Titans have got to get more from Sylvester Williams

TitansGlowNASHVILLE, Tenn. – It’s a good thing that the Titans are looking to play their best people, with contract status and experience not playing a role in who plays and who doesn’t.

But when a team signs a guy to a three-year, $17.5 million free-agent deal, he needs to be at the front of the line.

Sylvester Williams was the Titans’ nose-tackle choice and when they signed him on March 14. From that moment, he should have been the front-of-the-line guy in the middle of the team’s defensive line.

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Brian Orakpo promises sacks will get where they need to be

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Against a batch of largely-mobile quarterbacks, the Titans defense has managed a sack on just 4.2 percent of pass plays, 30th in the league.Sacks will come. I am nowhere near concerned. 1

The defense has, however, managed more pressure.

A year ago after six games, the Titans had 18 sacks and 73 pressures.

This season it’s nine sacks and 81 pressures.

“Sacks will come, I’m nowhere near concerned,” said Brian Orakpo, who’s got one this season. “It definitely is a slow start for everyone, especially myself. But we can’t start trying to play out of our element. They will come. We’re not doing anything different from last year to this point.

“They just haven’t fallen for us. A lot of teams are just hot going to let us tee off on these quarterbacks right now and finish with sacks. When you watch other teams get these sacks, you see a lot of broken plays, quarterbacks running around and they’re able to finish.

“We’re able to get the pressure but guys are getting rid of the ball. We just can’t get frustrated. I know it’s something people want to look at as far as the numbers. But I promise you by the end of the season we’ll be back to where we need to be.”

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Marcus Mariota's super-natural calm should create believers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – All the questions about whether mild-mannered Marcus Mariota’s personality is fit to lead an NFL team had been answered with a resounding yes well before Monday night.

But his reaction after his 53-yard touchdown throw to Taywan Taylor solidified and symbolized it.IMG 3220

He’s a super polite, low-key guy. But he will grab someone and express a strong message when needed.

Just after he released that pass, he got hit by Jonathan Hankins, who had finally gotten by Quinton Spain. The guard didn’t like the hit and wanted to let Hankins know about it, but Mariota saw Spain’s interest in jawing with the defensive lineman and intervened, pushing Spain toward the extra point territory and pointing.

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Zero mental errors by Titans receivers keyed offense vs. Colts

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In 14 years as an NFL offensive coordinator or head coach, there have been zero instances when Mike Mularkey has seen zero mental errors from a group of wide receivers.

Until Monday night.Zero

Earlier today I wrote about the great field sense we saw from Eric Decker. It turns out that he, Rishard Matthews, Taywan Taylor and Eric Weems didn’t make a mental mistake in the 36-22 win over the Colts.

That is a giant deal for a team that has often spoken of the difficulties created for its quarterback by targets who failed to get to the right spots at the right time.

“I thought it was huge,” Mariota said. “It’s a great step forward. Whenever one trusts the game plan, when everyone trusts what’s going on and trusts that they are going to be where they are supposed to be, we’re able to execute. That’s the standard, that’s what we have to live by…

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Eric Decker's sense of place a big deal for Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- In his best game since he joined the Titans late in the offseason, Eric Decker consistently showed off an excellent understanding of just where he was on the field during the Titans' win over the Colts Monday night.

That’s something the Titans have been craving for years and year, and something recent second-round picks Justin Hunter and Dorial Green-Beckham, who are no longer around, simply didn’t have.DeckerEnter

“He is a special player,” Marcus Mariota said. “He finds ways to get open. He did a great job (Monday) in feeling some of those soft zones. When you have a guy like that convert third downs, it’s huge, that very important for the success of the offense.”

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DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry need to force the Titans to make hard choices

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The DeMarco Murray-Derrick Henry pairing worked out perfectly for the Titans Monday night during the team’s 36-22 win, and they are eager for more of it moving forward.

Henry touched the ball 20 times for 132 yards including a late 72-yard touchdown that clinched the win. MurrayHenryColtsgot the ball 16 times and produced 87 yards.

The Titans wore down the Colts in the second half as they did to the Jaguars and Seahawks after intermission in their other two wins.

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After Titans beat Colts, reaction to overreactive Tweets

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans endured a great deal during Monday night's win over the Colts, plenty of it self inflicted. Of course fans remained calm and wanted to see the whole thing play out before going crazy. Oh wait, no they didn't. Which means plenty of fodder for our weekly file reacting to overractive tweets.

PK: There are three teams in the AFC with more wins than the Titans. Three. And only eight teams in the whole NFL with more wins. The Titans haven’t played their best yet and they are in OK shape.

PK: See above.

PK: Terry Robiskie calls the plays. Including the 72-yard Derrick Henry TD run, the 53-yard TD throw to Taywan Taylor and five third-down conversions on seven plays in the second half.

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Marcus Mariota stood still and did just fine in complicated, breakthrough win for the Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – His podium interview conducted and concluded earlier than usual, Marcus Mariota sat back in his locker casually chatting with quarterback coach Jason Michael and director of sports medicine Todd Toriscelli late Monday.

Mariota and Michael looked over to Derrick Henry, surrounded by a media throng, and each grinned -- probably about the size of the crowd, the way we strained to contort into position where we could hear the running back and maybe at his army green shirt, that made him look like a military man, or his glasses, which make him look like a librarian.MariotaEntranceIND

Henry was smiling too, as he talked through the first 100-yard game of his NFL career and said he was ticked he didn’t hit the mark until the fourth-to-last play from scrimmage, a 72-yard TD run that made the final Titans 36, Colts 22.

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