Preseason is well underway with the Falcons and Titans battling it out. These final games set the stage for what is to come in the regular season.
If nothing else training camp and preseason build momentum and confidence. In the case of the Titans, 0-2 so far, makes for a mixed bag.
There are five things we will be watching for in the next few preseason games from the Titans. Quarterback Jake Locker looks better than he did a year ago, and a totally revamped offensive line has created some big holes for their run game.
There are, however, a couple of things that Titans fans should be concerned with, wondering if the Titans wil be any better off this season than last.
The defense is getting tossed around like rag dolls. There was a big emphasis on getting "bigger" with this line. Free agents Sammie Hill (328 lbs), Ropati Pitoitua, (300 lbs), and Antonio Johnson also weighing in at 328 were signed. Now through two games the Titans are allowing 5.5 yards per carry.
Secondary is shaky at best, Bernard Pollard had some difficulties with the Bengals. The Titans as a whole allowed seven pass plays of 15 yards or more. Kendall Wright showed great promise but with the sprain on his knee looks to miss the rest of preseason. The offense will lack some firepower going into the season opener against Packers on Sept 8.
The offense is still not at full strength. Delanie Walker will be a welcomed sight when he is back to being healthy. Returning to the roster after having knee surgery.
Taking a peek from the Atlanta side of the preparation for this week's game, the Falcons are giving us lessons to learn from as well: Bradie's back, it has been a tough go around for second-year fullback Bradie Ewing. After missing all of last season due to injury is raring to go, blocking in the run game and catching a few passes.
Special teams seem to be something to continue to watch for these next two games. Giving up two punt returns in the last two games is a troublesome note. The rotation appears to be the same as for the last first two games, with group special team starters playing well into the first half. The second unit will play the second half.
Harry Douglas came in the same class as Matt Ryan and while not at Pro-Bowl level yet, he has definitely had his contributions. With White out of practice on Tuesday, Douglas got some extra peep time from Ryan and answered the call. Look for Douglas to see lots of snaps and playing time against the Titans.