Matchup issues and advantages for the Titans in Cleveland: Scout's Take

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special contributor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- My Cleveland Browns game preview...

Matchup concerns for the Titans:

Myles Garrett vs. Dennis Kelly

This matchup will dictate so many things that the Titans want to do on offense. First, they will not be able to match Kelly vs. Garrett 1 on 1. Kelly is a solid backup tackle with the ability to play multiple games as a starter, but he isn’t a true starter in the NFL.PamphileSteelers

Kelly is best on as a right tackle. On the left side, he is weak to his inside (right) hand. This issue has shown up multiple times in the preseason because Kelly oversets to his outside to take away the speed rush which he is less athletically capable to handle. Kelly has great size and does have strength in his frame, but he lacks the ability to recover and redirect his feet in pass protection.

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Despite some scrambling, Titans’ O-Line feels it’s built needed cohesion

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The time together up front that is such a big ingredient in football team-building didn’t pan out quite as the Titans envisioned in the preseason.KellyTampa

Camp started with news that Taylor Lewan would start the season with a four-game suspension for a performance-enhancing drug violation. And the right guard slot seems to have been won more by default than on merit by Kevin Pamphile after the Titans tested multiple options and lost a chance for Nate Davis to develop when he missed a lot of work with an unknown injury.

Nevertheless, the guys up front feel they’ve grown the sort of familiarity and communication that is crucial to working together successfully to protect a quarterback and carve holes for running backs.

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While all-22 leads the way, Titans enjoy a splash of TV tape

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – High at midfield at in the end zone, teams have camera people filming games and practices.

The two overhead angles are what players and coaches watch as they study their opponents, and themselves, while preparing for games like the Titans’ season opener Sunday at Cleveland.TV

Coaches roll it in meetings on giant screens and can stop and start, stop and start and roll forward and back, forward and back with the clicker that becomes part of their hands. Players have all the same stuff on iPads which also contain the game plan and playbook.

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In Year 3, time for more from Adoree' Jackson for Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – He’s part of a tight-knit, hard-working group that should maximize his chances to reach his potential.

Yet it feels like something is still missing for Adoree’ Jackson, the 2017 first-round cornerback who’s had great success, like shutting down Josh Gordon, and some low moments, like getting torched by T.Y. Hilton. Those games were separated by a week last season, which was a major problem.JacksonIndy

Then in camp, Mike Vrabel spoke of Jackson’s focus as an issue. He recovered against an in-breaking route in Philadelphia in preseason Week 1 but then tried to break up the pass with the wrong arm and wound up burned for a 75-yard touchdown by Marken Michel.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- DaQuan Jones had been a pretty effective player in his first four seasons. While he may not have brought the pass rush, his early-down run-stuffing work was a key dirty-work cog for the Titans.JonesLapTakeALap 2

But in 2018, his play dropped off and he wasn't happy about it.

It certainly made me wonder about the deal Jon Robinson gave him in 2018 at $7 million a year for three years, with the first two seasons guaranteed.

He looked a whole lot better in camp and the preseason. And as we took a lap, he talked me through how his recovery from a 2017 biceps injury was a big factor in last season's disappointment as well as how his friendship with Harold Landry has blossomed, how he determines the right size dogs for a big guy to have as pets, how his dad keeps the chicken parm recipe Jones craves a secret and more. 

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

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Titans' WRs convinced stigma, mojo of position is changing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Over and over and over again, no matter what the franchise has done, the wide receivers have come to disappoint.

New free agents and high picks, turned over position coaches and coordinators have not been able to break through for the Tennessee Titans, who’ve remained, with occasional exceptions, a run- and defense-based football team.HumphriesHandsPractice

It’s hard to buy hope before we see real results. And here's one thing that must change: Titans receivers have averaged a touchdown every 23.8 receptions (309 Rec/13 TDs) since the start of the 2017 season -- the worst in NFL and almost double the NFL average of 12.6.

But with veteran slot receiver Adam Humphries and the rugged/athletic A.J. Brown part of the group – and with the Titans actually calling themselves a three-wide receiver base offense for the first time I can remember – there seems to be an opportunity for a real breakthrough.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Roster reflections on the first version of the Titans’ 53-man roster.

The biggest surprise: Corey Levin (pictured snapping to Marcus Mariota) seemed a lock as the backup center, and the Titans had not snuffed out the possibility he could be in the lineup with Ben Jones bumping over to right guard, the team’s most problematic spot.MariotaLevinJetsBut Levin, a sixth-rounder from 2017, is gone and the Titans will lean on Jamil Douglas if they need relief of Jones. It’s even more surprising considering they kept nine offensive linemen, with David Quessenberry the big surprise. He’s the third tackle for now, and likely to disappear when Taylor Lewan returns from suspension after four games. [Unlocked]

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How Amy Adams Strunk can help revolutionize the NFL preseason

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Fewer front-liner players are seeing less preseason action than ever.

Mike Vrabel sat 40 healthy players in the Titans preseason finale Thursday night in Chicago.preseason2019

From 49ers coach Matt Shanahan to Falcons owner Arthur Blank, the sentiment that the preseason is too long and too unnecessary is becoming more and more widespread.

But the fact is, shortening it will cost owners money, and they are not in the business of giving back money. Thus the constant buzz about an expanded regular season that would have to be negotiated as part of a new CBA, something the owners would like to have ironed out with the NFLPA before the Super Bowl.

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