Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Thoughts from Titans vs Lions - Defense
In order to properly look at the defense from this game you have to consider the Titans defense was on the field way too long. Certainly the Titans offense scored a lot of points but the final tally includes two touchdowns from the defense.We have to get some semblance of a running game in order to give the defense more of a breather especially in these close hard fought games.
Let me begin by saying I really don't understand some of the decisions our coaching staff makes. I fail to understand why we give TONS of repetitions and gameplay to two guys at positions in camp and preseason on the defense and then we don't even play them there and yes I'm talking about Tommie Campbell and Pannell Egboh. To make matters worse we end up releasing Egboh after giving him all those snaps and playing time! Inconceivable.
Our defensive line isn't getting a lot of sacks but I think their play is better than advertised. This is particularly true when you consider we have NO defensive end rotation. I do not have access to snap count but our starting ends Derrick Morgan and Kamerion Wimbley play the majority of the snaps. However, one thing is interesting to me and that is that our defensive ends primarily seem to use a 4 point stance. I am going to keep an eye on this and watch because it does seem to me that Wimbley gets off the snap a tad bit quicker when he is in a 3 point stance. I rarely ever seen Morgan use it. Major shoutout to both our starting defensive ends for carrying a very heavy load and still balling out. Salute!!
I really love our defensive tackles and I think Mike Martin gets better every single snap. Still, Karl Klug is absolutely getting screwed and it makes me sick. One interesting thing I noticed is that we started the game with Casey at right DT and Marks at left DT. We did it again a few more times I hope we see it again. It's a nice changeup and seems to be pretty effective.
Will Witherspoon had a better outing at middle linebacker this week than he did at San Diego but we are missing Colin McCarthy. McCarthy is a big part of our run defense and is simply a ball hawk. The Titans defense is just not the same without him. Akeem Ayers is another guy who just gets better every single game. He has a sack, one tackle for a loss and ended the day with 16 tackles (10 solo). We are watching him grow up and possibly seeing a future superstar in the making and boy is it fun to watch. Zach Brown played pretty well for a rookie.
Jordan Babineaux is a better safety than Robert Johnson and it isn't even close. I fail to see how this coaching staff thinks that Johnson should start. Babineaux is also a guy who runs to the ball no matter what and he is one of the hardest players on special teams. Major salute to him for being such a good player and setting such a good example for other guys. Michael Griffin continues to be a bit of an enigma. He played much better in the first half than he did the second and overall has played pretty well this year. Still, you would like to see more from him and hopefully we will.
Alterraun Verner had a really nice game with an interception and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Jason McCourty continues to be a solid guy. I really like Ryan Mouton and have been pulling for him but at this point I just can't see why he is playing nickel. The coaching decisions are really starting to be head scratchers. Put Tommie Campbell in there let him play either the nickel or cornerback and move Verner to nickel when in that package. Another option would be to use Coty Sensabaugh in that fashion. Sensabaugh was really good in limited action against the Lions and clearly deserves more playing time.
I know a lot of people who think the defense didn't play that well but when you consider the time they spent on the field I think you have to consider how different things are from a couple of seasons ago. We are clearly a much better defense now than we have been in a while. Detroit had the ball 40:36 while the Titans had the ball 27:49. I will look at the offensive stats in another post but the running game has to do better. We must be more balanced and if we are the defensive numbers in my opinion will improve.