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

Chris CantyFeb 27 11:32a

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty was released Friday, Feb. 27. The move saved the team around $2.7 million on the salary cap.

Brian HartlineFeb 27 10:32a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Harry DouglasFeb 27 10:32a

Atlanta Falcons WR Harry Douglas was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Matt HasselbeckFeb 26 07:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent QB Matt Hasselbeck was re-signed to a one-year deal Thursday, Feb. 26. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Steven JacksonFeb 26 07:32p

Atlanta Falcons RB Steven Jackson will reportedly be released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 05:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension was overturned by U.S. District Judge David S. Doty Thursday, Feb. 26. However, the NFL also announced that they will appeal the ruling, [ More ]

Travis KelceFeb 26 05:42p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, who led the team with 67 catches and 862 receiving yards in 2014, is expected to be a more prominent part of the [ More ]

Kendall LangfordFeb 26 04:12p

St. Louis Rams DT Kendall Langford was released Thursday, Feb. 26, saving the team $6 million in salary cap space.

Greg HardyFeb 26 02:32p

Carolina Panthers impending free-agent DE Greg Hardy will seek immediate reinstatement after a judge overturned Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension, according to a source.

Theo RiddickFeb 26 02:22p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick likely will be given the chance to earn a bigger role in the offense next season after the team released RB Reggie Bush.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 12:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension has been overturned after a judge granted a motion from the NFL Players Association to vacate the suspension.

Michael RoosFeb 26 12:02p

Free-agent OT Michael Roos (Titans) has announced his retirement from professional football.

Dez BryantFeb 26 09:03a

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is likely to receive the franchise tag because the team is hesitant to sign him long term due to a lack of trust off [ More ]

Peyton ManningFeb 25 09:23p

The Denver Broncos and representatives for QB Peyton Manning are working on revising the veteran's contract, according to multiple league sources. He is scheduled to draw a $19 million [ More ]

Reggie BushFeb 25 05:33p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush has been cut Wednesday, Feb. 25.

A.J. HawkFeb 25 04:43p

Green Bay Packers LB A.J. Hawk was released Wednesday, Feb. 25. The move will save them $3.5 million against the salary cap in 2015.

Jacoby JonesFeb 25 12:33p

Baltimore Ravens WR Jacoby Jones was released Wednesday, Feb. 25.

Peyton HillisFeb 25 10:43a

New York Giants RB Peyton Hillis was released Wednesday, Feb. 25. The move saves $945,000 on the 2015 salary cap.

Dez BryantFeb 24 10:33p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant's NFL career could be in jeopardy if a video he allegedly appears is as bad as it sounds. A source said the 'incriminating video [ More ]

Jake LongFeb 24 09:23p

The St. Louis Rams are likely to release OT Jake Long this offseason for savings against the salary cap, according to beat writer Nick Wagoner.

Mathias KiwanukaFeb 24 03:33p

New York Giants DE Mathias Kiwanuka has been released Tuesday, Feb. 24.

DeAngelo WilliamsFeb 24 12:23p

Free-agent RB DeAngelo Williams (Panthers) said he was not upset when the Carolina Panthers told him last week that he'd be released. Williams told Charlotte's WBTV that DE Greg [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 23 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's father denied a report that Peterson no longer wants to play for Minnesota. Peterson's father said Peterson is still open to a return to [ More ]

Ted Ginn Jr.Feb 23 04:53p

Arizona Cardinals WR Ted Ginn Jr. was released Monday, Feb. 23.

Adrian PetersonFeb 23 02:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's situation with the team worsened during the NFL scouting combine as his agent and members of Minnesota's front office had a heated verbal altercation, [ More ]

Victor CruzFeb 21 10:22a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) looks good as he continues to recover from a torn right pateller tendon in his knee, according to general manager Jerry Reese. [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIFeb 20 02:52p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will enter the 2015 season as the team's starting quarterback, and general manager Bruce Allen thinks Griffin's ceiling in the NFL remains high. [ More ]

Devonta FreemanFeb 20 08:42a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman fits well in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'My first impression: I can feel the quickness,' Quinn said [ More ]

Victor CruzFeb 19 07:12p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) may commence running shortly, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. Cruz is recovering from a torn right patellar tendon in his right knee.

Andre EllingtonFeb 19 05:12p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (foot) remains the focal point of the offense, according to Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians. Ellington split the injured tendon in his left foot, [ More ]

C.J. AndersonFeb 19 02:22p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson finished the year as the team's No. 1 running back and made the Pro Bowl, but new head coach Gary Kubiak said Anderson must [ More ]

James CaseyFeb 19 02:22p

Philadelphia Eagles TE James Casey has been released.

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