Minus Marcus Mariota, Titans produce another dud

mdi construction barMIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- If Marcus Mariota isn't back for the Titans' Oct. 16 Monday Night Football game against the Colts in Nashville, there will be legitimate cause for worry.

Entering a crucial three-game stretch against beatable opponents, the Titans dropped the first, falling to 2-3 while MarIota watched from the sideline with a hamstring strain.

In a punting contest between Brett Kern and Matt Haack, the Dolphins broke through, 16-10.

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As Titans play it safe with Marcus Mariota, Matt Cassel needs to play it safe

mdi construction barMIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- The Titans are taking the safe approach with Marcus Mariota, with ESPN and NFL Network reporting he's out with his strained hamstring. Now Matt Cassel needs to follow suit and be safe too.CDB6703A B50F 47AD A0FA B791343F063B

The receipe for Tennessee to get its third win is pretty simple: Play significantly better defense, hand the ball to DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, get some supplementary passing game help from Cassel and have him play a clean game while finding a boost from special teams.

Cassel's No  1 mission is to not make killer mistakes. Hs arm looked terrible in relief last week, so look for catch and runs as opposed to run and catches. The passing-game yardage is more likely to come after the catch.

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Mailbag: Is Marcus Mariota's injury from 2016 a factor now?

NASHVILE, Tenn. -- As I get ready to heard for South Florida, it's time to share the mail. Combat

PK: I don’t think the repaired leg is an issue. But he did spend the majority of his offseason healing and rehabbing, and when you are doing that you’re not able to spend as much time working on your weaknesses. In that respect, I think it’s a factor. He also didn’t get a great deal of time with several new targets: Eric Decker, Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor and Jonnu Smith.

After 43-point loss, Titans hope to board 'The Energy Bus'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In a book I’ve mentioned, “Switch, How to Change Things When Change is Hard" by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, There is a thorough section on our propensity for the negative.

Which some of you know is right up my ally.IMG 2595

The Heaths wrote: “In an … exhaustive study, a psychologist analyzed 558 emotion words – every one that he could find in the English language—and found that 62 percent of them were negative as opposed to 38 percent positive. That’s a pretty shocking discrepancy. According to an old urban legend, Eskimos have 100 different words for snow. Well, it turns out that negative emotions are our snow.”

Mike Mularkey has spent a lot of time with the Titans emphasizing the positive and trying to go with the 38 percent there. Not long ago he talked about how, while the Titans may have a plan for third and long, he and his staff don’t prepare for anything negative, don’t expect anything in the plan not working.

In a different vein, Mularkey asked his team to read “The Energy Bus, 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work and Team with Positive Energy” by Jon Gordon before the season, and Gordon talked with the team.

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Dick LeBeau explains coverage, suggests change of course

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Dick LeBeau knew what was coming and he was ready.

He joked with us he hoped we’d all have called in sick, but then he was as accountable as you want a coach to be after a terrible performance by the defense he coordinates.IMG 2592

“That’s not us,” he said. “We’re going to prove that Sunday, that’s it’s not us. It was a very poor game. We let them hold the ball, we let them go on long drives, we never gave our offense a chance to get the ball back. You’re not going to have success if we don’t play better than that.”

Sunday in South Florida the Titans defensive coordinator and his players will try to rebound from a 57-14 loss to the Texans in Miami against the Dolphins.

In Houston, the Titans didn’t matchup Logan Ryan on DeAndre Hopkins, and the veteran receiver overwhelmed Adoree’ Jackson, Brice McCain and LeShaun Sims.

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Jurrell Casey disrupting, but not getting numbers yet

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- His name didn’t make the stat sheet on opening day, which was a testament to Oakland’s interior offensive line, but also a shock.

Jurrell Casey is a major disruptor, the Titans best defensive player. A game without so much as a tackle qualified as a huge surprise and the expectation was an immediate bounce back.CaseyChaseSEA 1

He’s been better in the three games since, and he warrants a lot of attention.

But through a quarter of the season, his statistical production is minimal: Nine tackles, none for a loss, no sacks.

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Brandon Weeden on Colin Kaepernick: 'We all firmly believe he's a good enough player to play in this league'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans looked to Brendon Weeden and T.J. Yates as two of their tryout quarterbacks Tuesday because they’ve worked in systems in the past that are similar.IMG 2574

Mike Mularkey pointed to Weeden’s time with Dallas and Yates time in Atlanta as reasons they were two o the four QBs the Titans looked at. They also bright in Matt Barkley and Matt McGloin.

Weeden worked with backup Matt Cassel and practice-squader Tyler Ferguson in his first day with the team Wednesday, while Marcus Mariota was limited with his hamstring strain and the Titans didn’t ask him to do much.

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We don't know if the Titans are good yet, but lots of good teams have suffered terrible losses

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – At 2-2 a quarter into the season, we still don’t know what the Titans are.

But we do know that the 56-14 loss at Houston doesn’t automatically mean they are bad in 2017, it just means they were super bad for one week.

When they win I have to calm people down When they lose, I have to calm people down.

When they lost like that, I’ve really had to calm people down.

Huge concerns arose for sure.

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