Tennessee Titans: Reading the coverage

Reading the coverage of the Tennessee Titans...

Veteran kickers Jay Feely and Rian Lindell will visit with the Titans Wednesday, says Wyatt.

To which I say: The Titans have slow played the competition between Maikon Bonani and Travis Coons. Now they are at least checking out veteran alternatives. Feely and Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt were together in Arizona.

Jurrell Casey’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, visited the Titans Tuesday, which could be a good sign about a contract extension, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

Zach Mettenberger thinks he’s played efficiently in the preseason, says John Glennon of The Tennessean. Now Mettenberger could start the preseason finale.

Quarterback Dominique Davis is eager for his opportunity with the Titans, says Joe Fann of the team’s website.

To which I say: The best scenario for the Titans is Davis doesn’t need to take a snap on Thursday night.
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The Titans have given up nine sacks through three games, including two of Jake Locker in Atlanta, says John Glennon of The Tennessean.

Chase Coffman is trying to beat long odds to make the Titans, says Glennon.

To which I say: He’s getting lumped in with undrafted free agents in some conversations. Coffman was actually a third-round pick by Cincinnati in 2009. He’s probably a better player than low-ranking receivers, but four tight ends would be a lot.

For the second year in a row, defensive end Ropati Pitoitua broke a hand during the preseason, says Glennon. He won’t play Thursday but is expected to be ready for the opener on Sept. 7.

Like new Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason, Ken Whisenhunt is in his first year in Nashville as a head coach and the expectation is to win now, says David Climer of The Tennessean.

With one game still to play, Zach Mettenberger has thrown for more yards (504) in the preseason than any Titans quarterback except Billy Volek in 2005 (541), says David Boclair of the Nashville Post.

Amie Wells of the Titans website sat down with Tim Shaw after he visited the team following his announcement that he has ALS. I missed it last week. (Video.)
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"The league fined (Taylor) Lewan $8,200 for his unnecessary roughness penalty against the New Orleans Saints last Friday," reports Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

Among the surprises of the Titans' preseason so far is how the team has slow-played the kicker competition, says John Glennon of The Tennessean.

Staying on the proper tracks for handoffs is something Bishop Sankey needs to improve as problems there have led to fumbles, says David Boclair of the Nashville Post.

A couple recent interviews from the radio show I co-host. DaQuan Jones spoke to The Midday 180, talking of his high school play as an offensive lineman. as did Kendall Wright discussed his buy-in with Ken Whisenhunt's offense.

Tim Shaw also spoke to us on the radio a few hours after the Titans did the Ice Bucket Challenge on his behalf.

Unsurprisingly, based on the Titans low national appeal right now, their two prime-time games rank worst and third-worst on this list from Brad Gagnon of Awful Announcing.
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Jason McCourty was the Titans spokesman as the entire team took the Ice Bucket Challenge for Tim Shaw, who recently revealed he has ALS. Video from the team’s website.

Shaw said he’s not afraid to die, writes Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. “God built this body to play seven years in the NFL,” Shaw said. “I never missed a game. I never had a surgery. Tell me that's not a miracle in itself. I believe God has built this body in a way to withstand something like that and fight something like this. That is my No. 1 driving force. If I didn't believe that, I would be a mess."

Fade passes to Justin Hunter look nearly unstoppable, says John Glennon of The Tennessean.

Zach Mettenberger is getting extra work while Charlie Whitehurst lets an injured finger heal, and that’s good for the rookie, says Wyatt.

As he coaches the Titans' tight ends, Mike Mularkey says he’s doing what he does best now, says David Boclair of the Nashville Post.
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The Titans want Jake Locker to scramble smarter, using good judgment and avoiding unnecessary contact, says David Climer of The Tennessean. "You have to understand what the situation of the game is -- if 2 or 3 yards is worth it or not," Locker said. "You have to be conscious of that before you go to the line of scrimmage."

The Titans periodically play a snap of defense with all 11 players standing up. John Glennon talked to Derrick Morgan and Jurrell Casey about how it works.

Kendall Wright is on the All-Underrated Team and Michael Roos is on the All-Declining Team, per Pete Prisco of CBS Sports.

Who are the most indispensable Titans? I’m surprised by Climer’s choice at No. 3, though the case can be made.

Bernard Pollard was put off by Johnny Manziel’s middle finger to the Washington bench, says Jim Wyatt.

Zach Mettenberger has played more snaps in the preseason than any rookie quarterbacks except Teddy Bridgewater and Manziel, says David Boclair of the Nashville Post.

Leon Washington and Dexter McCluster will get return chances at some point in the next two preseason games, says Joe Fann of the Titans website.
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Ken Whisenhunt said one bad game in New Orleans won’t determine the fate of cornerback Coty Sensabaugh, says John Glennon of The Tennessean.

The Titans should finally face a No. 1 quarterback this week with Matt Ryan in Atlanta, says Glennon.

Positive plays outnumber negative ones for Zach Mettenberger against New Orleans, says Roland Bardon of Pro Football Focus. Coty Sensabaugh and Andy Levitre graded poorly.

Shonn Greene practiced and news on other injuries from Wyatt.

Derrick Morgan is a member of the All Make-or-Break Team from Robert Mays of Grantland.

Titans Radio play-by-play man Mike Keith sees a total belief in Ken Whisenhunt from the team.
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Jake Locker played well in preseason game No. 2, with 8-of-11 passing for 75 yards, a touchdown and a passer rating of 121.5 in two possessions, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

To which I say: An encouraging showing, particularly with the first drive for a touchdown after the defense gave up a score to open the game.

The Saints had more, but the Titans did their part to bog down the game with penalties, says Wyatt.

Rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger played extra and put up big numbers back in Louisiana, says John Glennon of The Tennessean.

Taylor Lewan played a good game at both tackles spots, but drew two penalties, says Glennon.

Travis Coons had a productive night and is putting serious pressure on Maikon Bonani, says Wyatt.

Shonn Greene didn’t seem worried about his knee injury, says Wyatt.

Justin Hunter discusses his big night. Video from the team website.

Postgame quotes via the team’s website.

Saints tight end Jimmy Graham continued to dunk the ball over the goalpost even though it’s now a penalty. ESPN.com's Mike Triplett’s story.
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Better tackling is a necessity for the Titans, says John Glennon of The Tennessean. "Last week's start was really more about fitting gaps (properly) and tackling, so that's the area of focus," Ken Whisenhunt said.

The things Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean and most of us will be looking for Friday night as the Titans play in New Orleans. It’s really time for some more kicker developments.

Vince Young landed a job at the University of Texas, says Wyatt.

Can guys who showed up last week do it again, asks David Boclair of the Nashville Post.

In the mind of Will Brinson from CBS Sports, a worst-case scenario for the Titans includes neck beard-growing contests between Charlie Whitehurst and Zach Mettenberger as they vie to replace an injured Jake Locker.
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Defensive lineman Jurrell Casey is a part of former NFL GM Mark Dominik’s Ultimate NFL Roster , where he puts together 53 players but stays under the salary cap.

DaQuan Jones is trying to get away from that split second of hesitation as the rookie defensive lineman gets into the swing of things, says John Glennon of The Tennessean. “"It was my first game and I was overthinking everything and was playing slow," Jones said of the preseason opener. "That's just not me, and it's not how I play football. So in practice, my emphasis now is just getting off the ball, being as physical as possible and trying to make plays -- and see if that will carry over into the games."

Jake Locker had some passes knocked down early in practice on Wednesday, says Glennon.

Marc Mariani is upbeat despite a tough outing in the Titans’ first preseason game, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

To which I say: Mariani’s attitude about such things and regarding his bid to make the roster is really good. I respect his approach. He doesn’t get ticked off when his status is questioned. He says he understands such thinking and works to change it.

The kicker competition is a concern, says David Climer of The Tennessean.

Long-snapper Beau Brinkley is both anonymous and secure, says David Boclair of the Nashville Post.

The final piece in a four-part series looking thoroughly at Locker’s potential. “Jake's shown enough consistency and talent in meaningful areas, that the Titans can probably find a way to scheme around his deficiencies, but at one point or another he's going to have to overcome these issues.”

RTC: Antonio Johnson had surgery

August, 13, 2014
Aug 13
12:43
PM ET
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Linebacker Colin McCarthy could be heading for season-ending shoulder surgery, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. McCarthy will see Dr. James Andrews on Monday.

The Titans are developing a feel for rookie running back Bishop Sankey, says Wyatt. "This offense has to do it collectively, and make the splash plays that C.J. [Chris Johnson] made,” Ken Whisenhunt said. “But we believe in him, and what we have seen so far, we like what we see."

Defensive lineman Antonio Johnson is rehabilitating from a recent knee scope, reports Wyatt.

Predictions on running numbers for the Titans' top three backs, from Wyatt.

Three years ago, Jake Locker played great in New Orleans against the Saints in the Titans' final preseason warm-up, recalls David Boclair of the Nashville Post.

Wesley Woodyard makes Sports Illustrated’s All-Overrated Defensive Team and Michael Oher and Chance Warmack make the All-Overrated Offensive Team, both put together by Doug Farrar.

To which I say: Maybe that’s what Oher read that got him talking about being disrespected. I know he feels he played better last year than many scouts and analysts gave him credit for. And GM Ruston Webster has said the Titans hope to get him back to form from earlier in his career -- as compared to getting the version who played in Baltimore last year.

There are more questions than answers at inside linebacker, says Khaled Elsayed of Pro Football Focus upon his review of the Titans' play against the Packers. Taylor Lewan scored well.

Tuesday practice notes from Wyatt.

Tuesday practice notes from Joe Fann of Titans Online.
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Veteran receivers Derek Hagan and Brian Robiskie are looking to revive their careers, but it appears there is only one spot -- at most -- available, says John Glennon of The Tennessean.

To which I say: They’ve both been better than I expected, but I’d give Hagan the edge.

The Titans have gone from trying to boost Justin Hunter's confidence as a rookie to trying to keep him from getting a big head as he begins his second season, says Wyatt.

To which I say: Hunter seems to have a good handle on it all and understands the messages his coaches are sending.

Bernard Pollard and the defense were disgusted by their work early in the game against the Packers, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

Glennon’s practice review from Monday.

Taylor Lewan played three-quarters of the game against Green Bay and got a good review, says David Boclair of the Nashville Post. With a look at snap counts from the game.

Tuesday marks the final open practice for fans.
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There are a lot of things we didn’t learn much about out of the Titans' win over the Packers, mostly because of the monsoon, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. But there were still notes that help us begin to sort things out, like Charlie Whitehurst’s performance.

Should Derrick Morgan have had an interception against the Packers? Ken Whisenhunt said there was some debate, says Wyatt.

There isn’t a great deal of clarity yet on the injuries suffered by Colin McCarthy and Chris Spencer, says Wyatt.

Zach Mettenberger did some good things in the Titans' win over the Packers, therefore an inevitable buzz about how he could be the guy is underway, says David Climer of The Tennessean.

Brian Robiskie is making the sort of plays that earn him more of a look in the receiver race, says David Boclair of the Nashville Post.

The Titans got a long look at Bishop Sankey, who showed some of that versatility, says Boclair.

The Titans hosted a safety clinic for moms at LP Field. Joshua Love of the team’s website has a recap.
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There is no sign of camp legs for Bishop Sankey, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean in his observations from Thursday practice.

The change in the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection process enhances the case for late Oilers/Titans owner Bud Adams, says David Climer of The Tennessean.

To which I say: Yes, Adams has a better chance. But I think there will still be a strong sentiment against him over the move to Tennessee and some lasting images, like his gestures toward the Bills at LP Field.

Getting hit in a game Saturday night will mark another hurdle cleared for quarterback Jake Locker, who’s all the way back from foot surgery, says Wyatt.

Rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger has come to regard practice razzing from safety Bernard Pollard as a compliment, says John Glennon of The Tennessean.

Slithery Kendall Wright believes he’s faster than his clock time, writes Teresa Walker of the AP. The Titans are going to use him more outside of the slot.

How much of how they will use Dexter McCluster will the Titans show on Saturday night in Green Bay, asks David Boclair of the Nashville Post.

Locker visited with the SVP and Ryan Russillo show on ESPN Radio.
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One-time defensive captain Colin McCarthy is now in a fight for a roster spot, says John Glennon of The Tennessean. "Can Colin win the starting job?” said defensive coordinator Ray Horton. “Well, sure he can. And we are grading them by what they do right here."

Practice observations from Wednesday from Glennon.

Jackie Battle says he’s never going to be comfortable about having a roster spot in hand, says David Boclair of the Nashville Post.

A slideshow from Wednesday’s practice from Tennessean photographer George Walker.

Breaking down some categories of throws from Jake Locker, with Bill Ott of Music City Miracles.

The Titans' offensive line could be one of the NFL’s best in 2014, says Joe Fann of the team’s website.
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The Titans' new 3-4 defensive front could benefit end Mike Martin, a 2012 third-rounder, says David Climer of The Tennessean.

There are still plenty of things to clean up on defense. The Titans left Georgia with evidence of that, says John Glennon of The Tennessean.

Cornerback Jason McCourty is looking to make more splash plays for the Titans this season, says David Boclair of the Nashville Post.

To which I say: McCourty is a steady player who’s usually near the ball and doesn’t allow a lot of yards after the catch. But it would be big for the Titans if he added more interceptions to his game.

From Andy Benoit of The MMQB in his look at the Titans: “(Ken) Whisenhunt’s two best years directing offenses were, arguably, 2008 in Arizona and last season in San Diego. In both cases, he had a quarterback who was willing to make tough throws with defenders in his face and able to diagnose the defense before the snap. Jake Locker fulfills the former stipulation; his grit and courage are unquestionable. As for the latter, he doesn’t come close.”

To which I say: Benoit writes that punter Brett Kern “can also dabble in field goals.” He can? Akeem Ayers as the most explosive pass-rusher? I don’t see it.

Offensive flexibility will be the calling card of Whisenhunt’s offense, says Mike Keith, the Titans play-by-play man.

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