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.