Thankfully, football is finally back!
The Tennessee Titans kicked off their 2009 campaign with a 21-18 victory over the Buffalo Bills last night in Canton, Ohio.
Of course, the outcome of the game is less important than the individual performances of the players, especially the younger ones, who are faced with the task of staking their claims for playing time and/or roster spots as the regular season approaches.
With that said, let’s take a look at some of the best and worst performances by the Tennessee Titans last night.
-Nate Washington is going to be fun to watch this year. He brings the element of speed that was missing within the team’s stable of wideouts prior to his arrival.
-Kevin Vickerson was all over the place. On one particular play, he blew up Buffalo rookie Andy Levitre, leading to an interception by Griff.
-Liked what I saw from most of the Titan draftees last night. Javon Ringer has great wheels and is very instinctive. Jared Cook made a few grabs and should continue to get touches as the preseason unfolds. Gerald McGrath had a nice fumble recovery and Jason McCourty sealed the game with his fourth quarter INT. Last but not least, Sen’Derrick made his mark with a sack in the second half and Ryan Mouton chipped in with four tackles.
So far, so good for most of the Titan draftees.
-Speaking of draftees, former 2007 selections Paul Williams and Chris Henry did their best in their efforts to avoid “The Turk” this year. Williams reeled in a VY pass for a TD and looked Santonio Holmes-esque while making sure his feet were inbounds. After dropping a screen pass, Chris Henry rebounded by making a decent run or two while also making his presence felt on the special teams coverage unit.
Still a long ways to go, but not a bad debut for two players who are clearly on the bubble in ’09.
-Nice to see Cary Williams on the field. He was tested often, but held his own out there. I like his size/speed and it would be great if he’s able to step up and earn some playing time in ’09.
-Vince Young’s efforts to silence the doubters didn’t get off to a great start last night. He redeemed himself with a TD strike to Paul Williams but at the end of the day, his 53.8 QB rating was anything but impressive.
Considering Patrick Ramsey’s solid performance, it’s only a matter of time before the calls for VY to slip to #3 on the depth chart are heard.
-Speaking of former starters trying to get their jobs back, Ryan Fowler did everything in his power to assure that Stephen Tulloch continues to be the team’s starting MLB. Fowler’s idiotic late-hit penalty isn’t going to do him any favors in his bid to reclaim his old gig.
-Chris Davis works hard in practice and has been getting rave review this offseason. However, he’s pedestrian at best on punt returns and as a receiver, isn’t going to instill fear in the hearts and minds of opposing defenses.
Color me not too enthused about his chances of sticking around this year.
-One guy who clearly isn’t going to stick around is QB Alex Mortensen. As Tom suggested in his liveblog and recap, his days in Nashville will be arriving at a screeching halt shortly.
-I know it’s only a preseason game, but tell that to Jeff Fisher in regards to the team’s whopping 14 penalties for 132 yards.
Something tells me that a tongue-lashing or two will be awaiting the team as they get back to practice in the coming days.
Your turn guys: What are your hits and misses from last night’s performance?