Titans looking to fine-tune game vs. Pack

Wednesday, August 29, 2007 at 11:58pm

The Tennessee Titans might already be looking forward to the regular season, but there is still a bit of unfinished business to take care of tonight against Green Bay.

The Titans close out their preseason schedule against the Packers at LP Field with some roster spots and starting positions still to be determined.

“We’ve got some personnel decisions we’ve got to make and some lineup decisions we’ve got to make,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. “Of course we’ve got to figure out how we’re going to win this ballgame on Thursday night.”

While a number of Titans players will be focused on earning a roster spot or a starting role, the Titans’ regular starters will use tonight’s game as a way to tune-up for the regular season.

Starters have played only in the first half through the first three preseason games, but tonight, most of the starting unit will go in at halftime and come back out to work a series or two in the third quarter to acclimate themselves to doing so in the regular season.

“We’re just going to try to go in and fine tune,” linebacker Keith Bulluck said. “This is like the dress rehearsal before the first game. Anything that I feel I need to go out there and work on, I’ll go out there and work on and get my teammates on the same page, so what when we get ready to go out there against Jacksonville we’ll be in first or second gear already.”

The Titans’ defense has played well for most of the three games, and the offense, which was behind a bit in the first two weeks, made strides last week in the 28-17 victory at Buffalo.

Bulluck wants the Titans to develop some carryover from the preseason to the regular season with a good outing tonight.

“We’ve been playing solidly on defense,” Bulluck said. “We’ve been giving up some big plays here and there. The d-line has been playing great. The offense has been moving the ball, so all the stuff we’ve been doing in practice has been carrying over into the games, so we’re definitely looking for it to carry over into the season.”

Offensively, Titans fans will get their first home look this season at Vince Young. He sat out the preseason opener against Washington because of a curfew violation, but started at quarterback the past two games on the road.

Young struggled against New England, completing just 5 of 17 passes for 102 yards, but was much improved against the Bills, hitting on 13 of 19 throws for 162 yards and a touchdown.

“We just need to continue to get better from a whole offensive standpoint,” Young said of tonight’s game.

In terms of position battles, the Titans have a number of areas where they must decide how many players to keep and who should start. That includes wide receiver where players like Courtney Roby, Justin Gage, Biren Ealy and Joel Filani are battling for one or perhaps two spots.

In the secondary, cornerback Cortland Finnegan and safety Calvin Lowry are expected to get final first-team auditions as they compete against Michael Griffin and Lamont Thompson, respectively, for starting roles.

Elsewhere, the middle linebacker battle between Ryan Fowler and Stephen Tulloch must also be finalized, as well as backups across the board.

Also of note, the Titans hope to get newly signed defensive tackle Corey Simon into action to see how quickly he might be able to help them after more than a year away from the game.

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By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Tonight we get it fine tuned and get ready for jacksonville!

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 7:00

What a senseless game tonight will be. I doubt very seriously if you’ll see any of the Packers first string for that long, so our guys will be “fine-tuning” against backups.

By: GMONEY on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Backups or not, they have to execute tonight and get ready. Who cares what the Packers do? gdiafante is another idiot fan that will find something to complain about.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

GMONEY, actually gdiafante is a quality poster, I do agree though that no matter if the packers backups are in or not, working on timing routes is still very important. We have competition at a lot of positions so it should be interesting.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 7:00

You're not to bright Gmoney. I'm not complaining, I could care less. The Titans aren't my team. But, if any of the starters get hurt, please feel free to complain to your tiny little minds content.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I appreciate your sentiment Titan1. Personally, I dread the preseason every year. It's just four more chances for season-ending injuries. Especially the last game, which is mostly for the final position battles, not the starters.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I would rather not have any preseason games, everyone would be still be starting on equal ground. But since we do, I like taking some "mo" into the regular season, but without any injuries.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Ok Titan, last preseason game, time for predictions. Who do you see winning the AFC/NFC?My predictions: Chargers and Bears/Cowboys/Saints (the NFC is far inferior and a hot player or key injury could put any of those teams in the Super Bowl).

By: Gusdog on 12/31/69 at 7:00

gdiafante - while I agree with you that the game is meaningless, I don't think it's wise to go into the season opener with your starters not playing significant minutes in over two weeks. I understand why they want to play most of the starters at least half of the game. But yeah, there will be a lot of complainers if anyone gets hurt.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Colts or Chargers in the AFCBears or Seahawks in NFC. I tink my Titans will finish second in the AFC South and get a wild card, if they can stay healthy and that would be a big improvment.