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Vikings vs. Titans: What to Look For Defensive Edition

Jerry Gray will keep the Tennessee Titans defensive front as a 4-3, but he has said that he would like to use some other looks in different situations. We probably won't see much of that in the preseason though because he won't want to tip his hand for when the games count. This defense is going to look much better than the 2010 edition right from the beginning.

While preseason games are meaningless when it comes to who wins and who loses, they are anything but meaningless for a handful of players on the defensive side of the ball. Here is a position by position look at who needs to impress tomorrow night.

Defensive Line

Jovan Haye needs to impress in order to earn a spot on this team. He has added the weight to fit in the scheme, but he has a big contract that he is going to need to earn on the field. He has a huge uphill battle to fight.

Zach Clayton has really impressed the coaches so far in camp. There is no doubt that if they cut him they would bring him back on the practice squad, but he can put an end to that possibility by lighting up the field tomorrow night.

Things appear to be pretty set at defensive end.


The most exciting thing about this game is going to be watching Akeem Ayers get after it. He has impressed in practice with his physical style of play, and it is going to be fun to watch him run over the 2nd best running back in the NFL (See what I did there?).

The battle to watch among the linebackers is for the spot opposite Ayers outside. Will Witherspoon appears to have the upper hand in that battle, but Gerald McRath could win the spot with a good preseason.

Defensive Backs

The battle to watch here is Alterraun Verner vs. Jason McCourty. They appear to be dead even heading into the preseason. You can never have enough quality corners, just ask titanwarrior.

At this point it looks like Chris Hope will keep his starting job. I am OK with that because Gray might actually know how to use him. The battle to watch here will be the new guys like Jordan Babineaux and Anthony Smith vs. the young guys like Robert Johnson and Myron Rolle (although Johnson won't play because of a hamstring injury).