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GDT: Titans 16, Steelers 9 - Road to 16-0 begins
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titans0021


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:36 pm    Post subject: GDT: Titans 16, Steelers 9 - Road to 16-0 begins Reply with quote

When: Sunday, Noon.
Where: Pittsburgh.
Line: Pittsburgh -7.
Last meeting: Titans 26, Steelers 23


What to watch for

Jake Locker faces the Steelers for the first time: Many young quarterbacks have struggled in their first matchup with a D!ck LeBeau coached defense. Locker is coming off of a strong camp and had arguably his best three game stretch to close out the preseason.

With an improved running game and quality depth across the receiving corp, Locker is in a much better situation than he was last season after returning from injury. While this may not be the ideal defense to face for a young quarterback that could benefit from building some confidence, this week should tell us quite a bit about what we have in Locker.

Revamped offensive line: The Titans will be introducing three new players to the offensive line. Pittsburgh always fields a quality defense, so Levitre, Turner and Chance will be asked to set the tone in the running game while also working to keep Locker upright.

More creative defense?: There has been a ton of talk of a deeper and more impressive defensive playbook. While we featured a few creative blitzes in the preseason, there has been a lot of talk about keeping most of the playbook opened. Facing a team without a strong running game and a quarterback that likes to stand in the pocket, one would expect us to try to generate pressure out of every look we plan on using.

Should give us a good feel as to whether or not this was just a ton of talk, or if the defense actually will show the improvement that has been hyped up.

Players to watch

QB Jake Locker

RB Chris Johnson

TE Delanie Walker


DE Derrick Morgan


DT Jurrell Casey

LB Akeem Ayers

LB Zach Brown

Real Football Is Back






Last edited by titans0021 on Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:49 pm; edited 2 times in total
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titans0021


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In all honesty, I look at this game as winnable. Wouldn't be at all surprised if we lost, but we managed to beat them last year and their entire lack of a running game gives me hope that maybe we can dial up a few blitzes and get to Ben.

Hopefully Locker can manage to not be in over his head facing LeBeau for the first time. First test for the new offensive line. Think this will be a close one either way.
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TitanLegend


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking at the prediction thread, I feel like a lot of our fans are going to be seriously disappointed this year..starting with this game.

Our running game keeps it close for a while, but Locker's inability to get anything going in the passing game and our poor defense ends up being the downfall.

Pittsburgh 28

Tennessee 13

Lets hope and pray I'm eating a plate full of crow after this one is over.
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ttitansfan4life


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So apparently everybody on this team sucks, Morgan is a huge disappointment because he's not getting alot of sacks, and we have suspect LBs? Laughing

It should be a close game but I'm predicting a loss sadly.
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ttitansfan4life


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also I'm hoping every bodies healthy going into this game. We'll need Wright, Ayers, and Brown if we want to win this.
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CKSteeler


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

So apparently everybody on this team sucks, Morgan is a huge disappointment because he's not getting alot of sacks, and we have suspect LBs?


I think a lot of people respect the WR depth and the OL, particularly the latter of those two.

I have trouble looking at a defense that was 32nd in the league in points allowed and saying any part is anything but suspect. Your LB's racked up some sacks, but how much of that isn't from blitzing because your DL isn't getting the pressure you would want? I've seen plenty of Wimbley to know what he offers. From the times I've seen Morgan, there isn't a great deal of explosiveness. So, I see a team that lacks an outside pass rush. Is the plan really to start a 3-4 guy who weighs over 300 at LE? I don't see the plan there, but I'd like to hear it. I see a team that is going to have to blitz to get pressure.

The secondary is atrocious and sloppy. It starts with Griffin. Pollard is another guy I've seen plenty of. There's a reason he has bounced around the league. A good run supporter and an intimidator, but that's where his talents end.

As for the LB's, you have a relative unknown at MLB. I wasn't a fan of Ayers coming out. Another guy I would call sloppy. It's an unaccomplished, inexperienced unit at best.

There seems to be an emphasis on turnovers and high risk play on the defense, and the addition of Gregg Williams only adds to my perception. If I'm wrong, please tell me. I don't see a technically sound defense in any area.
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-Hope-


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CKSteeler wrote:
From the times I've seen Morgan, there isn't a great deal of explosiveness. So, I see a team that lacks an outside pass rush. Is the plan really to start a 3-4 guy who weighs over 300 at LE? I don't see the plan there, but I'd like to hear it. I see a team that is going to have to blitz to get pressure.

Pitoitua was brought in for use in some 5-2 packages we've installed and should be using a fair bit this season. We used them a little bit in the preseason. He's listed as the starter, but in reality we're going to be doing a lot of rotation. You'll see Akeem Ayers lined up at DE in passing situations a lot, as pass-rushing is a forte of his.

Quote:
The secondary is atrocious and sloppy. It starts with Griffin. Pollard is another guy I've seen plenty of. There's a reason he has bounced around the league. A good run supporter and an intimidator, but that's where his talents end.

We have two very solid and talented corners in McCourty and Verner. The safeties are horrible, though.

Quote:
As for the LB's, you have a relative unknown at MLB. I wasn't a fan of Ayers coming out. Another guy I would call sloppy. It's an unaccomplished, inexperienced unit at best.

Ayers is a good, borderline great player. You may not have been a fan of him coming out, but he's more than proven himself to be a good OLB in this league and is primed for a good year. Zach Brown had a stellar rookie season and should only get better. Inexperienced, yes, but they certainly don't lack for talent.

Quote:
There seems to be an emphasis on turnovers and high risk play on the defense, and the addition of Gregg Williams only adds to my perception. If I'm wrong, please tell me. I don't see a technically sound defense in any area.

High risk play? Did you watch this defense at all last year? That's literally the opposite of what we did. Jerry Gray's favorite play was a 3-man rush while dropping everyone else into soft zones. Gregg Williams was brought in to counter that, I think, and we saw the difference against Atlanta- basically a blitz-heavy, Gregg Williams defense.

Overall I still don't have much faith in this defense, and I'd be shocked if they were anything better than average (and not surprised if they were pretty bad again), but we do have some talent that I think you're underselling, especially at LB.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This game can go either way either Locker has the biggest victory in his young career or its like 05 we come out score a TD and get blown out. The first 2 games are huge for Locker an this team winning one of these games could be the difference of making or missing the playoffs. Titans need to start beating good teams Locker has to be ready for a tough Pitt team in a tough place to play. I expect alot of CJ an Greene. Hopefully Locker limits the turnovers an gives us a chance to win. Defense needs to step up as well I cant wait to see what Gregg Williams has fo the d
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titans0021


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll touch on a few things. While there are definitely a number of suspect things about the defense, there are a few bright spots and reasons for optimism.

Quote:
From the times I've seen Morgan, there isn't a great deal of explosiveness

As I touched on in the Steelers forum, it often takes two years to come back from a torn ACL, while that isn't always the case, it was definitely the case when it came to Morgan. He struggled his first year back from the ACL, and had a lot of us wondering if he was simply never going to be the same. For the first few weeks, he looked like a slightly improved player but nothing great. Than he kept getting stronger as the year progressed. His faith in his knee was restored and he regained explosiveness. PFF (which has plenty of problems, admittedly), had him as the fourth best 4-3 defensive end in football. While I wouldn't rank him that high, he was generating pressure consistently, though we weren't getting the inside push that would lead to sacks as QBs often times had a chance to just step up into the pocket.

Quote:
Is the plan really to start a 3-4 guy who weighs over 300 at LE?
We're a team that struggled at the point of attack last year. Ropati Pitoitua is a starter in name only. He'll get some reps, be used as a run stopper and will be asked to absorb blockers when we blitz Ayers, which we will do plenty of. Akeem has shown a great natural ability to rush the passer, and regardless of what you may have thought about him heading into the draft, he is definitely someone I would call sloppy. He has looked like a quality strongside linebacker that also has plenty of versatility.

To continue on the pass rush, the plan is to give offenses plenty of looks. Jurrell Casey has looked like a monster in camp (where he has been facing some damn good guards) and throughout the preseason. He looked great as a rookie and was solid last year despite battling injuries all season. The plan opposite of Morgan is to rotate Pitoitua, Wimbley and Ayers. We'll have some 5-2 looks as well as some 3-4 looks. With all that said, obviously little has been proven about the rush and it's tough to fairly gauge what they are capable until the regular season begins. But there is reason for optimism.

Quote:
The secondary is atrocious and sloppy

Little strong. Griffin has been bad lately. Real bad. But for the first time since the decline of Chris Hope, we have a true strong safety that can stay and play in the box, leaving Griffin to be a true free safety, the one position where he has ever thrived.

Pollard is weak in coverage, strong in the box and is a defensive leader. With that said, he is still a giant improvement from whatever disaster we fielded at SS last season.

McCourty is a strong corner. Maybe not a top 10 guy, but certainly a top 15 guy. Verner really has never been a bad football player. The major problems for the secondary last year was the strong safety and nickel positions. Where we were beyond horrible. I mean atrocious is a pretty good word. We've improved SS with Pollard and George Wilson, even if neither of them are amazing players at this stage in their careers, and we look a lot better at nickel with Coty Sensabaugh compared to last year, where Ryan Mouton was continually picked on and wrecked.

Quote:
As for the LB's, you have a relative unknown at MLB. I wasn't a fan of Ayers coming out. Another guy I would call sloppy. It's an unaccomplished, inexperienced unit at best.
I have little to say about the MLB spot. Unknown is probably the best thing you can say about Fokou, and McCarthy has flashed potential but struggles to stay healthy.

Akeem Ayers has been a very impressive football player for us and Zach Brown made a number of splash plays and flew all over the field last year. Our outside backers are very strong and probably the thing that I'm most willing to call proven on this defense. More confident about them than anything else on the unit (with the possible exception of Derrick Morgan).

There are holes and concerns. As one would expect from a defense that struggled mightily last year. What I feel should be mentioned is that our defense, which was incredibly young last year, was also continually put in terrible positions with turnovers, field position and time of possession. While I won't try to argue that the turnovers may still be there, with the offensive line (which even you have admitted is an impressive unit), I think we can safely assume that there should be something gained in both field position and time of possession, as a stronger ground game and a quarterback that is able to sit in the pocket obviously should impact both of those categories.

The defense wasn't good last year. Period. But I truly don't believe it was the worst unit in football. They were just forced into a terrible situation in which a young quarterback was playing with an injury behind an offensive line that at different points had three and four players that, only a month prior, had not even been on an NFL roster.

Moral of the story is this: The Titans defense, which finished in the top ten in scoring in 2011 with nearly all of the same players, has its question marks, but certainly has its bright spots. Like most young units, it will be up to a few players to progress at a rapid rate, but there is an opportunity for players that have flashed in the past to be put in better positions to have success on a consistent basis.

It's not the prettiest defense, but it's one that shouldn't simply be dismissed based on last year's numbers. As Titans fans saw last year when a team that finished in the top ten in scoring with the same players and same coaching staff finished dead last in the league in points allowed, past successes and failures often times have little bearing on future production.

Wow. That ended up being a much longer post than initially planned. Laughing
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UTMoc10


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty sad I'm gonna miss most of this one. I have to work until 3 Sad


Titans - 24
Steelers - 21
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DannyWallace


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WEEK ONE IS UPON US!!!! HALLELUJAH!!!


Anyways, I'm predicting a highly competitive and physical game from the get-go. The two battles I see as major factors in this one are firstly, our offensive line vs their - LeBeau trained front seven. If we can't protect Jake, this is going to be a rough game and it's definitely something you have to consider when 3 out of 5 guys on our line are new additions and the group itself hasn't played together as much as you'd like heading into week 1. None the less, I have faith in our boys and I fully expect Chance to go all highlight of the night and destroy someone at the second level at least once this game. Also, CJ and this running game need to carry over that momentum from the pre-season and hit the lanes hard and fast. Indecisiveness against the Steelers is going to equal a crap ton of tackles behind the LOS. The second battle I see being a huge factor to this game is our secondary vs Big Ben and their WRs. Listen, maybe no one else wants to give their WR group any credit and especially looking at ours and how deep it is, it's easy to overlook, but I won't. Big Ben IS an elite QB in the NFL and he has weapons that have all the tools in the world to make our secondary look silly if we don't come to play. We need J-Mac to blanket Sanders all day long and not let him behind him for the big play/score. Antonio Brown vs Verner/Campbell should be a great match-up and I'm anxious to see how Sensabaugh does against an explosive slot guy like Wheaton. If we can't limit the big plays to the wide outs, we're going to get blown out regardless of how well the offense plays.

All in all, I'm so pumped for football to be back in full swing and for this years Titans, I have a lot of optimism like I always do but I feel great about this years team if we can stay competitive, healthy and continue to gel. Titans 27-17.

Oh and ...


OOOOO, OOOOO, KILL EM, OOOOO
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Chocolateman78


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still roll my eyes when people say Lamont Thompson will be better because he can just play centerfield now with pollard here. One of his biggest flaws, aside from his awful tackling, is the consistently poor angles he takes in deep coverage and his tendency to bite on play action. That is NOT conducive to a being a good centerfielder. And this isn't just me "hating" either. Former Titan safety Blaine Bishop has also been critical of and pointed out Griffin's tendency of taking poor angles, and when he is in position, not making plays on the football.

When are we just gonna admit that, despite his immense athleticism, Griff is not a good football player. And its not due to lack of talent around him or playing out of position. The guy just sucks.

As for the defense, I have confidence in their ability to become a sound run defense (it'll take some time though) I also have confidence in their ability to get pressure on the QB. I feel like pass defense will be a constant game of bend, dont break.

Also the other thing that gives me confidence in the defense, is how much more rest they'll have this year. Not being put in tight spots with little rest consistently will help keep them competitive and confident (haven't had a confident defense in years). I believe our revamped run game will see to making sure the defense gets plenty of rest. And I definitely believe we can run on the Steelers
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titans0021


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I still roll my eyes when people say Lamont Thompson will be better because he can just play centerfield now with pollard here. One of his biggest flaws, aside from his awful tackling, is the consistently poor angles he takes in deep coverage and his tendency to bite on play action. That is NOT conducive to a being a good centerfielder. And this isn't just me "hating" either. Former Titan safety Blaine Bishop has also been critical of and pointed out Griffin's tendency of taking poor angles, and when he is in position, not making plays on the football.

For the most part I agree. I'm not optimistic about the guy, but he did look significantly better this preseason (I know its the preseason), wasn't missing tackles, wasn't getting beat deep. He'll probably disappoint again this year, but there's a small sliver of hope in my mind.
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titans0021


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
@jwyattsports 1m
Alterraun Verner the starter vs Pittsburgh


Quote:
@jwyattsports 15s
Coty Sensabaugh will be the nickel cornerback #Titans

Not surprising after Campbell's performance during the preseason.
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titans0021


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
@jwyattsports 39s
Munchak said Akeem Ayers and Kendall Wright a go for Sunday's game #Titans

Zach Brown also practiced today.
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