Rookies vs. Arizona Cardinals
In continuation of a four-part blog series, I’ll post individual, cumulative grades for the Titans’ rookies. The grades are based upon their performance, progress, and potential for making the final 53-man roster.
Derrick Morgan (DNP) – Again the calf injury kept Morgan in street clothes on Monday night. However, Dave Ball, Jason Babin, Raheem Brock, and company harassed each and every Cardinal quarterback. Take your time Derrick, things seem under control.
Damian Williams (B+) – Showcasing great hands, Williams had a field day (4 receptions, 40 yards) against the Arizona secondary, finding space all over the field to run. His initial return performances were average, but if he keeps playing at a high level in a receiver role, who cares?!
Rennie Curran (A-) – Again, Curran was all over the field (2 tackles, 3 assists) and flying to the ball. The only way to stop this guy is to hold him (a technique Arizona used on several occasions), and sometimes he’ll still make the tackle.
Alterraun Verner (B+) – Verner made some solid plays (1 tackle, 1 pass deflection), especially in the end zone sequence against Derek Anderson. This rookie is light years ahead of Tye Hill and Ryan Mouton in his level of his play right now.
Robert Johnson (C) – Not dazzling last week is one thing, but two weeks in a row seems like a pattern. With the return of Nick Schommer (who promptly intercepted a pass when he entered the game), Johnson needs to make some plays.
Rusty Smith (C) – Smith showcased a rocket arm this week and certainly caught my attention. However, (3-5 for 16 yards) only confirms that he may be a long-term project. Kerry Collins is a solid backup, so the door is still open for Smith to take the 3rd QB spot.
Myron Rolle (C) – Rolle finished with (3 tackles and 1 assist), but was in the general area of a coverage breakdown that allowed Arizona’s sole touchdown. Whether he is solely responsible is irrelevant, he has to start making plays.
Marc Mariani (B+) – Not only did Mariana look serviceable as receiver in late action (1 reception, 10 yards), but he broke a long kick return (60 yards). A couple more quality returns could land him a spot on the Titan roster.
David Howard (D-) – Never saw him… but I hear he is “strong.”
Stafon Johnson (Waived) – The Titans waived Johnson after last week’s devastating injury. Upon clearing waivers, the Titans promptly placed him on injured reserve, which basically will give him another chance next year with the Titans.
LeGarette Blount (B-) – Honestly, I wrote Blount off after the midweek punching incident and Samkon Gado’s quick signing. But I have to admit, Blount looked explosive, powerful, and dynamic out of the backfield (9 carries, 42 yards) throughout the 4th quarter. With the running back stable crowded in Nashville, Blount still might have an uphill battle to make the active roster. However, it looks like Blount is going to go down swinging.
Watching the young depth (especially along the defensive line and amongst the wide receivers) and developing leadership of Young, Tulloch, and others made for another excellent exhibition to watch for Tennessee Titan fans.