Last season's game against the Cardinals was in some ways a coronation of several young players who were already tabbed to lead the Titans into the future. We were all breathless about Vince Young's composure and decision making on the 99-yard 'Music City March', which included three all-or-nothing 4th down plays and accurate passes all over the field. Jared Cook finally made an impact with two key catches for first downs. The repercussions of Chris Johnson's dominance was apparent even though he didn't carry the ball once on the drive. Who couldn't go ape over Kenny Britt remarkable touchdown catch? Yeah, we won't see those kind of dramatics tonight, but this game could be a catalyst for the next wave of contributors: Leroy Harris, Alterraun Verner and perhaps even (more on this below) Derrick Morgan.
Easily the biggest disappointment of the preseason so far has been the complete lack of field time fro first round pick Derrick Morgan. He hasn't done anything much since re-aggrivating a calf injury on the opening session of training camp, but he's been slowly getting close to being ready to play. Now comes the news that Fisher hasn't ruled Morgan out for tonight's match-up with the Cardinals. If Morgan can at least go out for a few snaps with the back-ups and leave the field healthy it'll be a nice for all of us to see.
Jim Corbett over at USA Today takes on the unenviable task of profiling the Titans' 2010 defense. Why is it unenviable? Turnover. When you've got this many young guys and veterans either stepping in or stepping up for the first time you never know what you're going to get. Throw in the fact that coordinator Chuck Cecil is still an unproven commodity and it gets even harder to write a good piece. Still, Corbett gets on my good side by starting out by focusing on Jason Jones. I still contend that Jones might have the highest ceiling of anyone in the front seven, but it's just so hard to bank on a guy who's had such a constant injury problem over his first two years.
Follow us through the jump to find-out tonight's surprise starter...
Alterraun Verner is in as the starter tonight thanks to injuries to Cortland Finnegan and Ryan Mouton. Verrner will get his first start of the preseason opposite Jason McCourty. It's not a monster development, but it's excellent confirmation that Verrner is taking care of business in camp and leads the rest of the pack on the depth chart.
It's getting close to crunch time for the guys at the bottom of the roster as first cuts will come after next week's game.
Here's a piece on the 'hazing' of this season's rookies.
Matt Johnson interviewed Alterraun Verner, along with some of his coaches at UCLA, over at Titan Sized. Excellent work there by Matt.
Chris Simms has an October court date set for his DWI case. His original date was today, but the judge granted him an extension until October 7. Since that date is well after final cuts, Simms should have a lot more time on his hands to take care of such issues.
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