The Tennessee Titans lost the first game of the preseason, but no one cares about the score. It’s about what you’re seeing out of the new players; at least it is for me. It’s also about position competitions.
It started off with Matt Hasselbeck throwing a pick-six with the very first play of the game. People have been trying to blame the pick on Wright, who was out of position, but that pick was all Hasselbeck. He threw it to Nate Washington, it was a terrible throw, Nate dove for it and tipped it up, and it got picked off. He throws it to Nate’s chest, that’s a completion.
Hasselbeck would throw another pick on the next drive, though it was one of those bombs where it’s all up for the receiver to go up and get it. It was thrown into double coverage. He ended the night 5 of 9 for 45 yards and 2 INT’s. Not exactly spectacular.
Jake Locker was a different story, though he started off slow as well. He also had to deal with a couple of catchable balls that got dropped. Locker showed good pocket presence and as always, had a nice zip on his throws. He also got a nice rhythm going in his second drive with rookie receiver Kendall Wright. I expect Munchak to give him the start in Tampa Bay, not as a giving him the job start, but as a ‘lets go against first-teamers’ start. Locker ended be 7 of 13 with 0 TD’s and 0 INT’s.
Chris Johnson struggled to find anywhere to run as we was once again being hit behind the line. Hopefully that’s not a sign of things to come, though I find it hard not to be. Rookie WR Kendall Wright showed us a nice glimpse of what he can do. He looks like a receiver who can do something special after the catch.
Third year RB/WR Darius Reynaud did work late in the game, running in a 21-yard touchdown and shortly after, returning and 85-yard punt for a TD. People have been quick to label him a preseason wonder, like John Simon. It’s hard to tell with such a small glimpse. In any case, I liked how he was running much more than how Harper was. Harper’s still doing the little dance act that is likely to be his downfall.
The defense was a mixed lot. I missed the first quarter due to an ill-timed dinner reservation, but I haven’t heard anything about Morgan or Wimbley. Egboh was also, apparently, quite.
DT Mike Martin showed a good motor and DT Zach Clayton recorded a sack with some of the second-teamers. I was excited to see him out there and doing well.
CB Tommie Campbell gave up a deep TD to Braylon Edwards, though he also had a hand on it. As Paul Kuharsky of ESPN wrote, it’s a play like that, that Campbell can learn a lot from. He was in the perfect spot to make the play and he did a good job in coverage, he just has to break that one up. I like the idea of him as the third CB.
Colin McCarthy picked up right where he left off last year as intercepted a Matt Flynn pass. Rookie OLB Zach Brown was in late in the game. His speed
showed as he stopped a couple run plays that tried to take the ball out wide, in the backfield.
The Titans may have lost on the scoreboard, but I saw a lot of good things. Here’s my top hope and worry:
Hope: Jake Locker keeps playing as well as he did .
Worry: That offensive line looked as bad as it did last year. It better not be that bad.
You can find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart