- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- From the locker room after the Tennessee Titans' 20-16 preseason opening win over Green Bay:
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said that heavy rain meant "a lot of things we had planned went out the window" for the first team on offense. "We didn't handle it as well as we could have early," he said. But he liked that the offense made plays and the defense stopped the Packers late in the game when things were being decided, and that "the whole team was into it."
Inside linebacker Zach Brown has been a starter all of camp, but it was Zaviar Gooden who was on the field for the first series with the defense. Whisenhunt said that was punishment for Brown breaking a team rule. "I would describe it as pissing me off," Whisenhunt said. Brown said "If he ain't elaborating, I ain't either" and that he assured his coach it wouldn't happen against and understood the consequence.
Whisenhunt wasn't sure about the extent of the left ankle injury for interior offensive lineman Chris Spencer. But the shoulder injury for linebacker Colin McCarthy means he "is probably going to be out for a while."
Rookie running back Bishop Sankey had a solid showing in his debut with 13 carries for 37 yards to go with three catches for 38 more and the game-winning touchdown. He's been good in pass protection in practices but made an error that resulted in a Jarrett Bush sack of Charlie Whitehurst. "I just missed that backside corner coming off," Sankey said. "I just need to pay more attention, really just scan backside more. I took a glance, and got out into my route without really scanning backside completely."
Whitehurst had a fantastic run-around play where he looked to be in major trouble as he spun and dropped way far back to avoid Mike Neal. Then he rolled right and hit Sankey along the sideline for a key first down. As he got outside he said to himself, "Oh my gosh, something could happen here." The play had some on Twitter calling him "Charlie Football," which he said he preferred to his far more common nickname of "Clipboard Jesus."
Outside linebacker Brandon Copeland had a big chance to recover a ball Packers quarterback Scott Tolzien put on the ground when he dropped it as he cocked his arm to throw from near the right sideline. But Tolzien got his hands on Copeland, pulled him back and got to the ball to secure it. "I guess when the ball is free it's fair game," Copeland said. "That's just on me. I've got to be more prepared. I probably should have got the quarterback out of the way first. I saw the ball on the ground, and thought that he was out of the way, then I felt a weight on my back. I'm going to definitely take some grief. You live and you learn." Copeland said he might see that ball on the ground in his sleep the rest of his life.
8hEric D. Williams