Eugene Amano gave the team a scare when he hurt his ankle during practice Saturday and was unable to finish the session. MCM could not confirm that Amano hurt his ankle while being driven backwards. They're thinking he will be able to play tonight against the Jags, but his actual health will be a definite story to watch heading into the game since Harris isn't 100% either after missing last week's contest.
Will Witherspoon will face his second straight tough test in terms of covering a TE in the passing game. Marcedes Lewis is bigger and faster than Jason Witten, who racked up 84 yards and a TD in Dallas, and he's really come into his own as a pass catcher and blocker. That's bad news because he rarely comes off the field any more on run plays. Still, I think Witherspoon will perform better against the Jags TE because Garrad won't be able to hit those pin-point spots Romo was hitting before it really started to matter.
Boclair looks at Chris Johnson and how an increase in short-yardage and goal-line carries is hurting his YPC average. Anecdotally I haven't seen much of an increase in those carries, and neither Dinger nor Boclair produces many stats to back-up this assertion. CJ's lower average is more likely a factor of everything we've discussed surrounding the play calling, a regression in the O-line play and two huge runs being called back on penalties.
David Thornton will be eligible to come off the PUP list after tonight's game, but he's not ready to come back and the Titans have the option of keeping him on there until as late as week 12. We've been saying all year that he's done, and I still stand by that. Fisher will probably keep Thornton around as long as he can out of loyalty and just in case the LB position gets devastated by a rash of injuries. That's absolutely a prudent thing to do since Thornton has been a very good player for us and as classy a guy as you'll find in the league. Still, Old Yeller had a better chance of getting over rabies than Thornton does of being healthy enough to contribute again.
Since he's quit his incessant killing of VY for no reason, Paul K gets back in to the links with this powerhouse piece on Jason Babin, Dave Ball and where this D-line ranks among the litany of stellar coaching jobs Jim Washburn has done over the past decade.
Get ready to see a Tennessee pass-rush with a bunch of guys you've never heard of getting all over David Garrard tonight. OK, you've heard of Will Witherspoon; he was an afterthought free-agent signing for the Titans in the preseason. But consider this: Witherspoon, Jason Babin,
David[Dave] Ball and Jason Jones have combined for 15 sacks in the Titans' first five games. Three castoffs and a Titans second-round draft pick (Jones). Student-of-the-pass-rush Jim Washburn, the Titans longtime defensive line coach, does not get enough credit for continually putting a top rush together. The Jags will need to max-protect more than usual, and Maurice Jones-Drew will have to be a 100-yard rusher for the Jags to be in this one late. Keith Bulluck has already had his reunion with Fisher and the Titans, and now he's hoping to be healthy enough to play against his long-time defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz as the Giants play the Lions this Sunday. Me dumb thinky much make by brain hurt form words not sound right.
More love for Marc Mariani, who is turning heads inside locker rooms around the league for his combination of speed, savy and chalky-skin:
Whispers whip around the league. Players in NFL locker rooms and fans everywhere quietly notice ... "Wow, the Titans have one fast white dude returning kickoffs! Where the heck did he come from?''
Florio floats the idea that the Redskins deactivated Albert Haynesworth so that they could trade him to us by tomorrow night's trade deadline. More likely though, he floats a completely imaginary trade of Albert to the Texans for Steve Slaton and a pick. This one makes more sense given the Texans' lack of pass rush up the middle, but there's been no smoke, matches or kindling seen around this one. For what it's worth though, Redskins GM Bruce Allen is pledging that the Skins will not trade big Albert.
Time to start getting ready for game time tonight! Follow me at @AugustWest_MCM for updates all day and game long!