I've been very critical of Palmer and Hasselbeck's inability to get Cook consistent targets, and Palmer addressed that issue specifically yesterday. Palmer made some sort of weird assertion that Cook needs to improve his conditioning, which is odd since he was one of the few guys who was at the player-organized workouts all offseason. Palmer also mentioned that they have three good TEs, though I'd point out that Graham is a last ditch target, and Stevens has been limited with a rib injury all season. Cook is getting enough snaps, and he's out there for almost every single passing play. I'd buy all of these points a little more if we didn't see replays of Cook running free, including several that would have ended with TDs, on plays that ended up going towards more inconsistent and less talented options. If they really think Cook is wearing down late in the game, then feed him early. You can blame Cook's inconsistencies all you want, but I'm still not buying for a second that he's any more inconsistent than Hawkins, who has almost the exact same number of targets and a much lower YPC average.
I love Jerry Gray's comments about the Titans being more physical in the middle of the field. Putting the fear of the hammer in those WRs and TEs is key to owning the are of the field that's been a crippling deficiency for years, but if our guys start racking up 15-yard penalties it's only going to make the problem worse. They'll have to focus on making hits that are as smart and legal as they are devastating.
Gregg Williams' defensive units always bring the blitz, even if they're struggling to bring down the QB as much as this unit is (26th in the league). That gives us a chance to take advantage of the lack of warm bodies in coverage, but it's going to require Hasselbeck and the WRs making the same reads at the same time. That hasn't been a consistent strength of this unit, but they've been close enough to one the same page at the same time enough that it's reasonable to hope they put it all together for 4 quarters on Sunday.
Chris Hawkins will most likely get heavy playing time on Sunday, even if McCourty is ready to go. Hawkins was bourn in Baton Rouge, LA and played at LSU, so this will give him the chance to play his childhood team.
Speaking of which, Jason McCourty still hasn't practiced, though the coaches still say he's got a good chance to play on Sunday. Normally that would make me feel better, but with a concussion I'm not so optimistic until I hear that a guy has been medically cleared to play. It's just too tough to tell how long it's going to be before a guy is symptom free, and in the current NFL environment it's just not smart to rush back and end up with a much more serious condition.
At what point does Roger Goodell just suspend James Harrison for the rest of the season and postseason? The guy is just going to keep doing what he does until someone's career gets ended... actually he'd probably keep doing it after that because he's a complete douche canoe.
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