Friday, August 21, 2009
What I noticed from Titans in first half
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
ARLINGTON, Texas -- When Jeff Fisher tosses and turns, this is the kind of football game unfolding in his head.
Dallas is up 14-10 at the half of a preseason opener that's the first football played at Cowboys Stadium
If possession (or yardage) produced points, Dallas would be blowing the Titans out. Overall in the first half, Dallas moved 249 net yards in 22:13, the Titans 78 in 7:47.
The Titans had hoped to get Vince Young some time with the first team offense, but as it only got 17 plays, he didn't make it off the bench -- except for when Fisher sent the Titans who played their college ball at Texas to midfield as captains before the game.
A few other thoughts:
- Javon Ringer returned 15 kicks as a collegian, none as long as his first-quarter 51 yarder, when he bounced to the left sideline and took off. He continues to impress and will be able to contribute in a number of ways. On the Titans' next special teams play, he was lined up second from the right on the kickoff coverage unit. His 16-yard run with the first team offense late in the first quarter was a thing of beauty too. He had a nice one-handed catch too. Don't want to read too much into it, but as we've been talking about Nate Washington and Jared Cook upping the dynamic weapons. Kenny Britt's going to be on that list, and Ringer could be working his way on it too. At this early stage, the draft class is looking quite impressive.
- With Vincent Fuller (hamstring) and Ryan Mouton (ankle) out, Tanard Davis was the first nickel. On a third-and-3 against Patrick Crayton in the slot, Davis allowed for too much separation and Crayton crossed to the left and caught a 15-yard pass. A bit later Davis gave up a 9-yard pass to Crayton and Dallas converted the resulting fourth-and-1. The Titans aren't three deep at nickel right now. Ultimately someone with a better chance at a roster spot -- DeMarcus Faggins, Cary Williams or Jason McCourty -- needs to be ready to go there in an emergency.
- Chris Johnson has 3 yards on two carries and one catch for no gain. But it continues to be clear that the Titans aren't doing anything schematically to help spring him. On a first-and-15 in the first quarter, Collins threw to him short on the right and he was swarmed by -- I promise I am not exaggerating -- five Cowboys without a Titan any where nearby to even try to throw a block. Come meaningful games, they will be doing far, far more to get him into space.
- Everything is big here, except the small corner pieces of ribbon boards where the Cowboys post the down and distance. I got a headache trying to read it. Have any Tylenol?