Hello everyone, I want to introduce to you my feature article “Coaches Take on the Tape”. Each week I will highlight 3 key players from the previous weekends game and 3 players to lookout for on the upcoming match.
Titans at Giants
From day one Will has been nothing but a positive impact on the Titans both on and off the field. He helped kickoff the Titans Caravan during the offseason and is now showing why the Titans picked him up in free agency with 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass deflection and 15 combined tackles in only 3 games. If Witherspoon continues to show this type of production on every game day then we could very well see our first double digit sack season for a player since 2007, when KVB lead the Titans with 12 sacks. Three years may not seem like a long time but in the world of football 3 seasons without a player with double digit sacks in a season is an eternity.
Michael Griffin (Right)
The 4th year Texas product has definitely shown why he was worth a first round draft pick in 2007.
In 4 seasons he has 11 interceptions, 20 pass deflections, 2 sacks, 235 combined tackles and 5 forced fumbles. That includes this season, so far he has, 29 combined tackles, 2 pass deflections and 1 forced fumble in only 3 games. Michael Griffin has proved himself a valuable asset in the Titans secondary and on special teams. He was the key player on the Brett Kern punt downed on the Giants 1 yard line, Kern mind you made a great punt, but the athleticism shown by Griffin running full speed down field, locating the ball, making an over the shoulder catch and then having the concentration to stop his forward momentum and keeping his feet from touching the goal line is further proof that Griffin will continue to make big plays for the remainder of the season.
Vince Young (Left)
Yea that’s right, I said it, VINCE YOUNG!! as in you cant spell VictorY without VY. This motto has proven true this season, in our 2-1 record (.667 team winning percentage) Vince Young has 30 completions on 43 attempts with a 69.8 completion percentage and a 96.9 Quarterback rating. Vince currently is ranked among the top 10 in the following categories. Currently ranked 2nd among completion percentage, 8th in QB rating, 8th in yards per attempt, and 5th in First Down percentage. At the end of week 1 Vince had the highest Quarterback rating in the NFL, yea, he beat Prince Manning and Baby Face Brady with a rating of 142.8. Now, I know there are still people out there that dislike Vince for whatever reasons, whether its because he’s black and you only like white Quarterbacks, he doesn’t drop back and throw the ball 50 times a game and put up 6 touchdowns, for some reason you think he is suicidal or just because you don’t like his face. For whatever reason you have I have numbers proving he is a winning Quarterback and will continue to do so in the NFL for a long period of time. As of right now, Vince Young’s career record as a starter is 28-13 and has a .667, hmm that number seems to show up again doesn’t it, winning percentage which puts him at 4th among all Quarterbacks drafted from the years 2000-2009. This includes Ben Roethlisraper, Eli Manning, Joe Flacco, and Philip Rivers.
I could sit here all day and spout out statistics until I am blue in the face and I will still not conVINCE the people who refuse to see reason and reality. Take it from a coach that players like Vince possess a talent that cannot be seen on a stats board, nor can be gauged and measured at an NFL combine, it’s a fire that burns inside a player, it’s a way of life growing up with the people that should be encouraging you, are the ones telling you that you can’t do something, that you will never be as good as everyone else around you, and that the normal for you is impossible. This is what coaches see when they show up to work on Monday after rolling off their office couch already dreading having to play against a man that consistently proves the media and everyone around him wrong. Do you think I’m conVINCED yet?…..I have always been convinced, a coaches job is to recognize talent and create a game plan that focuses on a players strengths while also minimizing mistakes and Vince most definitely has plenty of strengths for only a 5th year player (I say 4th due to the fact he only played one game in 2008).
Broncos at Titans
Place: LP Field Nashville, TN (cough the Coliseum cough)
Time: 1pm ET
The 1-2 Denver Broncos come to the Coliseum (it will always be the Coliseum to me) after losing to the Indianapolis Colts with a score of 27-13 this past Sunday in Denver. The Broncos are currently ranked 1st in passing yards per game and 2nd in total yards on Offense. Defensively they are ranked 10th in rushing yards allowed and 23rd in passing yards given. The Broncos have never faced Chris Johnson and will more then likely try and incorporate a Steeler’s type game plan with plenty of 8 man fronts by bringing Safety Brian Dawkins down into the box to help in run support. This type of planning should help open up our receivers down field with play action pass (which I’m still stumped we haven’t incorporated more) and shotgun sets. Kyle Orton currently has 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions for the season and is going to be facing an opportunistic Titans defense that had 2 interceptions off tipped passes last week and held Eli Manning to 0 touchdowns. The Titans are currently ranked 8th in total defense and are ranked in the top 10 in the following categories. Tied for 3rd with the Seahawks in forced fumbles with 5, Tied for 3rd with the Packers with 10 sacks, Tied for 3rd with a lot of teams with 3 fumble recoveries, Ranked 3rd in combined tackles with 245, Ranked 4th in total points alloed with 78, Tied for 1st with four other teams in Safeties with 1.
These type of stats have given the Titans a top 10 ranking in 7 of the 14 defensive categories and can give us a glimpse as to what we can expect Sunday at home against the Denver Broncos. Now having said all that, I now will show who you should expect to shine this week aside from the Titans Defense.
Chris Johnson (Left)
Personally, I don’t care if he doesn’t reach 2,000 yards again, would it be nice in the sense of our team having the first ever player to do so, of course, do I like it in the sense of as long as we are winning games with Johnson gaining the yards he needs to break the record, once again of course I’m behind it. I am however not behind it if him gaining the yards he needs means we don’t win ballgames, plain and simple. The Broncos have never been a tough run defense and having never faced Chris Johnson, I should expect to see a lot of wrong angles taken to run him down but later realizing that his speed is a rarity in the league. I am predicting that Heimerdinger will open up the pass and in doing so this will open up the run game for CJ2k, Johnson should have 140+ rushing yards on Sunday in front of what will be a delighted home crowd.
Kenny Britt (Right)
Everyone wants to knock on Britt for having a few dropped passes in the preseason, here
is a thought for you….it’s preseason no one cares. Everyone wants to knock on Britt for showing up to training camp overweight, here is another thought for you….he had two amazing catches Sunday against the Giants, both of which were in rush hour type traffic and one being in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. Vince showed great confidence in the Rutgers first round product last season and showed flashes this past Sunday that he still continues to have trust in Kenny Britt’s big play capability. Look for Britt to open up strong against a Broncos defense that will have all eyes on Chris Johnson, it’s the oldest magic trick in the book “look at this hand, while I do something with the other”.
Cortland Finnegan (Left)
One of my favorite players on the team. Finnegan is firecracker with a short fuse, In each of the past two seasons Finnegan has lead the team in interceptions with 5 per season and is well known in Tennessee for imposing his hard hitting mentality on opposing players. Finnegan has had the ball thrown to him 14 times less then this time last season, which shows that Quarterbacks are doing their homework on who to keep and eye on. The mere presence of the 5th year former Samford star requires opposing offenses to cut the field in half making the job of the Titans Defense much easier by only having to defend the deep thirds and zone flats with any kind of urgency. This allows Defensive Coordinator Chuck Cecil to implement more exotic packages by bringing Witherspoon down in the box for zone blitz schemes or bringing a safety down to blitz along with a Linebacker. During the Giants game Cecil even brought Witherspoon on an A gap blitz with McCourty as the Nickel Corner, coming off the strong side, on a blitz. This allowed one on one safety coverage by Chris Hope up the middle with Linebacker coverage to the mid zones and man coverage on the outside Corners. Eli was able to get the pass off to Kevin Boss on the hot read up the middle of the field but only because Hope slipped and fell on the new turf. The point here is, this kind of pressure on the Quarterback and only giving him a small window to throw the ball into is a key for turnovers. Look for Finnegan to get his first interception of the season this week against the Broncos if not more.
Well there you have it folks, not the smoothest article I have ever written but none the less It’s all true. I predict the Titans will win by 10 points against a struggling Broncos Offense that currently has no identity in the run game and a Defense that has the fewest turnover ratio in the NFL.