Bengals Blitz’s questions for Total Titans

In addition to the questions I asked about the Bengals, Bengals Blitz also asked questions about the Titans. Here are their questions and my answers.
Bengals Blitz: How does the Titan offense change without Vince Young? How do you expect Kerry Collins to fare against the Bengal defense?
Total Titans: Last year, I would have said the offense wouldn’t change all that much. When Collins in started in place of VY in the Houston game, they still ran the waggle a couple times. I’m not sure how much OC Mike Heimerdinger will do-Collins, with more experience in different offensive styles, may have picked up Heimerdinger’s system better than VY has, and the playbook may be opened up more. One thing I’d look for the Titans to try to do is throw the ball down the field, particularly the deep comeback routes.
To me, the key to Collins’ performance will the be offensive line’s ability to protect him. As a veteran, you’d think he’d hold up well against pressure, but he will get rid of the ball early instead of standing in there if he feels pressure. If he has time, though, I expect him to be successful. Whether the WRs will catch the ball and the pass game will be successful is another matter, though.
Bengals Blitz: How has the presence of RB Chris Johnson changed the Titans offense?
Total Titans: I tried to dampen down the enthusiasm after his preseason performances, but I feel no such obligations now-Johnson is the first guy the Titans have had on offense in a few years who looks like he could take the ball to the end zone on any given play. I thought he’d be sort of eased into the offense, with LenDale White getting the bulk of the work early, but each back had 15 carries the first week, and Johnson was also targeted for 4 passes. Assuming they keep the same numbers, that’s 20 times a game the Titans might punish the defense for making a mistake by scoring 6 points, which is something the Titans were sorely lacking last year.
Bengals Blitz: The Titans lost Travis Laboy, Antwan Odom and Randy Starks this off-season. Do the Titans still have the personnel to dominate at the point of attack and take advantage of double teams on Albert Haynesworth and Kyle VandenBosch?
Total Titans: This was, and still is, one of my biggest concerns this year. The Titans did re-sign Jevon Kearse, but he’s not the same player he was earlier in his career. They also drafted DT Jason Jones in the second round, and early returns on him are pretty good, and Tony Brown at the other DT spot isn’t exactly chopped liver either. Neither Jones nor Brown is particularly big, though, and the Titans got pushed around up the middle in the games Haynesworth missed last year.
Bengals Blitz: The Ravens blitz the Bengals heavily last week to keep Carson Palmer from developing a rhythm. Do you expect the Titans to follow a similar strategy or will they count on the front 4 to bring the heat?
Total Titans: If the Titans can get pressure from the front 4, I expect them to rely primarily on that. The Titans did bring extra pressure at times in Week 1, but I think that was probably to try to take advantage of a banged-up Jaguars line. It also didn’t help that the Jaguar wideouts didn’t present any particularly serious threats.
Bengals Blitz: The Ravens blitz the Bengals heavily last week to keep Carson Palmer from developing a rhythm. Do you expect the Titans to follow a similar strategy or will they count on the front 4 to bring the heat?
Total Titans: The Titans returned the same top 7 DBs that Palmer, #85, and TJ were able to exploit successfully in last year’s matchup. I expect the Titans to play primarily zone coverage, because I don’t think theythink Harper and Finnegan can cover 85 and TJ in man. They’re probably right in that assessment, but death-by-a-thousand-cuts is still death.
Bengals Blitz: Bonus: Prediction for the game:
Total Titans: I hate making concrete predictions for individual games, just because there are so many elements of luck and randomness. That goes double for this game, with Haynesworth a game-time decision. I’ll equivocate and go for two predictions. With Haynesworth, Titans 20 – Bengals 13. Without Haynesworth, Bengals 23 – Titans 14.

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