Titans defense expects, welcomes passing game challenge from Cardinals

Thursday, August 23, 2012 at 12:25am

Jerry Gray expects the Arizona Cardinals to throw the ball, and he’s prepared to throw caution to the wind.

The Tennessee Titans’ defensive coordinator said he has no plans to employ any sort of exotic defensive strategy to counter Cardinals’ wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald or any of that team’s other playmakers when the teams meet in a preseason contest Thursday at LP Field (7 p.m., ESPN).

“I want to see what our guys can do,” Gray said. “Arizona is a good football team. They’ve got three really good running backs [and] probably the best wide receiver in football right now, if you single him up.

“…We’re just putting guys out there to see what they can do.”

Thus far, the Titans have not seen a lot passing.

In the first two contests, opponents have combined for 56 rushes and just 45 pass attempts. Conversely, the Cardinals, who already have played three contests, have thrown the ball more than they have run it (85-82).

Tennessee – for what it’s worth – has the best per game average in pass defense and total defense thus far in the preseason. It has allowed one pass play for more than 20 yards.

Among the 19 players who had more than 1,000 receiving yards last season, Fitzgerald tied for second with an average of 17.6 yards per catch. In limited action this preseason he has two catches for 27 yards, but six different players have at least one reception of more than 20 yards.

“They got a real good passing game,” Gray said. “Going against Arizona, they’re going to throw the ball up there and see if they can go get it.”

With its quarterback situation still unresolved, Arizona’s emphasis on the passing game is not likely to diminish. Third-year player John Skelton will start at quarterback for the second straight game. Kevin Kolb started the first two.

“They’re going through their quarterback stuff and that’s good,” Gray said. “The thing we have to do is see how we match up against their skill. … We have to make sure we keep competing at a high level and see what out guys can do.”

8 Comments on this post:

By: jwk6179 on 8/23/12 at 8:15

Thursday at LP Field (7 p.m., ESPN).

The best ting about this game being on ESPN tonight is that the fans get to hear Professional Broadcasters and announcer calling the game instead of a 2nd rate production featuring a 3rd rate team of announcers on a 2nd rate station. Why is it that when you watch the replays on the NFL Network, every other team in the NFL has PROFESSIONAL ANNOUNCERS doing play-by-play while the Titans have always relied the local sports anchor from Channel 2 that has absolutely no business being in a NFL Broadcast booth doing play-by-play?

By: TITAN1 on 8/23/12 at 11:16

I think Eddie and Keith do a pretty good job. Not sure why you think WKRN is second rate. Of course, Mike Keith is one of the best, but that is radio.

By: jwk6179 on 8/23/12 at 1:57

I've always thought that Channel 2 came across as second rate ever since I moved here in 1986, especially when you compared them to Channels 4 and 5. Their newscast always seemed like a joke to me and alot of their on-air personalities came across as either bland or cartoonish. I will admit Corey Curtis is a better play-by-play than John Dwyer was but I wouldn't put either one of them in the booth covering a High School game, much less a NFL TEAM. When you watch the replays of the pre-season game on the NFL Network and hear Curt Menafee, Ian Eagle, Kevin Harlan, Chris Meyers, Dick Stockton, et al covering the other 31 NFL teams and then watch the Titans replay and have to hear Corey Curtis. It's an embarassment for the city of Nashville and the Titans!

By: TITAN1 on 8/23/12 at 2:53

But JW, isn't that just for the preseason. During the regular season it is the network announcers. I agree they don't compare to them, but I like the insight Eddie George and Keith Bulluck give on a local level (preseason games only) since they played for the Titans. As for channel 2, I've always liked them a little more than 4 and 5. Here lately I like the Fox locals even better. Living here all my life I've seen many of them come and go and have watched different ones for a period of time. Now that I think about it when the NFL Network plays back a game I believe it is the network announcers even for the preseason. We get the local feed here during preseason, but isn't it also being covered by the NFL network or another one? I thought all the preseason games were picked up.

By: jwk6179 on 8/23/12 at 10:01

For the pre-season games, it is the Local feeds for the various NFL teams that the NFL Network uses for their Pre-Season game playback. Curt Menafee is calling the Seattle games, on the Seattle Seahawks TV network, Dick Stockton calling the play-by-play on the Baltimore Ravens Television network, Kevin Harlan on the Packers Television Network, Kenny Albert for the Atlanta Falcons Network, Ian Eagle for the Jets Network and "Corey Curtis" for the Titans Network. But what do expect from the only team in the entire NFL whose games are not available on SiriusXM!!

By: TITAN1 on 8/24/12 at 5:02

Last year all the Titans games were on SiriusXM, in fact they signed a multi year deal, so they should be on there this year.

By: jwk6179 on 8/24/12 at 9:07

I know that as recently as 2009, the Titans were the ONLY NFL team whose games WEREN'T available on SiriusXM. This was stated on the NFL Network, the Tennessean and 104.5 the Zone.

By: TITAN1 on 8/24/12 at 11:40

I know, but that changed before last season.