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Strength Does Not Come From Winning, Your Struggles Develop Your Strengths, When You Go Through Hardship And Decide Not To Surrender, That Is Strength

August 22

Titans look Sharpe in preseason matchup against Panthers

Andrew Nelles-USA TODAY Sports Tennessee Titans rookie wideout Tajae Sharpe put on a show on Saturday, displaying rapport with quarterback Marcus Mariota we have yet to see from another Titans wide receiver. Sharpe totaled six catches for 68 yards and even added a rushing attempt in the game. As I've said in the past, the Titans' running game looks to be living up to the billing of "exotic smashmouth," but the effectiveness of the scheme could depend on finding a true #1 wideout. If Sharpe's performance is any indication, the Titans may have found a compliment to Delanie Walker. The two could be exactly what is needed to keep opposing defenses from focusing on the run game and on their heels. As with the success we saw on the ground in Week One however, this is preseason and expectations should be tempered. That said, what is most impressive about Sharpe is his fluidity, route running and hands. One catch in particular stands out. After breaking off the line, Sharpe found himself in between two defenders and the ball thrown by Mariota was off target. Sharpe was able to shift his body and extend to make a sure-handed catch that should have been incomplete. It's those kinds of situations, that is what builds trust from your quarterback, not to mention targets. That trust will work in both Mariota's favor and aid speeding Sharpe's development in his rookie season. Another wideout who finally made his presence known on Saturday was Justin Hunter. Hunter snagged four catches for 54 yards days after the team traded Dorial Green-Beckham. The trade could have served as a wakeup call to Hunter, who has failed to live up to expectations thus far. Despite the talk about Hunter's roster status with the team, I expect him to be in uniform when the regular season kicks off. For a 4th or 5th wide receiver, there are going to be few better options out there than what Hunter offers. He also comes cheap, since he is still playing through his rookie deal. When it comes to Hunter's development, it could be possible he needs proper attention to develop his athleticism. You'd be surprised at how many athletes who display raw talents are often forgotten when it comes to helping them develop technically. There were many 'double-steps' from Hunter coming off the line on Saturday instead of exploding into his route, something we have seen from Sharpe. Hunter could benefit from a thorough breakdown of tape and critique of the little things. Aside from the wideout play, the secondary was torched by Ted Ginn Jr., who turned a slant route into a 61 yard touchdown. There was plenty that went wrong from the jump on that play, but it begs to remember these were not the Titans' starters. Both Cox and McCourty were out on Saturday, both key players in this secondary. The running game also produced despite a much tougher matchup against Carolina than they had against the Chargers. DeMarco Murray still averaged four yards per carry and Derrick Henry averaged six yards per carry. Overall, it was a positive performance from the Titans as a whole. Our expectations were met by the running game and exceeded in the passing attack. Week Three's matchup against Oakland will provide a more thorough look at where the team stands, but so far, so good. function resizeIframe(obj) { { = 0; }; { = (obj.contentWindow.document.body.scrollHeight + 10) + 'px'; } }
August 16

New Look Titans Impress in First Preseason Game

The Tennessee Titans debuted in stellar fashion on Saturday, knocking down the San Diego Chargers by a score of 27-10. While the win was a big positive, we need to pump the breaks and remember, it is only preseason and this was against a young Chargers team in transition. That said, what we saw is a massive step in the right direction. I've talked about it before, the importance of this team to find an identity. If Saturday was any indication, the Titans have one. Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports The "Exotic Smashmouth" was on full display with DeMarco Murray rushing six times for 93 yards and a score along with Derrick Henry dropping 74 yards and a score on ten carries. Even Bishop Sankey impressed, notching 52 yards and a score on three carries. The execution was something this team has lacked and even more importantly, it is clear this team has bought into the vision of Mike Mularkey and Jon Robinson. It's been a while since we've seen a Titans team rush for 288 yards in a game and it was a refreshing sight. Again, it is important to keep things in perspective. This Chargers defense was not stout up front and we'll really get a better gauge on things when the Titans square up against the stout Carolina Panthers this week. The Titans were allowed to run free and there's no reason to believe that's not what this offense is capable of every week. But they will need production from the passing game. Namely, they need Dorial Green Beckham, Justin Hunter or Rishard Matthews to emerge as a legitimate threat in order to keep opponents from stacking the box and stuffing the run. If just one of them can find their groove, this offense has the potential to be special. But, we have yet to see that. Defensively, there is also work to be done. It was only one preseason game, but the defensive line lacked the physicality we've been seeing in practices. The good news is there is still more to be seen from this unit and ample time to see what they really can do. Overall, there is much to be happy about with our first glimpse of the Titans. They look prepared and as polished as we've seen in recent years. Now, we just need to see it consistently.  function resizeIframe(obj) { { = 0; }; { = (obj.contentWindow.document.body.scrollHeight + 10) + 'px'; } }
August 3

Tennessee Titans finding long-sought identity through improvement

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports I have a Puerto Rican friend who shared a saying that translates to "don't watch the lips moving, watch where the feet are moving."For the Tennessee Titans, we've been told all the right things the last few years but we all know how things played out when it was time to take action and hit the field. But this year is different. We start with the moves General Manager Jon Robinson has made this offseason, signing key free agents and focusing on needs in the draft. The team has made similar moves in the past, but this year you can see with every move there is a plan. More than that, we're seeing that plan being put into action on the practice field and in the coaching philosophy. There's a sense everyone is finally on the same page. One of my biggest complaints over the last few years is this team lacks any sense of identity. This year, we hear terms like "exotic smashmouth." We see proven veterans who are leading by example, by their work ethic and commitment to the grind. Head coach Mike Mularkey heads into his first full season as coach and there's not the sense he's running a dictatorship, but rather that he might have an old school mentality but is willing to bend and adapt. Mularkey has been a better communicator and there's a sense of transparency this season. The team has also been better at letting the fans, media and city inside the Titans' bubble...literally. They've been more involved in the community and are taking the initiative to reach out to players of years past. Just look at the move to sign Tim Shaw, a former Titans linebacker battling ALS who was named at "Titan for Life" and honored by the team this week. In his words..."It means the world to have this organization behind me." It's that blend of old and new, of doing what's right and doing more than you have to that leads to success, leads to letting people know who you are, your identity. These changes don't just stop with the team. Like Mularkey, Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk seems to be much more transparent and communicating more than we've seen in the past. It's as if her elevated visibility is Strunk putting her stamp on this team, letting us know there is uniformity. The changes are also skin-deep. The locker room, training facility, practice bubble and stadium have all been revamped and upgraded. What this all boils down to is improvement. Improvement in their surroundings, on the field, in coaches, players and in ownership. So maybe, that's the identity for this year's team. Improvement. That's what we've been asking for, and so far we are getting it. Improvement. They're not just talking the talk, they're walking it too.  function resizeIframe(obj) { { = 0; }; { = (obj.contentWindow.document.body.scrollHeight + 10) + 'px'; } }