somewhat a more likeable group than your average NFL bunch.
But the more they won when they played far less than perfect and the more they talked about how they'd not yet played a complete game, the more it was also clear that they had yet to spit out a dud, a possibility just as likely.