By Karen Christensen //@ksc47
It’s not panic time yet folks. It is the preseason which is really just another practice session and a working job interview for the players. Last year the Tennessee Titans won just one preseason game and the team went onto the playoffs.
Head coach Mike Vrabel himself said that these first four games were just like an extended practice where the staff could see where they need to coach the players better. And of course, the first string players are only playing a series or two. We’re not seeing our #1 quarterback, or any other starters, for a full game. Fans may be chompin’ at the bit but the Titans won’t be racing full speed for another couple of weeks.
The Titans lost 17-31 to the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, August 9th. One good thing from that game is that the team scored on their opening drive, which they didn’t seem able to do all last season. Another bright spot for the Titans was when rookie edge rusher Harold Landry sacked Green Bay quarterback Brett Hundley and forced a fumble. Landry has been getting a lot of reps in practice due to linebacker Brian Orakpo being injured, and those reps are paying off for him.
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) August 13, 2018
Game number two against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was another loss for the Titans, 14-30.
It took two series for quarterback Marcus Mariota to get a TD pass, so the goal of always scoring on the opening drive was not met. Most notable in the “not so great” category was penalties. There were WAY too many.
The new helmet rule of not lowering the head to initiate contact is a bit of a bugger, to say the least. The Titans are currently even with the Eagles for the most penalty calls concerning this rule (five for each team). Linebacker Daren Bates got a taunting penalty after a big hit when he removed his helmet on the field, which was totally avoidable.
The standout player for the Titans was wide receiver Taywan Taylor, who scored two touchdowns Saturday night at Nissan Stadium.
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) August 19, 2018
For anyone worried about how things are going for Tennessee this year, here is what you really need to worry about: injuries.
So far the Titans have lost strong safety Johnathan Cyprien to a torn ACL before any game was played. Defensive back Kalan Reed (broken foot) was placed on the injured reserve list after the Bucs game. Safety Dane Cruikshank was out for this past game after a shoulder injury, but he was seen in drills at practice today. Defensive end Gimel President (undisclosed injury) was waived by the team after an injury, which was very disappointing because he was playing so well.
Wide receivers Mike Campanaro and Rishard Matthews have not been practicing or playing yet this past month due to undisclosed reasons. And our number one draft pick, Rashaan Evans, is also part of the mysterious injured player group. Head coach Vrabel doesn’t “discuss injuries” so the mystery will continue for now. The social media rumor patrol did say that Evans will be playing this next game against the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
If anxiety about how the Titans are playing gets to be too much for any Titan fan, just put on some of your favorite dance tunes and get the jitters out of your system. Look at running back Dion Lewis! Does he look worried about how things are going? Nah!
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) June 15, 2018
Talk Titans with Karen on Twitter @ksc47