September 29, 2018 at 01:33 #541
Mike Vrabel wanted his debut as Tennessee’s head coach to start on offense.
It was an impressive beginning in the Titans’ preseason opener.
Marcus Mariota and the Titans wasted no time providing a glimpse of what they can do in this new offense Youth Matt Nieto Jersey , driving 71 yards for a touchdown on the first series even with four starters sidelined. Three-time Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker was a healthy scratch, starting wide receivers Corey Davis and Rishard Matthews were out with undisclosed injuries and right tackle Jack Conklin is recovering from a torn ACL.
“It was an efficient drive, it was a good drive and it was good to see that group go down there and kind of do what they did in an in the scrimmage, the one Friday night scrimmage that we had and then be able to carry that over know into this week,” Vrabel said Friday.
The Titans wound up losing 31-17 in Green Bay with the second-team offense settling for a field goal after Vrabel let new backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert throw on fourth-and-4 at the Packers 12.
But all the attention is on Mariota and the offense being installed by offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur. Putting the No. 2 overall pick in 2015 in a better scheme is why the Titans fired Mike Mularkey in January and replaced him with Vrabel.
Mariota looked sharp, even though he was caught running at the line for a sack. The quarterback who has been healthy all offseason for the first time since his rookie season later scrambled for 7 yards. He was 2 of 3 for 42 yards passing despite not having Davis or Matthews.
Davis dressed and warmed up but did not play. The No. 5 wide receiver overall last year has not practiced since leaving a session early last weekend with an undisclosed issue. Matthews is the lone veteran of the receiving corps, and he remains on the physically unable to perform list.
That left Mariota with Taywan Taylor, a third-round pick overall in 2017, and Darius Jennings, as his starting receivers. Jennings originally signed with Cleveland in 2015 as an undrafted free agent out of Virginia and started one of the four games he played that season with the Browns. The Titans released Jennings last November before bringing him back again.
“Overall, it is a young group Authentic Connor Brickley Jersey , so it is exciting to see those guys get a chance to play,” Mariota said. “With that being said, these guys have an opportunity and they need to make the most of it. We are really going to have to count on some of those guys throughout the year and that is good to see that in live game action.”
Jennings capped that opening drive with a 4-yard TD catch as he tries to earn a roster spot.
Derrick Henry also had an 8-yard run on an outside zone play that will be a feature of this offense.
The Titans still have plenty to work on offensively before hosting Tampa Bay for two joint practices before their preseason game Aug. 18. Running back Dalyn Dawkins was flagged for one of three lowering the helmet penalties on the Titans, and they lost time of possession in the final three quarters with their worst the third holding the ball for only 2 minutes, 10 seconds.
“Always room for improvement,” Vrabel said.
NOTES: The Titans agreed to terms Friday with S Steven Terrell and waived as injured OLB Gimel President and DL Johnny Maxey. Terrell has played 42 career games in stops with Jacksonville, Houston, Seattle and Kansas City. … The Titans went 1-3 in the preseason a year ago under Mularkey. Whether it was Vrabel’s debut or the Titans playing their first game in their new uniforms, TV ratings in Nashville jumped 39 percent over the opener a year ago from 11.9 rating to 16.6.
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RENTON, Wash. (AP) — There were so few competitions for starting roles when the Seattle Seahawks arrived for training camp that the daily assessment of where things stood with the kicker and punter became a major topic.
The competition ended as expected with veteran Sebastian Janikowski appearing to be a lock as Seattle’s kicker beating out Jason Myers and rookie Michael Dickson as the punter with Jon Ryan’s tenure coming to an end.
So much for any drama. And for Ryan it meant the end for the longest-tenured Seahawks player.
“First, let me say this: Jon Ryan has been a great Seahawk Youth Mikko Koivu Jersey ,” Carroll said. “We loved the time we spent together. He’s been here since the beginning, and I know everybody would understand that it’s a very difficult decision when you have to make one like this after all this time together. He was doing great.
“Michael was just kicking out of this world and was doing the things that we had hoped he could do. … It was the right time to help Jon get moving too. So he’s been a great player, been a great competitor, been a great team guy, community guy. We love him.”
Dickson was expected to land the punter job from the moment he was selected in the fifth round by Seattle. The Seahawks didn’t invest a draft pick like that without wanting Dickson to win the job. Ryan was kept around in case Dickson struggled or there was an injury, but Seattle was able to save money by letting go of the veteran and going with the rookie from Texas.
“There’s just a lot of things we’re excited about with him and we’re excited to get it going,” Carroll said. “It’s good for him to feel the confidence in the program and that we’re behind him.”
Dickson has been impressive in the first two preseason games, averaging 51.7 yards per kick, with better hang time and directional control than what Ryan showed. Still, while Dickson was excited to win the job, finding out he had arrived with some bittersweet feelings about Ryan’s departure.
“It was something that I was battling for every day Craig Smith Jersey , and I wanted to win the spot more than anything,” Dickson said. “But it was surprisingly more bittersweet than anything, just because Jon was such a great mentor to me when he was here. He was probably one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. So, yeah, it was a little bittersweet. But I’m super excited.”
Carroll said the decision to release Ryan with two weeks remaining in training camp was also to give him plenty of time to find a new opportunity. It didn’t take long. Ryan signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills on Tuesday.
Janikowski said he’s fully recovered from the back injury that caused him to miss the entire 2017 season. It’s the first time in his career Janikowski has kicked anywhere but Oakland, where he played for 17 seasons and made more than 80 percent of his field goal attempts. He said there was some conversation with the Chargers, but he decided Seattle was the better opportunity.
“It’s a good change,” Janikowski said. “It’s like a start over again, but I feel great.”
Making the decision about the punter and kicker at this point also allows Seattle two weeks of having the duo work together in the kicking game. As simple as holding sounds, Dickson has limited experience in the job, only starting to do it his final year at Texas. After holding for Myers in the first preseason game Youth Matt Irwin Jersey , Dickson held for Janikowski last weekend against the Chargers.
“It’s all about timing,” Janikowski said. “I mean, (Tyler Ott) is a great snapper, (Dickson’s a good) holder, it’s all about timing you just have to figure it out with time. And I think we got it down.”
NOTES: Seattle practiced indoors on Tuesday because of the unhealthy air quality in the Seattle area because of smoke from wildfires. … Carroll said WR Doug Baldwin remains on track to be ready for Week 1 at Denver. Baldwin has missed most of training camp with a knee injury, but has resumed running. “He’s really excited about coming back, he’s running. He’ll want to play next week, we’ll just get him back out here (at practice) and we’ll make that determination next week. But he’s going to be there for the opener,” Carroll said. … RB Rashaad Penny was also doing running on the side on Tuesday after having surgery on a broken finger suffered last week in practice. Penny is also expected to be ready for Week 1.
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