Tennessee Titans: Jackie Battle

Titans fullback Collin Mooney will spend the summer scuffling to keep a job.

We don’t know how exactly Ken Whisenhunt will deploy a fullback and the Titans have running back Jackie Battle working as a fullback.

It may be an ideal scenario for Battle to be the guy. The Titans would have a fourth running back available and Battle is a good special-teams player. Tight ends can chip in with some fullback work, too. That sort of positional versatility for the fullback spot can be valuable considering no team uses very much of a two-back set.

But it won't be that easy to displace Mooney, who was rated very well by Pro Football Focus for his play in 2013. In just 105 snaps, he rated a plus-9.9. Michael Mountford of PFF picked Mooney as the Titans' secret superstar from 2013.

Mooney never played more than 15 snaps in a game, so no matter how well he played they didn’t value a fullback's contribution very much very often.

Mountford sees the potential for more room for Mooney under Whisenhunt, particularly because of the way Whisenhunt used fullbacks in Arizona.

It’s a position that will bear watching.
For his first three years in the NFL, Chris Johnson was one of the most underpaid backs in the NFL. He made about $7.7 million.

For the last three years, he's been more than fairly compensated -- collecting $34 million.

So to those who think life is unfair for Johnson right now, I'd say it's as easy to look at him as fortunate as well as unfortunate.

If Johnson was drafted years earlier, he would have been very well paid. But if he was in the 2014 draft, he would never line up for anything close to $41.7 million in his career.

His career has straddled a seismic shift in the economics for running backs.

ESPN.com's Ashley Fox runs through the harsh realities of that.

It's tough timing for CJ now. He'll likely get a reduced role and a contract with an annual value of $4 million or less. But at least he had six years of the old economics.

Going forward, here's a look at the Titans and running back money:

Titans' running back base-salary cash costs in 2014: Shonn Greene $2.3M, Dexter McCluster $1M, Jackie Battle $855k, draft pick $435k. Total $4.589M.

Titans' running back salary-cap costs in 2014: Greene $3.23M, McCluster $4M, Battle $570k, draft pick $435k + prorated piece of bonus. Total $8.235M + prorated bonus for the rookie.
Tuesday marks a week since free agency opened. Let's look at what has unfolded for the Tennessee Titans to this point.

Newcomers

RB Dexter McCluster (Kansas City) -- He looks to be more a running back than a receiver in their initial thinking. Catching passes out of the backfield will likely be his biggest role in Ken Whisenhunt’s offense.

DL Al Woods (Pittsburgh) -- The Titans have looked at a lot of versatile defensive linemen, and Woods is the one they’ve managed to add so far. He can play anywhere on a three-man line but provides a nice option in the middle.

LB Wesley Woodyard (Denver) -- He’ll bring quality leadership and is expected to fit comfortably as a 3-4 inside linebacker, a spot at which the Titans need to continue to upgrade their options.

QB Charlie Whitehurst -- A veteran quarterback who’s hardly played but was in Whisenhunt’s offense last year in San Diego. Will have more of a chance at playing time behind Jake Locker than he did behind Philip Rivers.

RT Michael Oher -- A big, durable, physical offensive lineman who’s in line to take over at right tackle. He’s been penalty prone and hasn’t progressed a ton in five years with the Ravens, but if he improves, he could be a big answer.

Visitors who remain unsigned

LB Akeem Jordan (Kansas City) -- Could be a good option as the short-area inside linebacker.

DT Pat Sims (Oakland) -- A run stopper who could likely contribute on run downs.

Re-signed

SS Bernard Pollard -- The outspoken thumper did a lot to help restore the Titans to relevance last season and fits very nicely with Michael Griffin in the middle of the Titans' secondary. Sounded fired up about the new regime.

DE Ropati Pitoitua -- A giant defensive end who did some good work in the 4-3 last season. He’s even better cast for the new hybrid front that will have a significant 3-4 element.

KR Leon Washington -- He settled the return game down substantially after he joined the team late in the season. McCluster could render Washington redundant, but starting out with multiple options for the return game is a good thing.

RB Jackie Battle -- The Titans are heading toward a committee of running backs. Battle should be the backup to the Shonn Greene piece of it plus a special teamer.

Signed away

CB Alterraun Verner (Tampa Bay) -- A very productive corner who was the Titans’ lone Pro Bowler in 2013. They never expected to get him back, and though his price wasn’t what his agent expected, he bolted to be part of the Cover-2 Lovie Smith will run.

Released

RT David Stewart -- Beat up and expensive after nine seasons, he sounded like he’s leaning strongly to retirement after he got the news from the only organization for which he’s played.

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick -- Interception prone and too streaky, he still ranked as a serviceable veteran backup in a bleak landscape for them. Whitehurst takes his place and saved the Titans a $500,000 roster bonus.

Still out there

WR Kenny Britt -- Interest in a reclamation project is reportedly coming from St. Louis, New England and Washington.

G-C Chris Spencer -- He’s a player the Titans could use back to work behind Andy Levitre, Brian Schwenke and Chance Warmack.

DT Antonio Johnson -- Has 3-4 experience from Indianapolis but with Woods added Johnson hardly ranks as a priority at this point.

WR Damian Williams -- A smart and versatile receiver. He can be good as the fourth or fifth guy, but it's a loaded free-agent pool and draft class at receiver.

Also: C Kevin Matthews, OT Mike Otto, QB Rusty Smith, C Rob Turner, RS-WR Marc Mariani.

Titans now know No. 2 and No. 3 RBs

February, 25, 2014
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- We know who the Titans' No. 2 running back is going to be in 2014. We know who’s in line to be the No. 3 back.

While the question lingers about the future of longtime lead back Chris Johnson because of his pricey contract, the Titans signed Shonn Greene a year ago. And per Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean, they have agreed to a one-year deal with Jackie Battle, who was the third back and a key special-teamer in 2013.

In the past three years, Battle said he didn’t get a deal until late, so he’s excited to know early on where he is going to be.

He carried the ball more than the team anticipated last season because Greene missed extended time after suffering a knee injury in the opener that required surgery.

Bigger news is to come at the position, of course.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- We've awaited indications about the Tennessee Titans' interest level in some of their unrestricted free agents to-be.

Via Jim Wyatt we get the first signals about what Tennessee would like to do.

They are talking to Alterraun Verner, who may prove too expensive.

Per Wyatt:
The Titans also have talked with the agents for safety Bernard Pollard and defensive end Ropati Pitoitua, who are scheduled to become free agents.

Indications are the Titans have either talked with or plan to talk with the agents for running back Jackie Battle, wide receivers Damian Williams and Marc Mariani, return man Leon Washington and offensive lineman Chris Spencer as well.

“A lot of those guys have had a positive impact on our team, so we're going to try and keep as many of those guys as we can,” (Ruston) Webster said.

Now we don't know if they are hell-bent on re-signing some of those guys or if their contact is more on a check-in level.

Ranking the guys from that group, Pollard is most important and Pitoitua is probably second. I'd put Washington third, and Williams fourth.

Defensive tackle Antonio Johnson is also a player they will consider bringing back.

Not on Wyatt's list of guys coming free who the Titans will talk to, at least at this point: Receiver Kenny Britt (no surprise at all), interior offensive lineman Rob Turner, receiver Kevin Walter and offensive tackle Michael Otto.

Upon Further Review: Titans Week 16

December, 23, 2013
12/23/13
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- An examination of four hot issues from the Tennessee Titans' 20-16 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars:

Munchak
Injury talk: A year ago the Titans suffered a slew of injuries on the offensive line, and it was often difficult for them to field a functional group. That’s a bad scenario, suffering multiple serious injuries at the same position. Otherwise, you’re like most other teams. Mike Munchak continues to talk as if the Week 1 knee injury to running back Shonn Greene was season-altering. It’s great that Greene is feeling good and making a contribution, but losing him for a stretch and then not having him at 100 percent shouldn’t have had such a big bearing on this team. Losing quarterback Jake Locker was big, of course. But otherwise the Titans have had a pretty healthy season. Yes, Brian Schwenke’s ankle injury has lessened the rookie center’s game. But the idea that the line hasn’t had sufficient time to jell because of dings is way overstated. Injured/altered lines in Seattle and Miami have functioned well enough, no? There are banged-up guys on the rosters of all the teams the Titans are playing, too. Munchak looks primed to oversell injuries as part of the reason his team hasn’t lived up to his promise of not disappointing fans this season. Tommy Smith and Ruston Webster shouldn’t put too much stock into that. And Munchak shouldn’t expect perfect health if he’s coach in 2014.

Reinforcement: Here’s hoping a successful game against a bad team doesn’t do much to prompt ownership to buy in to antiquated thinking where the Titans continue to want to be predominantly a run team. There is a place for the running game and dangerous backs. But Tennessee has overemphasized it with limited success, and running against a bunch of Jaguars backups shouldn’t fuel the continued dedication to the approach in a passing, quarterback league. The Titans need to focus on quarterback above all else, not further commit to the desire to throw it when they want to as opposed to when they need to.

Shuffling backers: In the two previous games, the Titans gave a large share of the weakside linebacker work to rookie Zaviar Gooden. Sunday he was inactive. Munchak said the team decided to sacrifice a linebacker for an extra receiver as they thought the heat would have a bearing on the wideouts. They also wanted to see Colin McCarthy play the weak side. That’s fine. But it looks like they are having trouble making up their minds about who their best guys are. And that’s a significant problem in Week 16.

Confusing use: I’m a giant believer in maximizing threatening weapons. Jackie Battle is the Titans’ third running back for a reason, and he’s not at all threatening as a pass-catcher. Maybe give him some snaps in passing situations to lessen the pass-protecting responsibilities of Chris Johnson, who’s pretty good at picking up rushers. He’s playing too much, and against the Jaguars, he was splitting out wide in empty formations. I didn’t get to talk to offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains after this game, but I certainly will ask him soon what makes Battle in a receiver position a good idea.

Upon Further Review: Titans Week 15

December, 16, 2013
12/16/13
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A review of four hot issues from the Tennessee Titans' 37-34 overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals:

[+] EnlargeKendall Wright
Jim Brown/USA TODAY SportsAgainst Arizona in Week 15, Titans receiver Kendall Wright has 12 receptions for 150 yards, his second 100-plus game this season.
Overcomplicated: Even minus Justin Hunter and Damian Williams, scratched for violating team rules, the Titans have a pretty good group of threatening pass catchers. I understand an occasional pass to someone like fullback Quinn Johnson may keep a defense honest, but the Titans can't spare snaps for such things. Johnson dropped the one pass thrown to him. Running back Jackie Battle was on the field in some passing situations and may have some pass protection skills, but I don't understand him playing 14 snaps on offense when Shonn Greene played only 12.

Hearing from Smith: We know very little about new Titans president and CEO Tommy Smith, but Sunday before the game he had his first meeting with the press. He was reasonable on every level, appearing a little nervous but providing a good deal of insight into the way he will operate. He's got no intention to sell the team, wants to have smart people in place and let them do their jobs, feels the fans' pain and sounds determined to get things on track. Fans and followers of the franchise should be encouraged by the glimpse of Smith he shared Sunday.

The stars shined: The Titans do not have as much talent as they believe, but the best guy on each side of the ball excelled Sunday. Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey led the Titans with nine tackles and recorded 1.5 sacks, boosting his season total to 10.5. On offense, receiver Kendall Wright keyed the late comeback with several big catches. He was targeted on 34 percent of Ryan Fitzpatrick's 58 passes, catching 12 for 150 yards. Wright's receptions included gains of 26, 23, 20 and 20 yards. He's a really good player who stands to be a foundational piece of this team no matter who's making decisions and calling plays going forward.

Home-field disadvantage: The Titans lost their fifth straight at LP Field and are now 2-5 in Nashville this season. Under Mike Munchak, the team is 11-12 at home. Safety Bernard Pollard has preached about the idea of establishing a clear home-field advantage. After this loss, he said even if guys didn't really feel some sort of edge when playing in Nashville, they should "fake" like they do. No one in the league worries about a trip to Music City these days. It's a far cry from what the Titans had on the East Bank of the Cumberland River in the building's early years.

Greene has to add to Titans' run game

October, 30, 2013
10/30/13
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Anytime I’ve mentioned Shonn Greene as a potential boost for the Tennessee Titans, New York Jets fans who have noticed it have latched on.

The Titans are expecting a boost from Greene?

It’s true.

[+] EnlargeShonne Greene
Ronald C. Modra/Getty ImagesThe Titans are looking to Shonne Greene to help revitalize a stagnant run game.
The run game Titans coaches pledged would be the backbone of the offense ranks 18th in the NFL -- averaging 108.3 yards a game and 3.7 yards a carry. Feature back Chris Johnson is averaging 3.1 yards and has not broken off a run longer than 23 yards.

Enter Greene, who injured his right knee in the season opener in Pittsburgh, missed five games and was barely on the field against San Francisco.

When they signed Greene to a three-year, $10 million contract the Titans believed Johnson and Greene would be great as a one-two punch. Greene was expected to get the bulk of short-yardage and goal line work. Instead it’s been Johnson and third-stringer Jackie Battle.

Hopefully for the rushing offense, Greene’s running style proves more assertive than his personality. He’s been very ho-hum in conversations I’ve had with him about getting back and making an impact. That, of course, doesn’t have to mean a thing.

He didn’t sound real fired up about opportunities to run inside against St. Louis on Sunday.

“I don’t know about inside runs because they changed their defense up and pretty much have eight in the box every play,” he said. “We watch film and when they played Seattle they had eight in the box pretty much the whole game, so it’s going to be tough to get inside. But we’ve got a couple things for them, so hopefully those schemes will work.

That’s hardly in sync with the team’s preseason insistence that the Titans would impose their will and believed they would be able to run against virtually anyone virtually anytime.

I would think a majority of power backs would talk about thinking they can get yards up the gut no matter the defense.

Perhaps he’s just offering us a realistic view.

Greene said St. Louis’ determination to use eight in the box came after they watched the 49ers run for 219 yards.

It’s not as if the Rams then became an invincible run defense. Houston ran for 153 yards. Carolina ran for 102. They had a good game against Seattle, allowing only 44 yards on Monday night.

Coach Mike Munchak spoke encouragingly about what Greene can add.

“He looks good out here,” Munchak said. “There’s no reason he can’t do whatever. If he had to carry it 20 times, he should be able to do that now. We’ll just have to, again, hope that we can get in a situation where we run the ball 35 times so that he can get touches.

"That’s what we need him to do to help him get in shape because he hasn’t had any [carries] since preseason really. He looks good, and that’s exactly how we hoped he would. He’s running hard in practice. We had a good day today, so I’m looking forward to him getting some opportunities."

The excuses are about up for the Titans run game.

They’ve got Brian Schwenke in place as their starting center for a second game. They’ve got their full compliment of running backs. They’ve got an opponent that can give up yards.

If they don’t gain ground yards in St. Louis and next week against winless Jacksonville, I don’t know why we should expect they’ll ever get them. And I don’t know how they could justify staying the philosophical course.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- As the Tennessee Titans put together a new offense in the offseason, they felt they had a quality group of threatening weapons. Get the ball in the hands of Kendall Wright, Delanie Walker, Justin Hunter, Nate Washington and Chris Johnson -- in space – and those guys would be able to do some serious damage.

Nowhere in the conversation was talk of quirky changeups to far less dangerous players.

Yet early in the Titans’ loss to the 49ers, the Titans called plays for Darius Reynaud, a struggling return man who somehow got on the field as a receiver, and third-string running back Jackie Battle.

Third-and-4 near midfield on the Titans’ first possession, Jake Locker threw to Reynaud, who dropped the pass. Also in the first quarter, facing a third-and-15, Locker threw to Battle for a 6-yard gain.

On those two plays, the Titans showed far too much faith in marginal players who rank low on their roster. Reynaud failed to convert a third-and-1 in a recent game in a snap at running back. His drop last Sunday went along with another poor return day that finally got him cut on Monday.

No matter the coverage, throwing on third down to a guy you’re about to cut instead of to Johnson or Wright or Walker doesn’t make a lot of sense. Not that coach Mike Munchak didn’t have a convoluted rationale.

“As far as Darius, he was in there early because he’s a mismatch problem because they’re going to double Kendall and cover Delanie,” Munchak said in an attempt to explain. “That gives us another guy who can get open in a short area for a quick 3- or 4-yard pass. That’s what that was for there -- to take advantage of something we thought was there, which was, and he dropped the ball.

“I think we’re trying to use the guys the best we can. Jackie caught a screen. He was in there and we called the play. It’s not like Jackie can’t run a screen. Jackie ran a screen against Pittsburgh and got a first down. So he’s very capable of getting a first down. It’s not always going to be, ‘Is he better than him?’ You always want your best guys … [Chris Johnson] took a screen to the house in the third quarter. So, of course, you want him in there as much as possible, especially when you get a chance to call a screen.”

The Titans are giving charity chances to bad skill players, not only at the expense of their best guys, but skipping right by a capable guy like tight end Craig Stevens, who doesn’t have a catch this season. I’m OK with the way they’ve steered clear of tight end Taylor Thompson because I don’t have a lot of faith in him. But he’s a guy they traded up to draft a couple years ago because they were so in love with his potential.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In late July, Mike Munchak wasn't talking about all the time the Tennessee Titans would need for their revamped offensive line to jell. He was not talking about the things the Titans needed to do to build Chris Johnson's yards per carry.

“If we're going to win,” Munchak said then, “it's going to be because our offensive line is a lot better than it was last year, and we're physical, and we're relentless, and we're going to move people around on both sides of the ball. And if we do that, which we're very capable of doing with the guys that we have, then we're going to win a lot of football games. If we don't do that, then it doesn't matter."

[+] EnlargeJackie Battle
Don McPeak/USA TODAY SportsJackie Battle was stopped twice on the Kansas City 1-yard line.
They did not do it Sunday at LP Field against the Kansas City Chiefs. The backbone of the team went jellyfish, and the Titans got 50 of their 105 rushing yards from scrambling quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

The Titans are a determined run team. But a determined run team with three new line starters and a couple new backs behind the starter should be better than this by Week 5.

And through Week 5 the Titans have a pricy running back who's average is down to a paltry 3.1 yards a carry.

The Titans are supposed to be a team that can get a tough yard. But facing first-and-1 from the Kansas City 1-yard line in the second quarter, this was the sequence:

  • First down: Jackie Battle up the middle, no gain, tackle by defensive end Anthony Toribio and inside linebacker Akeem Jordan
  • Second down: Fitzpatrick pass batted at line, caught by Fitpatrick, no gain
  • Third down: Fitzpatrick scrambles, sacked for no yards
  • Fourth down: Battle up the middle, no gain, tackle by defensive tackle Dontari Poe and Toribio

On the second down play Fitzpatrick got tripped up as he backed out, and had Delanie Walker open but could not deliver it.

“Once we see it on tape, there are probably a lot of reasons why that isn't in the end zone,” left tackle Michael Roos said. “It's terrible on our part, to start with. As an offensive line being revamped like that, we have to get that in. You can't make excuses. …I'm sure there were multiple guys that had issues in it. We've just got to get it in.”

Part of the Titans talk about their run game at this stage has been about the difficult fronts they have faced. But five games should be a pretty reasonable simply on defense in general, and five games should be more than enough time to figure out runs that can work.

“Third-and-1, fourth-and-1 from the 1, you've got to punch that in, that's unacceptable,” offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. “Right now my concern is fixing the problem. We've got to figure that out ASAP. We've played some good defenses, but that's no excuse. We have a lot of talent up front. We need to do a better job."

I've credited this staff for not being stubborn with game plans and determined to prove it was right in planning. But I think Loggains was guilty of some of that here.

The Titans ran it mostly inside, and Poe is an immovable force in there. They hardly tested the edge, though Battle had they team's big run to the outside late, a 37-yarder.

“We didn't have anything in the game plan going outside,” Roos said.

Said Loggains: “The strength of that defense is definitely the edge rushers and the linebackers are sideline to sideline players, (Derrick Johnson) can run, all those guys can run. The thing is we didn't do a good job inside getting those guys covered up. It's something we've got to continue to work on.”

Taking the ball inside to where center Rob Turner, the line's weakest link, was struggling with Poe even with help seems like an idea to work on as well.

Meanwhile the Chiefs had personnel issues with right tackle Eric Fisher out.

Kansas City was, nevertheless, what the Titans talk of being: A reliably effective run team riding a top back. Jamaal Charles took 22 carries 108 yards and scored a touchdown from, you guessed it, a yard out.

Mailbag: Getting Chiefs off rhythm

October, 5, 2013
10/05/13
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Time for the weekly dip into Twitter questions. Thanks to all contributors.

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Titans snap report: Week 4

September, 30, 2013
9/30/13
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A look at who played how much for the Titans in the big win over the Jets on Sunday:

Offense, 67 snaps

LT Michael Roos, 67
LG Andy Levitre, 67
C Rob Turner, 67
RG Chance Warmack, 67
RT David Stewart T, 67
WR Nate Washington, 56
WR Kendall Wright, 50
TE Delanie Walker, 46
RB Chris Johnson, 45
QB Jake Locker, 44
TE Craig Stevens, 40
WR Damian Williams, 31
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, 23
RB Jackie Battle, 22
FB Collin Mooney, 21
WR Justin Hunter, 14
TE Taylor Thompson, 8
WR Michael Preston, 2

The absence of Kenny Britt (rib injury) led to more work for Wright and Williams. Battle got nearly a third of the running back snaps as Johnson simply wasn’t a good matchup against the Jets stout front.

Defense, 65 snaps

FS Michael Griffin, 65
SS Bernard Pollard, 65
CB Jason McCourty, 65
MLB Moise Fokou, 65
CB Alterraun Verner, 58
LB Zach Brown, 52
DE Derrick Morgan, 50
DT Jurrell Casey, 47
CB Coty Sensabaugh, 45
LB Akeem Ayers, 44
DT Mike Martin, 28
DE Kamerion Wimbley, 25
SS George Wilson, 22
DT Antonio Johnson, 22
DE Karl Klug, 22
DE Ropati Pitoitua, 22
DE Keyunta Dawson, 12
CB Tommie Campbell, 6

The Titans continue to do a nice job mixing up the defensive line and keeping people pretty fresh. I’m surprised Fokou is the linebacker who is playing the most when Brown is so effective.
Have a Titan or two on your fantasy team?

We’re going to try to have a weekly check in with a fantasy expert to advise us on such matchups.

Evan Silva of Rotoworld was kind enough to share his thoughts on Tennessee plays for Week 2 in Houston.

Here are his thoughts:

“The Titans essentially announced what kind of offense they want to be in the opener, ripping off 42 run plays and using three-tight end power formations on 17 of those snaps. Jake Locker had 20 pass attempts and 11 completions, and the Titans won 16-9. Because the offense is decidedly run heavy, Locker is a low-percentage passer, and there are a lot of mouths to feed in Tennessee, Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright, Nate Washington, and Delanie Walker are going to be unreliable fantasy players all year. Some will have big games here or there, but there's just not enough volume to maintain consistency. It's a huge fantasy headache.

“I was discouraged by the Titans' Week 1 usage of Wright, in particular. OC Dowell Loggains seems to believe Wright is a situational slot receiver only, like Eddie Royal or Davone Bess. He played 19 snaps. I'd consider dropping Wright in my fantasy league. Loggains has pledged to get Wright ‘more involved’ this week, so perhaps wait one more game. But I'm not optimistic. It's abundantly clear Wright is behind Britt and Washington on the depth chart.

“Chris Johnson should theoretically benefit from the heavy doses of rushing attempts, but Loggains obviously has no intentions of giving him goal-line work. Even with Shonn Greene sidelined last week by a knee injury, the Titans subbed in Jackie Battle in scoring position. As for Johnson in Week 2, a glass-half-full fantasy owner could point to the fact that he's had some recent success running on the Texans with 253 yards on 53 carries (4.77 YPC) over their last three meetings. I would start Chris Johnson as an RB2 this week, and leave the rest of the Titans' skill-position players on the bench or fantasy waiver wires.

“I'd also avoid Tennessee's defense and special teams unit in fantasy, especially this week. While Gregg Williams' blitz-heavy approach could result in a handful of turnover- and sack-heavy games over the course of the season, I don't think they have enough defensive talent to finish as a top-15 fantasy unit. Perhaps play the Titans' D/ST when they face the Jaguars. Not on the road against the Texans.”

I’d be more patient with Wright than Silva advises. Loggains loves Wright. The Titans will act as if they have there starting receivers even though they didn’t treat snaps like that in the opener. His playing time will increase and I think he’s going to produce. I still think he’s the most likely guy to lead the team in receptions.

I consider Silva's weekly matchup column a must read. While it's great for fantasy, it's informative on a level that goes beyond that. Check out this week's installment.
Reading the coverage of the Tennessee Titans…

Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey and linebacker Zach Brown were playmakers in the opener and have the potential to be standout players for a defense that has lacked them, says John Glennon of The Tennessean.

Guard Chance Warmack made some mistakes and saw some new things in his regular-season debut, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

Bud Adams, Eddie George and Steve McNair are on the list of 126 modern-era nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

To which I say: It’s a very thorough initial list. I don’t regard any of the three as Hall of Famers.

For Titans fullback Collin Mooney, Sept. 11 was a big factor in deciding to go to West Point, says David Boclair of the Nashville Post.

With Jackie Battle the Titans have their best three-man running back depth since 2007, says Boclair.

Warmack is preparing for his first chance against reigning defensive player of the year J.J. Watt, says Teresa Walker of the AP.

To which I say: It will be very interesting to see how he does, but let’s remember on base downs it will be more about right tackle David Stewart.
A look at the snap report from the NFL for the Titans in their win over Pittsburgh.

Offense, 67 total snaps
LT Michael Roos, 67
LG Andy Levitre, 67
C Rob Turner, 67
RG Chance Warmack, 67
RT David Stewart, 67
QB Jake Locker, 67

TE Delanie Walker, 51
TE Craig Stevens, 49
RB Chris Johnson, 43
WR Kenny Britt, 43
WR Nate Washington, 38
WR Damian Williams, 27
TE Taylor Thompson, 25
RB Jackie Battle, 19
WR Kendall Wright, 19
FB Collin Mooney, 17
RB Shonn Greene, 4

Greene got hurt early or would likely have had most of Battle’s snaps. The team said Wright’s preseason knee injury wasn’t going to be an issue, but he should get more than that if he’s fine -- especially when Britt is ineffective.

Defense, 53 total snaps
CB Jason McCourty, 53
LB Moise Fokou, 53
LB Zach Brown, 53
FS Michael Griffin, 53

CB Alterraun Verner, 52
SS Bernard Pollard. 51
DE Derrick Morgan, 49
DT Jurrell Casey, 45
CB Coty Sensabaugh, 36
LB-DE Akeem Ayers, 29
DE Kamerion Wimbley, 27
DL Karl Klug, 23
DE Ropati Pitoitua, 19
DT Mike Martin, 17
DT Sammie Hill, 17
S George Wilson, 3
DT Antonio Johnson, 3

The Titans are supposed to be reducing Morgan’s snaps, but Ayers is coming off an ankle injury and they were clearly measuring his work. He wasn’t very effective. Pitoitua showed well. Hill was a big free-agent addition. He had an elbow injury in the preseason and I would expect more action from him.

Four Titans played 18 special-teams snaps: Patrick Bailey, Tommie Campbell, Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Daimion Stafford.

Backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was the only active player who didn't take the field.

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