Can Titans be physical with Mike Evans as they were with Julio Jones? Scout's Take

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tampa Bay is coming off a bye week and needed a chance to regroup after losing three of its last four games.

On defense, the Buccaneers are built to stop the run with the No. 1 run-stopping defense but they struggle to stop the pass with the 32nd ranked defense against the pass.ButlerChargers

The Buccaneers have a defensive line of Ndamukong Suh, Vita Vea and William Gholston do they have the type of personnel that can not only hold the point-of-attack on plays run at them but also shed blocks and go make the play.

Vea is a space-eating NT who also has the quickness and movement skills to shed blocks and make plays inside the tackle box. Vea is playing at a high level and will be a tough matchup for the interior of the Titans’ offensive line.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When DaQuan Jones strolled around one of the Titans’ practice fields with me in early September, he didn’t want to blame his 2017 biceps injury for his 2018 season, but he admitted it had been a big factor.

This year, Jones has been a solid piece of the Titans’ high-quality defense, which ranks fourth on third down and fourth in points allowed.

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In his sixth season, Jones is again playing the way the team imagined he could under Mike Vrabel and Dean Pees as a strong force inside. He works as a base-defense nose tackle and has been inside with Jurrell Casey for a lot of nickel snaps.

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YAZOO PODCAST: Frank Wycheck on hitting rock bottom, rebounding and relocating

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  -- When Frank Wycheck moved to Philadelphia I asked him if, when he was ready, I could be the guy to share his story.

Tuesday he texted me that he was ready.PodcastYazooArtSquare

He sounded great in a nearly hour-long conversation during which we reminisced about old times but also looked deeply into his bouts with depression, the damage he did to relationships in Nashville by becoming a virtual recluse and the relocation which has helped him rebound and has him feeling newly upbeat.

We also covered his memories of The Wake Up Zone on 104.5 The Zone, his disappointment at how his tenure as the color analyst on Titans Radio ultimately ended, the May wedding of his oldest daughter, his disappointment with The History Channel, his view of Delanie Walker and Amy Adams Strunk, his delight about the Titans retiring the numbers of Steve McNair and Eddie George and NFL issues including CTE and player safety. 

Part 1 of the podcast is available on Apple PodcastsSticher, Spotify and TuneIn as well as directly through the Vokal website. (Please subscribe and offer a nice rating!)

If you're a member of the site, Part 1 and Part 2 are together, and all you have to do is log in and head below the line. (Here's the path to membership.)

You can find the history of this site's podcasts that require membership right here.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Reggie Gilbert knew Mike Vrabel and the Texans liked him when he was coming out of Arizona, but he landed in Green Bay.

With a trade just before the season started Vrabel finally has had his chance to work with Gilbert. Once the ankle injury he brought with him cleared up, Gilbert has played a good deal with the Titans through their first seven games.

We recorded this shortly after his first start, Week 4 in Atlanta when he was still getting settled in Nashville.TakeALap 2GilbertLap

His sister played for two teams in the WNBA, so we discussed which he preferred and how she once scammed him on a basketball court. We also covered which of four bowl-game gift bags was the best, his taste for fried alligator, Packers throwback uniforms, picking a small bicycle from a kid for the famed ride to the locker room during Green Bay training camp, his best game and more.

This is available to all, just click to head below the line. [Unlocked.]

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Ryan Tannehill poised to be part of the year of the backup

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It’s early, but 2019 is looking like the year of the backup quarterback.

Five of the top 14 quarterbacks in passer rating weren’t the starters for their team in training camp.

Carolina’s Kyle Allen, Pittsburgh’s Mason Rudolph, Indianapolis’ Jacoby Brissett, New Orleans’ Teddy Bridgewater and Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew have done solid work in place of Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger, the retired Andrew Luck, Drew Brees and Nick Foles.TannehillSlideChargers

Collectively, they’ve thrown 47 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

What happened to the thing where a team was SOL if the starting quarterback goes down?

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Scout's Take: Breaking down Jeffery Simmons' impact

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The game was about who was going to be left standing at the end. Both teams lost a significant number of starters before and during the contest.

That it was eventually won by the Titans on a goal-line stand was fitting.

Chargers’ RB Melvin Gordon wanted more carries leading into this week, but those touches resulted in very little and ended up costing his team the win.

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Gordon held out of training camp and the first three games because he wanted more money, but since he has returned his value has decreased significantly because of his lack of effectiveness as a runner and receiver. He is not willing to run after contact and as proven in the Titans game he is not secure with the ball.

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Titans got instant impact from Jeffery Simmons

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Chargers, the Titans, the stadium and his coach all had a similar feeling about the first game of Jeffery Simmons’s career.

“I felt him,” Mike Vrabel said.

Simmons was a definite factor on his 21 snaps – one-third of the Titans’ defensive plays in Sunday’s 23-20 win over the Chargers. He helped blow up the game-sealing play, where Melvin Gordon fumbled at the goal line, stripped by Wesley Woodyard on a play where Jurrell Casey recovered the ball.SimmonsChargers

“I came off the ball, I knew I was going to get the guard by himself,” he said. “My job is to knock my man back, beat the man in front of me and I feel like I did a great of that.”

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Decisive Ryan Tannehill, giant goal-line defense change Titans' result

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Too many times it’s been a risky deal to cast something that unfolds for the Tennessee Titans as a potentially pivotal, transformative moment.

But we have our latest entry:

Sunday evening the Chargers twice scored a go-ahead touchdown that was overturned as short by replay, then the Titans made a huge goal-line play when Melvin Gordon tried to run it in, Wesley Woodyard stripped him and Jurrell Casey gathered the football with 15 seconds left on the clock.WoodyardChargers

“It better be (that moment),” Casey said. “It better be. That’s all we can hope for right now, that this gets us going, gets us on the right groove.”

“You would definitely hope so,” said Kevin Byard, who caught a first-down pass from Brett Kern on a fake punt.

“Wouldn’t it be great?” Taylor Lewan asked of such a scenario after it improbably preserved a 23-20 win for the Titans, boosting their record to 3-4. “This is one win. We have to do a lot better in a lot of different areas. There are still yards out there for runs, there are still protection things we’ve got to get better.

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