I’m still watching the replay of the Titans/Falcons game. Color me underimpressed. Let’s go with some snap judgments.
I’m going to pretend that the Titans are playing it close to the vest. Not only are they saving all of their “good” plays for the regular season, the receivers are pretending to not be able to catch.
Vince Young: He’s never going to be a 70% passer. Here’s something that people are forgetting this offseason. Young has his third different offensive coordinator in four years. Norm Chow basically told him to check down. Mike Heimerdinger is a downfield passer kind of guy. In short, Young may not get the hang of this offense until later in the season. Even so, he’s going to one-hop every fourth throw and hitting a moving target is not his strength.
Chris Johnson: On the initial third-down play, Johnson sat down five yards downfield (good idea when Young’s throwing). He caught the ball and somehow ran between three defenders. He is fast and will fight for the extra yard. Make no mistake, LenDale White will lead the team in rushing carries and yards. Johnson may get more touchdowns.
Alge Crumpler: He’ll be featured a lot more when the regular season starts.
Kyle Vanden Bosch: He’s the best free agent signing in Titan history. Heck, he almost makes up for the cavalcade of horrible wideout draft picks and signings.
Rob Bironas: What’s up? Jon Vaughan hit a 50-yard field goal, so you have to wonder what’s up with Bironas’s groin.
Wideouts as a whole: There are zero playmakers. The Titans have to start scouting receivers who can catch “bad” balls. Good luck with that.
The defense had a solid game, only giving up a TD after the first-teamers left for good. The team did make Adam Jennings, a mediocre punt returner, look really good. I wish the Titans had a mediocre punt returner. Chris Johnson showed Chris Henry instincts on his returns. That means he showed nothing and almost always got taken down by the first guy. He’s not like that when he’s playing offense.
Sadly, Matt Ryan looked like a more natural passer in his first preseason than Vince Young does in his fourth. Young’s sidearm motion usually does the job but he’s susceptible to balls getting knocked down at the line. On the first play of the game a linebacker came in unblocked. Young avoided him and threw an incomplete pass.
I can see why a lot of prognosticators think that the Titans will finish fourth in the AFC South. There wasn’t much of a push against a poor defense. Receivers couldn’t get separation against a second-year corner and an undrafted rookie. The running game was uninspiring. It sure seems like a long time until the opener against the Jaguars.