The Tennessee Titans enter week three of the 2016 NFL Preseason with a positive outlook on their future. Even though the Titans were defeated by the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers 26-16, there are plenty of positives that this team will take with them to Oakland this Saturday night. Let’s get into our Four Keys!
First, wide receiver Tajae Sharpe is a 5th round pick that has hit the ground running since rookie camp! It’s important to know, the Titans haven’t had an above-average passing game since the team relocated to Nashville and hasn’t been known to develop wide-receivers. However, Sharpe has gained the trust of starting quarterback, 2nd year player Marcus Mariota.
Secondly, rookie running back Derrick Henry has continued to impress teammates and coaches.
“We’ll find ways to get (Henry) on the field,” Titans head Coach Mike Mularkey said. “We know what he’s capable of doing. I just want to be careful, I did it one time when I went in and was worrying about how many numbers guys were getting and it didn’t work. We’re going to do what’s best for the team like we’ve been doing from the beginning. And whatever that is, if he’s a large part of it, (he) is. But he’ll have a role, definitely.”
Clearly, that must mean DeMarco Murray, the projected starter, will continue to get the lion’s share of touches while Henry ingratiates himself into the offense.
Thirdly, Coach Mularkey will not play his starters and key players into the third quarter; going against the custom in the third preseason game. The Titans play the Raiders again in less than one month (September 25th at Noon in Nashville) and Mularkey will attempt to keep the game plan as vanilla as possible:
“No, we’re going to play the first half and again, we’re going to see how it’s going to play out, how many plays they play. (We) may even pull them earlier than we planned. It’s all based on play count, and there’s some situations we’d like to get them involved in as well, so you’ll see how it plays out. As we go, without showing our hand, there may be some things we do that we normally wouldn’t do in a regular season game.”
Lastly, the game will be broadcast nationally on CBS, this Saturday night at 8pm Eastern. It will be a great opportunity for these young Titans to solidify their positions on the roster. Each NFL team must cut their roster down to 75 players by 4:00pm next Tuesday.