Tennessee Titans first preseason game review: Offense

After last night’s live viewing and recap, I went through and watched again the Titans’ offensive plays against the Seahawks. I have a long list of notes, plus I also kept track of player participation (as best I could off the Seahawks broadcast aired on NFL Network), so I’ll stick all of them after the jump.

Participation Information 
Let me stress these numbers are unofficial and you should not trust them. I track them to the best of my ability, but this is my first time getting a look at a number of guys in a Titans uniform.

Matt Hasselbeck lined up at quarterback 16 times, including one play where the Titans called a timeout. Jake Locker was in 19 times, including one timeout. Rusty Smith got 27 plays, including one false start (assuming he was in the one play the Seahawks broadcast didn’t show), while Nick Stephens got the final six plays.

The Titans rolled out the following offensive lines:
Roos-Hutchinson-Velasco-Harris-Stewart: 24 times (all of Hasselbeck’s plays plus Locker’s first two drives)
Stingily-Durand-Velasco-Matthews-Otto: 11 times (the rest of the first half, including the rest of Locker’s plays)
Stingily-Durand-Matthews-DeVan-Otto: 27 times (Rusty!)
Stingily-Bias-Morris-Vlachos-Kropog: 6 times (Nick!)
N.B. The Gamebook lists Chris Morris as Did Not Play. At least in this case, the Gamebook is wrong.

The Titans used the following running backs: Chris Johnson-17 times; Javon Ringer-18 times; Jamie Harper-7 times; Darius Reynaud-12 times; and Herb Donaldson-11 times.

The Titans used the following fullbacks: Quinn Johnson-10 times; Collin Mooney-9 times; and TE Cam Graham-once.

Tight ends: Craig Stevens-15 times, Jared Cook-19 times, Taylor Thompson-29 times, and Cam Graham-17 times (not including as FB).

Wide receivers, and here’s where the count is most likely to be wrong: Nate Washington-14 times, Kendall Wright-32 times (on 35 first-half chances), Damian Williams-25 times, Lavelle Hawkins-15 times, Marc Mariani-13 times, Michael Preston-17 times, James Kirkendoll-19 times, D.J. Woods-8 times (maybe), Devn Aguilar-5 times (maybe), LaQuinton Evans-6 times (probably), and Chase Deadder-2 times (maybe). I did not see Marcus Harris in the game, and the Gamebook lists him as Did Not Play.

Miscellaneous Notes 

  • On CJ’s first carry, a 4-yard loss, Jason Jones wrecked Leroy Harris and then Quinn Johnson to blow up the play.
  • Quinn Johnson remains a real tough watch at fullback, rarely making an effective block.
  • I noted this on Twitter, but the Titans showed a couple times Craig Stevens in-line and Jared Cook in the slot, which wasn’t something they ran much last year.
  • At this point, it’s probably fair to assume “Chris Johnson doesn’t dance when he sees a defender” is one of the signs of the impending apocalypse.
  • First timeout appeared to be on Fernando Velasco not snapping the ball despite Hasselbeck calling for it.
  • Hasselbeck had good chemistry with Washington last year, and that continued over this game.
  • I don’t feel too badly about either of Hasselbeck’s interception. The first was obviously a fluke aftermultiple deflections. On the second, he clearly determined pre-snap he was throwing deep for Williams against man coverage and Sherman just beat D-Will to the ball in the same way Edwards would later beat Tommie Campbell.
  • The Seahawks’ second-team defense was in as of Locker’s first possession. He played with every Titans starter except Washington for at least one series, so it’s worth taking his numbers with a grain of salt.
  • Unless the short pass to Stevens was a real fastball, that’s a catch Craig has to make if he’s going to get the additional targets I (and tight ends coach John Zernhelt) want him to get. Note Wright almost catches the ball off the deflection, which I’m guessing meant he wasn’t in the exact right place he should’ve been again.
  • The later fourth down incompletion to Williams on the sprint right option looked like another fastball from Locker.
  • The Titans went shotgun empty-formation with Locker a fair amount, with Ringer in the game but split out wide. They went hurry-up as well, forcing the Seahawks to use a timeout in the two-minute drill and the refs to stop the game one other time.
  • Kendall Wright gained at least 15 yards on all of his receptions, but I didn’t think any of them was more than 10 yards downfield. Overall, I had him with 18 YAC on 47 receiving yards.
  • Harper ran with more decisiveness, but still tried to bounce everything.
  • On Rusty’s deep pass to Mariani, it seemed like Thompson may have been just as fine a target in the seam on the other side. Still a good throw/catch.
  • Good job by Ryan Durand and particularly Kevin Matthews blocking on Reynaud’s TD run. Matthews blocked his DL, allowing Durand to get to the second-level clean, then made joined Durand in making another block at the second level.
  • On the other hand, Matthews and Kyle DeVan both got wrecked by the defensive tackles on Jamie Harper’s draw when the Titans were at the 4. Ugly stuff.
  • Mixed results at LT for Byron Stingily. Some okay blocks, some not so good ones. Failed to pick up a delayed blitzer, forcing a dumpoff. I was not impressed by Kyle DeVan at RG.
  • Remember Troy Kropog, fourth-round draft pick? Yeah, neither do the Titans.
  • Despite his work, Michael Preston did not have the ball thrown his way once. Aside from maybe once, this appeared to be the result of pre-snap reads pointing elsewhere, making it effectively impossible to evaluate his performance.

I’ll try to get up a post covering the defense tomorrow, but it may not be until Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning.

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