The read of the week is this piece from Pro Football Focus. It's a scouting wrap-up of the Titans/ vs.Eagles game, and there's glowing reviews of Jason Jones, Kenny Britt (about more than just the deep passes), Alterraun Verner (including technical things he needs to fix before teams start exploiting him). The one thoroughly negative review shouldn't surprise anyone who's been following the one area we've screamed about all season, center Eugene Amano:
The Titans’ run blocking struggled all game and were allowing Eagle defenders to penetrate the backfield. CJ had no real room to work with as the line was overpowered and not holding their blocks. Center Eugene Amano consistently got no push off the snap against the defensive tackles and was seen going backwards instead of forwards many times.
Kenny Britt is stepping out on a ledge saying he wasn't physically involved in the fight at Karma last week, because if it comes out that he's lying about it then it makes him look bad and is sure to piss Fisher off. Part of me wished Britt would just do two things that ALWAYS work in this kind of situation: Step 1) Apologize for being there, and nothing else, in 25 words or less. Step 2) STFU. You do those and this all fades away after Fisher makes his final ruling.
Great new yesterday that Vince Young completed a full practice. Fisher still isn't naming him the starter just yet, and he did also say that both VY and Kerry Collins will throw in practice today. Still, you have to feel like Vince is the better bet to start if he's healthy enough to practice all week.
Jeff Fisher isn't worried about the 7 straight losses to the Chargers, the 143-58 point differential over the last 4 meetings, the terrible record the Titans have on the west coast or anything else. Glad somebody in this town isn't worried about it because I sure as hell am. About the only thing making me feel better is the Chargers' struggles along the O-line and in kick coverage, along with the fact that they look to be without WRs Vincent Jackson, Malcolm Floyd, Craig Davis and Legedu Naanee.
Speaking of special teams, lets hope Marc Mariani gets chances to return kicks this week after David Akers did a phenomenal job of booming kick-offs through the end zone last week. Playing on a short field could be the difference between a big game for Vince Young or a rough game for an offense that isn't playing in a manner conducive to sustaining long drives right now.
When the Titans make the nearly five hour flight to San Diego tomorrow, the rookies will have to do so in costume:
In fact, the costumes awaited the rookies today when they returned from practice. Some examples: Damian Williams (Popeye sailor outfit); Rennie Curran (bright green leprechaun suit and matching hat); Marc Mariani (full-body Cat in the Hat outfit); Alterraun Verner (pirate); quarterback Rusty Smith (prince).
So where does Justin Gage fit in now that he's healthy and ready to play? Nobody outside of the Titans facility really knows.
David Climer talks with Jared Cook about the disappointing current state of his Titans career, and Dinger weighed in on why Cook isn't playing more:
"It's a lot like the situation with Kenny Britt," [Heimerdinger] said. "Everybody wanted to see Kenny out there but he didn't show me what I needed to see in practice.
"In the last three weeks, Kenny has prepared like he's supposed to prepare and that gives me confidence to go to him. Right or wrong, if you don't show it to me on the practice field, I'm probably not going to put you out there when it really matters just to make somebody happy."
Boclair previews Sunday's game, and this note takes the cake:
• Running back Chris Johnson needs 104 rushing yards to become the fourth player in franchise history to rush for at least 4,000. He also can tie Earl Campbell, Edgerrin James, Adrian Peterson and Clinton Portis for third fastest in NFL history to 4,000 yards (39 games).
PFF is really getting on my good side this week, especially with this Pro Bowl piece that's littered with Titans like Michael Griffin, Jason Babin, Alterraun Verner, Chris Hope (not so sure on that one), and one guy I've been calling for since the preseason:
[Jason] Jones has always had the ability to get to the quarterback but now he’s playing the run as well as anyone.
Lets not make this a political thing, but next Tuesday's election will effectively end the state political career of Governor Phil Bredesen, who was crucial in bringing the Titans here back when he was the mayor of Nashville. If he'd have only gotten is an MLB team along with the Titans I'd be naming kids and dogs after him for the rest of my life.
The Chargers are getting a healthier Ryan Mathews back this weekend... lets hope his fumble issues don't end on Sunday.
Clay Travis confuses Jackass 3-D for an SEC game. You mess with the bull, you get the horns. By the way, Jackass 3D is hilarious. Watch it for the scene with Jared Allen and Ut alum Eric Ainge alone... that's why I always wanted to play safety when I was younger.
Have a great weekend, and be sure to follow me on Twitter at @AugustWest_MCM for quips, stats and breaking news!