View From Across the Pond – Pre-Season Posers


For the second week running I am posting a day late, however this is not because England is teetering on the brink of Imploding, but because in the early weeks of the soccer season teams play Saturdays and Tuesdays so I was at the stadium last night watching my side win for the first time in the league so far.

With the soccer season underway, I am getting more and more excited over the forthcoming start of the NFL season. Although a keen fan in the past, this season is taking on much more resonance with me having a “professional” interest in the Titans this season.

Therefore pre-season has become a much more important part of the NFL season. Previously I would probably not have even been bothered about the scoreline, never mind wanting to see if I could watch the action.

Thanks to Twitter I was able to receive almost play-by-play commentary on the victory over Minnesota on Saturday night, and having checked out the videos available, most of the highlights of the game came from a Titan perspective.

Matt Hasselebeck looked solid in his short time on the field, whilst Jake Locker impressed, dispelling some of the fears over his accuracy with a competent performance. The touchdown pass was both worrying and exciting. His inability to handle the ball from a snap is a massive concern, but the way that he recovered to not only grab the ball, but then regain his composure to throw such a good pass bodes well.

Defensively the Titans looked good, holding the Vikings to no touchdowns , and snuffing out a 4th down late in the game as Christian Ponder took Minnesota down the field. New recruit Justin Babineaux marked his first appearance in a Titan uniform with a pick so all in all coach Munchak can be relatively happy with the first outing.

The one major concern obviously remains the future of Chris Johnson. The protracted hold-out in the long run is only good for one party and that is the player. Again, to the overseas observer unused to this situation, I am unsure as to how this ends, and what recourse the Titans have in forcing Johnson’s hand.

A similar situation in soccer would see the player simply fined for not turning up to practice. If the situation was prolonged, the team would look to sell the player, obviously with the balance of getting a fee to allow the club to replace the player without pricing themselves out of the market and having the player sat on the side-lines for the remainder of his contract.

What will happen with Johnson is unknown. From reading the posts on here and elsewhere it still seems as if a deal will be done, and the Titans have already said, through GM Mike Reinfeldt, that they are willing to make Johnson the highest paid running back in the NFL.

The question is though, when and where do the Titans draw the line? And if a deal cannot be struck, what options do Tennessee have? Is a trade a possibility and if so who with and for who?

Whilst pondering that thought for next week, I have to come to the decision as to whether to purchase an NFL Game Pass for the forthcoming season. With the Titans not due to be shown on National TV over there (as far as I am aware), they will have to be looking like being contenders for them to be shown on our screens over here. Can I justify paying £130 (about $200) to watch the Titans this season. Any comments on to the quality of the service before the game at St Louis on Saturday (1am kick off Sunday here) would be appreciated.