Blake Beddingfield's 53-man Titans' roster

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special contributor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- My 53-man roster prediction for the Titans coming off their fourth preseason game.

Quarterbacks (3)

Marcus Mariota: No competition for the starting position. Mariota is the clear-cut leader and the better player to have a successful season.MariotaAnthemSteelers19

Ryan Tannehill: The best backup the Titans have had since Matt Hasselbeck.

Logan Woodside: He has enough upside to continue to develop and deserves a spot on the 53-man roster because there isn’t anyone else worthy of his spot.

Running backs (4)

Write comment (12 Comments)

Titans' OLBs have big work setting the edge; Reggie Gilbert should be a help

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – To set up many of his 98 NFL sacks, Cameron Wake first had to set the edge.

It’s a far less glamorous element to the job description for an outside linebacker (or 4-3 defensive end), but Wake’s sensibility about it is one that should trickle down to Sharif Finch, Harold Landry, Kamelei Correa, Reggie Gilbert -- who's on his way via trade per Adam Schefter -- and anyone else the Titans roll out at the position.WakeSteelersPortrait

“They don’t write too many stories about setting the edge, there are no ESPN highlights of setting the edge,” Wake said. “Most times if you do your job properly, you probably won’t even be the guy to make the tackle. It’s two sides of the same coin. I feel like if I’m setting the edge on first- and second-down, you put them in a third-and-long situation so that you can do the thing that everybody is waiting to see which is rush the quarterback.

“You have to be able to do the first part or you’ll never be able to do the second part. You’ve got to work before you play.”

Write comment (3 Comments)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Monday, longtime Oilers/Titans' fan James Morrissey of Baton Rouge, La. called the team's ticket office to inquire about season tickets.

He was turned away.

"It is a 9-hour drive, occasionally we fly in for games," he wrote me. "Anyway, I wanted season tickets and I was told that I can’t purchase them because I do not live within a 4-hour radius of Nashville. I have since emailed them asking for re-consideration and I am waiting to hear back from them. Side note: I’m driving around Saints' country with a damn personalized Titans license plate. I’m very disappointed."

He was not optimistic about the reconsideration. The note included a couple of pictures. He asked if there was anything I could think of that might help his case.

IMG 6620

Write comment (11 Comments)

Scout's take: A.J. Brown is a little heavy, Adoree' Jackson is struggling

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans starting offense started out poorly. Incompletions, dropped passes and sacks. Too many inconsistencies for this late in the preseason.

The second-team offense came in the game and there were incompletions, dropped passes and sacks.MariotaGunSteelers

The Steelers’ offense did not miss a beat. QB Ben Roethlisberger was not sharp but had receivers open when he needed. The Steelers’ run game was solid with James Connor and Jalen Samuels. The Steelers’ OL routinely got a push on the Titans’ defensive line and covered up the linebackers for big runs.

The lack of pass rush by the Titans and the lack of ability to cover the deep post route is a major concern.

Write comment (6 Comments)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – From inside a dry press box, I felt especially terrible for those who chose to come to Nissan Stadium. We could all join with every player, coach, executive and stadium worker to offer a prayer of thanks that lightning didn’t invite itself to the occasion.

Pile another borefest on the stack of evidence that preseason in its current form must go the way of the dodo bird, and fast. And imagine, late Thursday we will look back on Steelers 18, Titans 6 and rate it a thriller compared to preseason game No. 4 in Chicago pitting the Titans against the Bears when we are unlikely to see any Tennessee players of consequence.SimsBeatSteelers

The major storyline for those who watched on TV was just how bad NBC’s experimental preferred primary Sky Cam angle of the action was. You can make the “action” harder to see and the numbers harder to read but the uniforms were still tell-tale Titans and Steelers. Imagine if they’d combined the MLB weekend concept on monochromatic uniforms with player-chosen nicknames that were unreadable.

It’s the job, so I tried to find some things to dissect. [Unlocked]

Write comment (7 Comments)

Yazoo mailbag: How to influence the NFL's preseason plan

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Thank you for stopping by the mailbag. I hope it helps tide us over until we get to see something new from the Titans Sunday night at Nissan Stadium when the Steelers visit. 

UnicornPK: The only way I see to make a team really take a concern about the preseason seriously it to hit it in the pocketbook.

And since season tickets force you to buy preseason tickets, the only way to do this is for an uprising where a very high

Write comment (1 Comment)

In 'Stretch,' Mike Vrabel and Titans have a Keyser Soze 'who's always got something'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mike Vrabel exits the door from the Titans’ training room, crosses the media patio and moves onto the practice field. A cart dressed up like a giant speaker is to his right. Inside is an iPhone that controls the music, and one of the actual speakers from which blares the early part of the team’s practice soundtrack: Alabama’s “Down Home.”

“That’s terrible, Stretch,” Vrabel shouts.

He sticks his head inside, finds the controls and changes the song to “Last Time That I Checc’d” by Nipsey Hussle featuring YG.

Stretch

Happy players explode, thrilled with the change. It’s as if Stretch set the coach up to be a hero.

Stretch is 29-year-old John Streicher (pronounced Striker). By title, he’s assistant to head coach. In practice – as well as at practice -- he’s much more.

“He’s like Keyser Soze,” Arthur Smith said. “You don’t want to cross Stretch. It’s been bad for a lot of people. Please quote me on that.”

Write comment (17 Comments)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Running back David Fluellen is working to return from knee surgery and could be ready to play in the Titans' season opener in Cleveland on Sept. 8.FluellenBucsPractice

It's unclear when exactly Fluellen got hurt or what exactly he did, but he's been out of action since before the team's preseason opener on Aug. 8. With Derrick Henry also out, Jeremy McNichols has worked behind Dion Lewis in the two preseason games, averaging 4.1 yards per carry on 14 chances.  

Fluellen suffered a knee injury against the Patriots Nov. 11, 2018 and while the Titans held out hope he could return he went on IR Dec. 20.

Fluellen is a favorite of Mike Vrabel and the third-year running back from Toledo fits right in with the coach's frequent message that the team will treat a player as the player treats the team. It would be a big surprise if Fluellen didn't maintain his spot on the roster as the team's third running back. [Unlocked]

Write comment (2 Comments)

Paul Midday logo 2b 2