2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Titans eager to test stingier D against Houston

By TERESA M. WALKER - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-12 17:22

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Titans are pretty happy with their dominating defensive performance in the season opener. After all, nine points is a big improvement from the nightmare of 2012.

Still, the team that gave up the most points in the NFL last season also knows it's way too early to think anything has been proven yet.

Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray said Thursday they need to wait to see if the Titans have the defense they tried to build. He says he was deservedly criticized in 2012 with the Titans allowing a franchise-worst 471 points.

``At the end of the year, hopefully we're in the playoffs and we'll get a chance to see,'' Gray said.

The Titans allowed at least 30 points in each of the first five games in 2012 and were embarrassed with a 55-7 loss at Green Bay in the next to last game.

So they went out this offseason and brought in six veteran free agents for the defense alone, trying to add size on the line with tackles Sammie Hill and Antonio Johnson and end Ropati Pitoitua. They added leadership and physical tackling in safeties Bernard Pollard and George Wilson along with a new middle linebacker in Moise Fokou.

Tennessee opened this season with a splash, holding the Steelers to only a touchdown scored with 83 seconds left and 195 yards total offense in a 16-9 victory in Pittsburgh. The other points? A safety on the opening kickoff - not allowed by the defense.

Now the Titans (1-0) are preparing to head to Houston where a much different challenge awaits.

Matt Schaub and Arian Foster helped the Texans put up 38 points when these teams last played in Houston on Sept. 30, 2012. Texans coach Gary Kubiak called the Titans' opener an excellent defensive performance, and he can see signs of Gregg Williams' aggressive style as a senior assistant coach for defense.

``To go out and hold a team on the road to 195 yards, that's a statement in itself,'' Kubiak said. ``They can get after the quarterback up front, so we know we've got our hands full.''

The Titans sacked Ben Roethlisberger five times with tackle Jurrell Casey and linebacker Zach Brown getting two apiece.

``They're an aggressive group,'' Schaub said. ``A team we know well. We play twice a year, but they're an active, very fast-flow, physical defense. We're going to have to be in top form for 60 minutes. They're a good defensive group, really held Pittsburgh in check. So we're going to have our hands full.''

The Titans also have some key players who survived last season. Casey played through an injured elbow last season, and now the third-round draft pick in 2011 out of Southern California is healthy. Brown was a speedy second-round draft pick out of North Carolina who feels even more comfortable than he did finishing his rookie season with 5 1/2 sacks.

Casey said their performance in Pittsburgh let the Titans know they can be a physical team.

``We have to make sure we're dominating every play, and I feel like we've got the guys that can do that,'' Casey said.

Pollard sees the Titans having a simple identity on defense of see ball, get ball back for the offense. He said the Titans already had some players on this team in Brown, Casey and ends Derrick Morgan and Kamerion Wimbley.

``Now it's time for us to step up and show the league what we got,'' Pollard said.

What the Titans did has them ranked second in the NFL in total defense, a number that means nothing this early. Cornerback Alterraun Verner said they are reminding each other to build on that performance and continue creating havoc.

``We still have to work,'' Verner said. ``We can't get complacent like we've arrived.''

Notes: The Titans had to move practice indoors midway through Thursday because of thunderstorms. RT David Stewart (right calf), RB Shonn Greene (knee) and WR Damian Williams (hamstring) did not practice for a second straight day. Munchak said Stewart and Williams may practice Friday with Greene questionable.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Adrian PetersonApr 16 02:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has been informed that he will be reinstated from the commissioner exempt list starting Friday, April 17.

Sammy WatkinsApr 15 11:33p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (hip) is able to work out in some capacity during the team's offseason program, although head coach Rex Ryan indicated Wednesday, April 15, that [ More ]

Kai ForbathApr 15 10:53p

Washington Redskins restricted free-agent PK Kai Forbath posted on social media Wednesday, April 15, that he has re-signed with the team. The club has not yet confirmed the signing.

George JohnsonApr 15 08:33a

Detroit Lions DE George Johnson was acquired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, April 15. Tampa signed Johnson to an offer sheet that was disputed by Detroit, but the [ More ]

Philip RiversApr 15 12:13a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers is under contract for one more season, and he has expressed a desire to play out his deal. However, the Chargers might be [ More ]

Josh GordyApr 14 06:03p

Free-agent CB Josh Gordy (Colts) signed a veteran minimum deal with the New York Giants Tuesday, April 14, according to a source.

Ricardo LocketteApr 14 05:23p

Seattle Seahawks WR Ricardo Lockette signed his exclusive-rights tender Tuesday, April 14.

Ike TaylorApr 14 09:32a

Free-agent CB Ike Taylor (Steelers) announced his retirement Tuesday, April 14.

Wade SmithApr 14 02:12a

Free-agent OG Wade Smith (Eagles) announced his retirement after 12 years in the National Football League.

Michael CrabtreeApr 14 01:13a

The Oakland Raiders are giving free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) a one-year, $3 million deal with another $2 million in incentives, a source said Monday, April 13.

Eben BrittonApr 14 01:03a

Free-agent OT Eben Britton (Bears) has been suspended four games by the NFL for an unspecified violation.

Matt ForteApr 13 08:02p

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte was not present for the start of the offseason workouts Monday, April 13, according to sources. Forte is entering the final year of his [ More ]

Cody LatimerApr 13 08:02p

Denver Broncos WR Cody Latimer, who is expected to line up across from WR Demaryius Thomas in 2015, has been praised by WR Emmanuel Sanders, who figures to move [ More ]

Joe MaysApr 13 04:32p

Free-agent LB Joe Mays (Chiefs) signed an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Monday, April 13.

Zackary BowmanApr 13 02:22p

Free-agent CB Zack Bowman (Giants) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Monday, April 13.

Sean RichardsonApr 13 02:02p

Green Bay Packers restricted free-agent SS Sean Richardson will remain with the Packers after the team decided to match the one-year, $2.55 million offer he signed with the Oakland Raiders, according to a source.

Sean RichardsonApr 12 10:02a

Green Bay Packers restricted free-agent SS Sean Richardson signed an offer sheet with the Oakland Raiders, and the Packers have until Monday, April 13, to inform him if they [ More ]

Jason CampbellApr 12 07:02a

Free-agent QB Jason Campbell (Bengals) is considering retirement, according to sources close to the team. Campbell has rejected multiple opportunities to sign a contract for 2015, including offers from [ More ]

James CaseyApr 11 01:02p

Free-agent TE James Casey (Eagles) agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Saturday, April 11. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Johnny ManzielApr 11 12:22p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel has been released from his rehab facility.

Victor ButlerApr 10 03:22p

New York Giants LB Victor Butler has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing drugs.

Anthony SpencerApr 10 01:12p

Free-agent DE Anthony Spencer (Cowboys) signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints Friday, April 10. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Charles TillmanApr 9 04:02p

Free-agent CB Charles Tillman (Bears) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Thursday, April 9. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rob HouslerApr 9 12:42p

Free-agent TE Rob Housler (Cardinals) has agreed to terms with the Cleveland Browns on a one-year deal, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Le'Veon BellApr 9 09:52a

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell was suspended three games and fined an additional game check after violating the league's substance abuse policy, according to league sources. He has appealed.

Stevan RidleyApr 8 07:53p

New York Jets RB Stevan Ridley signed a one-year deal with the team.

Amobi OkoyeApr 8 04:53p

Dallas Cowboys DT Amobi Okoye was released Wednesday, April 8.

Emmanuel LamurApr 8 03:43p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Emmanuel Lamur officially re-signed Wednesday, April 8, to a one-year, $2.356 million deal.

Adrian PetersonApr 8 01:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is 'highly unlikely' to face more suspension from the league when he's finally off the Commissioner's Exempt List, according to a source. Peterson's next [ More ]

George JohnsonApr 7 10:23p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed restricted free-agent DE George Johnson (Lions) to a three-year offer sheet Tuesday, April 7. Financial terms are undisclosed. The Lions have five days to match the offer.

Le'Veon BellApr 7 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell is expected to be suspended for the first two games of next season, according to sources. Bell is being suspended following an arrest last [ More ]

Erin HendersonApr 7 05:13p

Free-agent LB Erin Henderson (Vikings) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Tuesday, April 7, according to a source. Henderson didn't play last year [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group