Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns: Hits and Misses

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In their penultimate preseason game, the Tennessee Titans came up short as they were defeated by the Cleveland Browns 23-17 last night.

After struggling against the Cowboys on national television last week, the Titans bounced back with a much better all-around effort in what was billed as the team’s dress rehearsal for the regular season that, believe it or not, is a little more than a week away.

Here are a few of the positives and negatives that I took away from Saturday’s contest.


Hits

-In limited opportunities, “Smash and Dash” took a step in the right direction by having their best collective performance of the preseason. CJ and LenDale combined for 47 yards on 11 carries, which is a drastic improvement over what they accomplished up to this point.

-Speaking of first-teamers, Kerry Collins had a pretty good night as well. With his 11/14, 102 yard/ 1TD showing, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that KC is ready to roll as the regular season approaches.

-Somewhat overlooked by the exploits of free agent newcomer Nate Washington and rookie Kenny Britt, Justin Gage is quietly lurking in their shadows. Last night, Gage snagged 6 balls for 57 yards and a score.

I’m anticipating a big year from Justin in 2009.

-I know it’s been said a million times but another time isn’t going to hurt anyone: Jared Cook is going to be a pretty solid player in this league.

-It’s only a matter of time before Michael Griffin is considered as one of the premier safeties in football. He’s a stud, to say the least.

-He may not make the roster, but it’s a joy to watch Quinton Ganther on the field. Whether  it’s in Tennessee or elsewhere, “Q” will be playing somewhere on Sundays this fall.

Hit/Miss

-Vince Young continued his preseason rollercoaster ride with an up-and-down performance last night. Statistically, his 17/24, 174-yard performance doesn’t look too shabby on paper. However, his night also consisted of some pretty major mistakes.

Misses

-The highly anticipated debut of returner Mark Jones was spoiled by a fumble that led to a Cleveland score in the third quarter.

Billed as a guy who rarely puts the ball on the ground, IMO, Mark’s chances of sticking around beyond cut-day are starting to look bleak.

-Hopefully, Jared Cook’s ankle injury isn’t that bad. The thought of him missing some time is an unfortunate one to say the least.

Get better soon, Jared.

-I’m a bit disappointed that we haven’t seen much of RB Rafael Little. However, that could easily be a result of Fisher’s desire to keep his talents hidden in order for the team to stash him on the practice squad this year.

-I doubt if he’s on the bubble, but Lavelle Hawkins is doing little to make one think that he’s going to be a factor in 2009. It’s a shame, considering his talent and all of the positive things we heard about his development during the offseason.

-It’s only preseason, but I bet that Coach Fisher is still upset about Rob Bironas having his 27-yard field goal blocked in the 2nd quarter. The team can’t afford those type of mishaps during the regular season.

What are your thoughts and impressions regarding the Titans’ performance last night?    

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5 Responses to “Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns: Hits and Misses”

  1. Scott Says:

    Overall, it was a pretty good performance.
    I still think Mark Jones has a good chance to make this team. The lack of experienced alternatives at the returner position means that he can make this team with a halfway descent effort on Thursday night. The fact that there is so little depth at the WR position doesn’t hurt him either.
    I like your theory on Rafael Little. I have found it very odd that he has been given so few opportunities to play – compared to guys like Henry and Ganther. The goal might be to get him on to the practice squad and then promote him next year if/when White leaves via free agency. If that is true, then I think the 4 RBs for the Titans are set. Johnson, White, Ringer and Ganther will make this team as RBs.
    To me, the inconsistant Vince Young performance just shows how far he still has to go before he can be handed the reigns to this team. That attempt at the end of the first half to run it into the endzone (with no timeouts left) was a boneheaded rookie mistake that he should not be making anymore. He needs to learn to use his threat to run to his advantage. As soon as he started to run, his only thought was to make it into the endzone. At that point, however, Ringer was wide open in the middle of the field. That type of run by Young worked for him in HS and College, but at the NFL level the defence has the ability to stop him almost every time.

  2. wesc Says:

    The First string offense moved the ball with relative ease and the first string defense gave up three points in the first half despite missing several starters. What more can you ask for? Would have liked to see that three pointer go through and a return game would be an immense help, but otherwise, hard not to like what we saw.
    On the other hand, the secondary better stay healthy. With less press up the middle, we might have to blitz more, which means the secondary is more man coverage. If they can’t cut the coverage, hello Faggins, then we could see a lot of passing yards being piled up.
    I felt like VY looked really pretty damn good. Two big mistakes perhaps, but every GB in game makes mistakes like that once in a while. I felt like he used to make BAD throws and missed reads and then make a big mistake. Last night he was making good throws and nice reads. I feel much better about him as our #2 after last night.

  3. Alvin Mullins Says:

    As a 4th year QB VY has shown he can never be trusted with the reigns of this team. For one I haven’t seen him look down field yet this preseason and as has already been said he’s still making rookie mistakes. That he was able to forget those mistakes is a good sign but it seems like he’s only able to focus on his first read then everything breaks down for him.
    I would look at Kansas City or some other team desperate for a QB and try to get their 1st rounder next year for him. Pick up a back up for this year on waivers.

  4. Morgan Says:

    Sorry Alvin but there is no way any team gives a first round draft pick for VY. They would have to absorb his monster contract and he is not yet starter worthy. Our best hope for Vince is that he restructures his contract and gets alot better as he progresses.

  5. Alvin Says:

    I could see some team like the Texans or the Chiefs if Schaub or Cassel go down for the year doing it in desperation. He certainly is worth their level of play.
    As for getting better…sorry if it hasn’t happened in 4 years then it isn’t going to happen.

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