Tennessee Titans vs. Buffalo Bills: Hits and Misses

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Thankfully, football is finally back!

The Tennessee Titans kicked off their 2009 campaign with a 21-18 victory over the Buffalo Bills last night in Canton, Ohio.

Of course, the outcome of the game is less important than the individual performances of the players, especially the younger ones, who are faced with the task of staking their claims for playing time and/or roster spots as the regular season approaches.

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the best and worst performances by the Tennessee Titans last night.


Hits

-Nate Washington is going to be fun to watch this year. He brings the element of speed that was missing within the team’s stable of wideouts prior to his arrival.

-Kevin Vickerson was all over the place. On one particular play, he blew up Buffalo rookie Andy Levitre, leading to an interception by Griff.

-Liked what I saw from most of the Titan draftees last night. Javon Ringer has great wheels and is very instinctive. Jared Cook made a few grabs and should continue to get touches as the preseason unfolds. Gerald McGrath had a nice fumble recovery and Jason McCourty sealed the game with his fourth quarter INT. Last but not least, Sen’Derrick made his mark with a sack in the second half and Ryan Mouton chipped in with four tackles. 

So far, so good for most of the Titan draftees.

-Speaking of draftees, former 2007 selections Paul Williams and Chris Henry did their best in their efforts to avoid “The Turk” this year. Williams reeled in a VY pass for a TD and looked Santonio Holmes-esque while making sure his feet were inbounds. After dropping a screen pass, Chris Henry rebounded by making a decent run or two while also making his presence felt on the special teams coverage unit. 

Still a long ways to go, but not a bad debut for two players who are clearly on the bubble in ’09.

-Nice to see Cary Williams on the field. He was tested often, but held his own out there. I like his size/speed and it would be great if he’s able to step up and earn some playing time in ’09.

Misses  

-Vince Young’s efforts to silence the doubters didn’t get off to a great start last night. He redeemed himself with a TD strike to Paul Williams but at the end of the day, his 53.8 QB rating was anything but impressive.

Considering Patrick Ramsey’s solid performance, it’s only a matter of time before the calls for VY to slip to #3 on the depth chart are heard.

-Speaking of former starters trying to get their jobs back, Ryan Fowler did everything in his power to assure that Stephen Tulloch continues to be the team’s starting MLB. Fowler’s idiotic late-hit penalty isn’t going to do him any favors in his bid to reclaim his old gig.

-Chris Davis works hard in practice and has been getting rave review this offseason. However, he’s pedestrian at best on punt returns and as a receiver, isn’t going to instill fear in the hearts and minds of opposing defenses.

Color me not too enthused about his chances of sticking around this year.

-One guy who clearly isn’t going to stick around is QB Alex Mortensen. As Tom suggested in his liveblog and recap, his days in Nashville will be arriving at a screeching halt shortly.

-I know it’s only a preseason game, but tell that to Jeff Fisher in regards to the team’s whopping 14 penalties for 132 yards.

Something tells me that a tongue-lashing or two will be awaiting the team as they get back to practice in the coming days.

Your turn guys: What are your hits and misses from last night’s performance? 

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8 Responses to “Tennessee Titans vs. Buffalo Bills: Hits and Misses”

  1. Scott Says:

    Can’t agree with you on Cary Williams. He was beat a few times. I wasn’t that impressed.

  2. Bob Loblaw Says:

    – I agree with Scott, Williams got lucky a couple of times, once on an overthrow and once in the endzone where the ball was too far behind the receiver. He also whiffed on Parrish at one point. He doesn’t look like a 3rd corner right now.
    – I didn’t think the Fowler penalty was that egregious. The announcers were ridiculing him too, but if you watch the play, he started the attempted tackle while the Bills’ player was still in bounds. If Fowler lets up, maybe the guy stops, cuts back and breaks a big run and then Fowler takes heat for not playing to the whistle.
    – Jovan Haye appeared to be unable to hold his own in the run game last night. It is hard to tell who is in there on every play with the camera angle being what it is, but o several occasions I saw 75 getting pushed 3-5 yards upfield.
    – White and Ringer looked really good running the ball; Henry and Johnson didn’t. Unsurprisingly, Henry looked awkward trying to make cuts. Johnson played too high, and although the blocking he got was substandard, he seemed laxidasical with the ball in his hands.
    – In spite of the offsides, Vickerson was impressive; Larry Birdine looked respectable, and Marks looked better than I thought he would.
    – While I thought Ramsey looked better, I didn’t think Vince looked bad. It looked like the INT might have been on Stevens for cutting off his route. Though neither pass was perfectly placed, LenDale dropped a swing pass & Henry dropped a screen.
    – Giving Henry reps as the 3rd RB and Little carries against 10-man fronts at the end of the game suggests one is being dangled as trade bait while the other is being hidden in the hopes of sneaking him on the practice squad.

  3. Tim Says:

    How can Alex Mortensen be out on the field throwing passes? He didn’t play at Arkansas, went to Samford for a year, couldn’t win a job, back to Arkansas to sit on the bench. I hope Chris didn’t take a legitimate shot away from some young football player. It breaks my heart to see politics like this … Is Jeff really worried about the press he will get from ESPN? Sad, very sad.

  4. Shawn Smith Says:

    I was watching the game again on my TiVo and Fowler looked even worse than when I originally watched it. He overplayed on a play-action pass that resulted in a long gain for the Bills, he hit the gaps way too quickly several times allowing the Bills running back to hit the cutback and make some nice gains, and I didn’t see him shed a blocker once. I thought McRath outplayed him and it will be nice to see Tulloch back. Fowler may be the odd man out for the LBs.

  5. Morgan Says:

    I agree with Scott and Bob, Cary Williams looked sub-par at best. The touchdown that missed by the wideout should have been a TD and wideouts ran right past him on deep routes. If there an injury and he has to line up against a number 1 wideout i think we are in trouble.
    I also think, like bob, that Vince’s proformance wasen’t as bad as everyone makes it out to be. It really looked like the recievers were mixed up with the route running, although it was a floater. Vince rolled out well on the playactions and one drop is on Lendale, that boy who could never catch. With a giant reduction in salary i would love to see vince stay and try to prove himself, but unless they revamp his contract he is gone next year.

  6. Morgan Says:

    O yea one more thing, although Crumpler is an absolute monster out there he can still move and catch. very impressive. He could be an elite blocker with some dangerous short yard recieving skills.

  7. Drexel Perry Says:

    There’s no question that Williams is a work in progress. However, I think in the long run, Sunday night will prove to be a great experience for him.
    He’s a guy who hasn’t seen much time on the field as a result of injury, so I don’t mind him taking some lumps right now.
    However, as I said in the article, I do like his size and speed and he has the tools to be successful. Whether or not he attains that success, of course, remains to be seen.
    As for Vince, he eventually did get into a rhythm, and hopefully he can continue that against Tampa later this week.
    As always, thanks for your comments guys.

  8. beedee Says:

    Hawkins did say that he ran the wrong route on the VY interception.
    that said, a QB still shouldn’t blindly heave the ball down field.
    I’m not a VY hater. This was not his best performance, but he didn’t have a lot to work with. I’ll give him a pass, but he definitely needs to step it up.
    Henry looked ok, but i wouldn’t expect anyone to trip over themselves to trade for him when he’ll likely be cut.
    P. Williams did a good job with the TD reception, but again, that’s what is supposed to happen in that situation.
    I was a little surprised that Dinger didn’t stretch the field a little more and that the run blocking was pretty weak with the first stringers.
    It’s preseason, it aint supposed to be pretty, i’m just glad to see my boyz play.
    bd

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