Titans vs Browns: Q and A With The Dawg Pound Daily


As the Tennessee Titans get ready for their week two match-up against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday afternoon, Dawg Pound Daily Editor Thomas Moore and I got together for a Q&A session about our teams.

For a look at my answers to Thomas’ questions, visit Dawg Pound Daily. Below, you will find his answers to my questions.

More at Titan Sized: Tennessee Titans dominate PFF rookie rankings

Question 1:

If Josh McCown does not pass the concussion protocol by the weekend and Johnny Manziel has a bad day or is injured, who is waiting in the wings?

Tom: That would be Austin Davis, who the Browns signed last week after he was released by the St. Louis Rams.

Head coach Mike Pettine likes having an extra arm around the team to help take some of the pressure off the arms of the top two guys during the week, and in an ideal situation that is all that Davis would be for the Browns this season.

While we don’t want to try and minimize the impact of a concussion, the one that McCown suffered against the Jets was not a “bad one” as far as these things go. He was already back watching film on Monday and while he won’t be available to practice until Friday, there is more than a fair chance that he will be in the starting lineup on Sunday.

Question 2:

Now that Mariota has shown what he can do, are the Browns and Dawg Pound upset that the Browns didn’t pony-up a better offer to move up in the draft to get a shot at him?

Tom: Not really, for a couple of reasons.

First off, there is a large portion of Browns fans who are also Ohio State fans, and since Mariota struggled against the Buckeyes in the national title game, then that must mean he’s not very good. (Flawed logic, we know, but welcome to Northeast Ohio.)

Second, and probably more importantly, this was a different situation than when Robert Griffin III came out as the Titans never really came off as being willing to move out of the No. 2 draft spot the way the Rams were in 2012. While it would have been nice to see the Browns make a move for Mariota, the way things worked out with Washington and RG3 has people thinking twice about mortgaging the future for a quarterback — especially one coming out of a spread offense.

Question 3:

I was really impressed with Nose Tackle Danny Shelton out of Washington and had the Titans not went QB with their first pick, I wanted him over Leonard Williams out of USC. How is he fitting in up there, and how is the fan base receiving him? Especially after he picked up the commissioner on draft night?

Tom: Shelton has quickly become a fan favorite. He has a great personality and is bringing a dose of fun to a franchise that seriously needs it. (Just check him out in pregame warmups wearing an orange and brown lava lava.)

More importantly, Shelton looks like the real deal. The offense has to worry about him and against the Jets he did what he is supposed to do — eat up two blockers so that someone else can make the tackle. Now it’s up to the edge guys to actually pull off the second part.

Question 4:

What is the Browns defense planning to do to stop Mariota on Sunday?

Tom: The opposite of whatever it was the Buccaneers were doing?

Basically, it will be up to everyone to just stick with their assignment — “stay in your own lane” in Browns speak — and keep Mariota in the pocket. If he breaks containment and the defensive backs have to worry about him running, that is when wide receivers start running free for Mariota to hit them with a pass.

The defense as a whole, and the secondary in particular, is smarting after their performance against the Jets. If the front seven can keep Mariota in the pocket, the secondary should be stout enough to not give him open looks and provide a lot of problems.

As great as his game was against Tampa, Mariota is still a rookie quarterback making just his second NFL start. The Browns may be best off making Mariota try and beat them, rather than worrying about beating Mariota.

Question 5:

Who wins this one?

Tom: The Browns broke a 10-game losing streak in home openers last season by beating New Orleans. They’ll run it to two in a rowon Sunday against the Titans. Browns, 14-10.

Next: Why the Tennessee Titans shouldn't be overconfident this weekend

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