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

Giovani BernardOct 31 11:12a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) is unlikely to play in Week 9.

Trent RichardsonOct 31 10:32a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is not on the injury report for Week 9, and should be able to play Monday, Nov. 3.

Rashad JenningsOct 31 10:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) is aiming to return for the Week 10 game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Ronnie HillmanOct 31 09:12a

Updating previous reports, Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) is expected to have his normal workload in Week 9, despite his limited practice repetitions.

DeAngelo HallOct 31 08:52a

Washington Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall (Achilles') tore his Achilles' again at home and had surgery to repair it Thursday, Oct. 30.

Ron JohnsonOct 30 08:22p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (back), DE Michael Bennett (toe), C Stephen Schilling (knee), CB Tharold Simon (knee), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), LB Malcolm Smith (groin), DT Jordan Hill [ More ]

Patrick WillisOct 30 07:52p

San Francisco 49res CB Tramaine Brock (toe) and LB Patrick Willis (toe) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Jimmie Ward (quadriceps) and CB Chris Culliver (hamstring) practiced in full.

Chris MatthewsOct 30 07:42p

The Seattle Seahawks re-signed WR Chris Matthews and TE Brett Brackett to their practice squad Thursday, Oct. 30.

Scott WellsOct 30 07:42p

St. Louis Rams OG Rodger Saffold (shoulder), CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), DT Aaron Donald (shoulder) and S Cody Davis (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Rodney McLeod [ More ]

Luke JoeckelOct 30 07:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars OT Luke Joeckel (concussion) has recovered nicely from the concussion he suffered in Week 8, and he could play in Week 9 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Joeckel [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

Arian FosterOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (knee) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Johnathan JosephOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans LBs Brian Cushing (knee), Brooks Reed (groin) and Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. RB Alfred Blue (ankle), LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), CB Johnathan [ More ]

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Justin TuckOct 30 06:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), CB Carlos Rogers (knee) and WR Kenbrell Thompkins (non-injury) did not [ More ]

Anthony CollinsOct 30 06:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Anthony Collins (foot) and LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring) and DE Michael Johnson (hand) were limited.

Brian RobisonOct 30 06:32p

Minnesota Vikings DT Shariff Floyd (ankle, knee), TE Chase Ford (foot), CB Jabari Price (hamstring), CB Josh Robinson (ankle) and DE Brian Robison (glute) were limited in practice Thursday, [ More ]

Louis VasquezOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos S Quinton Carter (hamstring) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Lamin Barrow (concussion), TE Virgil Green (calf), LB Steven Johnson (ankle) and OG Louis Vasquez (illness) [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) was limited in practice for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

Billy WinnOct 30 06:22p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring) and DE Phil Taylor (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Desmond Bryant (wrist), S Jim Leonhard (ankle), LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder), [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Chris JohnsonOct 30 06:12p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson, who carried the ball just three times for seven yards in Week 8, said he's frustrated with his limited role in the offense. [ More ]

Tom CrabtreeOct 30 06:02p

The New Orleans Saints waived TE Tom Crabtree Thursday, Oct. 30.

Patrick PetersonOct 30 05:42p

Arizona Cardinals S Tony Jefferson (head) and TE Troy Niklas (ankle) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Calais Campbell (knee), LB Kenny Demens (knee), S Rashad Johnson [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 30 05:22p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Jamell Fleming (hamstring) and LB Josh Martin (hamstring, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Eric Berry (ankle) and CB Christopher Owens (knee) were [ More ]

Demario DavisOct 30 05:22p

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls (calf, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OT Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Phillip Adams (groin), LB Antwan Barnes (knee), OG Willie Colon [ More ]

Keenan RobinsonOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins S Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) and OT Trent Williams (knee) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Ryan Kerrigan (wrist), LB Trent Murphy (knee), CB Tracy [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) practiced in full for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:02p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) will start against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9, barring any setbacks this week in practice, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Mike PounceyOct 30 05:02p

Miami Dolphins OG Daryn Colledge (illness, back) LB Chris McCain (foot) and TE Dion Sims (toe) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Nate Garner (neck), LB Koa Misi [ More ]

Andre BranchOct 30 04:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Will Blackmon (finger), DE Andre Branch (groin), DE Chris Clemons (non-injury), LB Geno Hayes (non-injury) and DT Roy Miller (non-injury) didn't practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group