We all know the Titans want Damian Williams to win the return job, but it's been Mark Mariani who looks like the more natural and more explosive option so far. With that in mind, the Titans will flip-flop the return order from last game so that Mariani gets the chances in the first half, and Damian Williams gets the return opportunities in the second half. I hope this will also give Williams a shot to concentrate on the WR position earlier in the game when the first and second teams play more since Williams still has the better chance to contribute there as of now.
Without a doubt the defensive line has shown us the biggest positive gap between expectation and performance this preseason. A unit that carried a lot of question marks after losing two cornerstone names over the last two years now looks like the deepest and most reliable group on the defense. That's a VERY good thing for any defense that's going to play for Jeff Fisher.
Looking forward to watching Drew Bees sling it all over the field for at least a series or two tomorrow? Well bad news for you: Brees is one of several ring-toting Saints veterans who won't play a single snap in the final preseason tilt. A lot of this expected just because it's the final preseason game, but the Saints are also very mindful of the fact that they open the season Next Thursday against the Vikings, rather than next Sunday like most of the league.
While the Saints are going to cruise through Thursday night, the Titans are playing many of their starters for the majority of the first half. Fisher is saying he doesn't view this group as ready for the regular season, but this smells like punishment for mailing it in last week to me.
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Andrew Lawrence previewed the AFC South for SI.com, and he tabs us for 10-6 behind another huge year from CJ2K and an improved passing game.
Chris Simms guesses he has a 50-50 chance at making the roster, which is 49.9% more of a chance than I give him.
Chris Johnson was asked about Reggie Bush, who most folks expected to do what CJ2K does, and he was refreshingly honest about the league's highest profile 3rd down back and return man:
"He is all right, he is an exciting player," Johnson said. "I watch him on TV. He is an OK guy."
If they Titans are interested in keeping a veteran running back like Samkon Gado on the 53 man roster, might they take a look at the recently cut Derrick Ward? Ward had some very good years in the rotation in New York before disappointing wildly in Tampa last season and this off-season.
Jeff Fisher says David Thornton is 'making progress'. Thornton must be working on building a ship in a bottle because I haven't heard anything that makes it sound like Thornton has even a vague chance of returning to full-time duty. I'm still predicting that the vet stays on the PUP list and is released mid-season once that list expires. If DT was a rookie or first year guy he would have been cut loose yesterday.
An idiot defensive lineman for the Dolphins lost his possibly-$50K earring on the practice field. Best part his, he's not a guy who should be dropping that kind of coin on jewelry since he's only getting a max of $2.565 million on a 4 year contract from '08. No wonder he freaked out about it. The lesson: buy CZ if you can't afford the real thing.
Want an even dumber story than that? Head & Shoulders got famous insurance company Lords of London to draw up a $1 million insurance policy on Troy Polamalu's hair. You read that right. Let us never describe NFL players as 'warriors' ever again.
NFL officials are considering making lower body pads mandatory in 2011. I'm sure Colts fans are already crying over this rule and saying that it's aimed directly at their team.
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