I incorporate most of my previous thoughts into my Enemy Intelligence pieces, so check out this week’s installment on Pittsburgh to for more preview details, but I also wanted to highlight three players I’ll be keeping an eye on in tomorrow’s game.
Ahmard Hall. He’s back from his four-game suspension, and as I expected, the Titans cut Quinn Johnson without him costing more than his salary for four weeks (the trade was for a 7th-round pick conditional on playing more than four games). Frankly, Johnson had a couple receptions, but didn’t really deserve to stick. Hall’s a better blocker, but I didn’t think he was that good in 2010. If the Titans are going to run successfully, he’s going to need to take on linebackers Sunday. Can he win at the point of attack? Chris Johnson’s life will be easier if he does.
Daniel Graham. Craig Stevens is questionable with his rib injury, and even if he plays will probably be limited. That probably means more snaps and a bigger role for Graham. I don’t really expect any much in the passing game, but solid blocking and consistent play would be nice.
Alterraun Verner. I think the Steelers go multiple wide receivers and throw the ball vertically on the Titans. I think Verner’s vulnerable to deep speed, and the Steelers have three guys with deep speed. Can he stay with his man? In addition to Verner’s name here, feel free to mentally add McCourty, Finnegan, and particularly Griffin and Babineaux. The Titans will need another strong team effort from the secondary to win.
Those are three players whose play I’ll be watching closely Sunday.