Titans four-fold mission

Tuesday, October 7, 2003 at 1:00am

1.Tackle somebody. Titans coach Jeff Fisher counted 14 missed tackles on defense and eight more on special teams vs. the Patriots. The Titans can't afford to let that happen again, not even against the upstart Texans.

2. Lend a hand. Tony Beckham got his baptism into playing cornerback in the NFL in Sunday's loss to the New England Patriots subbing for the injured Samari Rolle. The Texans don't have an abundance of offensive weapons, but the chance to test Beckham with hot-shot rookie Andre Johnson is tempting, and the Titans may have to tweak their coverages to help Beckham on occasion.

3. Fix special teams. The kickoff and punt coverage teams were deplorable against the Pats, and Fisher says several defensive starters may be used to shore up these units. Whatever has to be done must be in order to prevent future special teams disasters.

4. Keep on throwing. The Titans running game still shows no sign of life. Steve McNair has had the hot hand, especially in the three-wide sets. With young receivers Justin McCareins, Drew Bennett and Tyrone Calico all improving and helping take the pressure off Derrick Mason, Tennessee should keep going with what works.

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