And with that, the 2017 Titans’ (ugly) preseason has come to an end.
For the most part, the Titans opted to play the reserves and younger players tonight. No Marcus Mariota, DeMarco Murray, Derrick Henry, Corey Davis, etc. They went strictly with reserves following a rough “dress-rehearsal” outing last Sunday against the Chicago Bears.
We did see some potential starters in DaQuan Jones, Sylvester Williams, Austin Johnson, LeShaun Sims and Adoree Jackson play defensively.
Here’s are my quick (and somewhat unorganized) takeaways.
David Fluellen ran hard tonight, as he has all preseason. He got the bulk of the work today and made the most out of it with the reserves. His stats weren’t all that eye popping, but keep in mind that he was working with a skeleton crew in front of him. Fluellen finished with 19 carries for 74 yards, averaging 3.9 per carry. Nothing too flashy, but I’d guess that the Titans are fine with him being the third running back at this point.
Jonnu Smith had a nice showing early. He made a tough grab along the sideline for Matt Cassel. He looks pretty fluid out there and moves more like a receiver rather than a tight end.
I feel comfortable in predicting that Alex Tanney has played his last game as a Titan. I was pulling for him — and actually hyped him last year — but he looked like a different guy these past few weeks. He was really inaccurate and reckless tonight.
Kevin Dodd capped off his disappointing preseason with more of the same. He was just totally ineffective as a pass rusher. He was able to recover a fumble, but that was about it for the second year pro. The former 33rd overall pick just hasn’t shown us much of anything to this point. The odds of him getting cut are slim, but Josh Carraway and Aaron Wallace are definitely the superior pass rushers to this point — and that’s been a real surprise. Dodd was expected to be the third pass rusher in the rotation, but he’s clearly not ready for that role.
Jayon Brown made some more plays tonight. In other news, water is wet. The rookie linebacker has been outstanding all preseason long. I’m not sure how you can keep this man off the field, honestly. He initially looked like he had a pick tonight, but it was ruled incomplete after further review. The Titans could really use his athletic ability defensively.
Preseason standout Kalan Reed was beaten deep by Demarcus Robinson for a touchdown. Television didn’t show much, but he was seen trailing Robinson by a few steps in the endzone. He lost his man in the fourth quarter and ended up giving up another long touchdown on the sideline. It was an odd play, but it wasn’t a good look for Reed, who had a lot of momentum heading into this one.
LeShaun Sims was beaten by the same guy, Demarcus Robinson. Patrick Mahomes was dialing up the deep ball tonight, picking on the young corners. With that, each of the three projected starters at cornerback for the Titans have been beaten deep at least once this preseason. This was an area of concern coming into the season and the Titans did very little to make us feel better about it with the Raiders game looming.
Ryan DiSalvo exited in the second quarter with a concussion.
Kevin Dodd left in the second quarter with a reported hip contusion, but returned in the third quarter.