Buck Reising, Tennessee Titans reporter and host of Tackling Music City, provides three observations from the team’s 13-3 preseason loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Rejoice! The 2018 preseason is mercifully over for the Tennessee Titans (0-4). How did the third and fourth teamers fair in their final attempts to make the 53-man roster? Here are three items of note:
- Winless Preseason
- Tennessee dropped each of it’s four preseason contests in Mike Vrabel’s first year as a head coach. Does it mean anything? Unlikely considering that the 0-16 Browns were a perfect 4-0 in August before the games that actually mattered.
- “There were glimpses of football, I think, at times,” Vrabel said when asked whether he felt like his team accomplished what they were looking for in the preseason despite the final margins. “I think the consistency is something that I’m really try to harp on and that we need to improve on and that starts with me. Just being consistent in the way we practice, consistent in our execution. Because you have to do this thing over the course of four quarters and over the course of 16 games to really have success. You can’t be up and down one week and, maybe, play a good quarter and then play a bad quarter. I think the consistency is something that we’ll continue to harp on.”
- Bubble Watch Standouts
- Rosters across the NFL will need to be trimmed from 90 to 53 players come 3 p.m. CT on Sept. 1. And, while the quality of play in Thursday night’s loss was less than ideal, a few Titans preformed admirably in their attempts to make the final cut. Defensive lineman Julius Warmsley and cornerback Kenneth Durden separated themselves from the pack against Minnesota.
- Warmsley displayed great effore to track down Roc Thomas on a screen play before the running back had a chance to cut it back and break it for a big gain and a first down.
- “Great effort, chasing down,” said Vrabel. “We’ve talked about him, and he does everything he’s capable of doing effort-wise. (GM) Jon (Robinson) and I will get together and make decisions on where we go with the roster, but he competes every day. I noticed that play, too. He came and chased the guy down and had a good rush on the quarterback.”
- Durden, for his part, has shown up often since being picked up by the team on Aug. 11. The corner broke up two passes against the Vikings and has been getting regular work with the second team defense. Tennessee is particularly deep at corner but Durden looks like a shoe-in to fill the fifth slot on the depth chart at the position.
- “I believe I left everything out there tonight,” said Durden. “The last couple games that I played in, I left it all out on the field and just let the film speak for itself.”
- The Falk Show
- The Titans sat 39(!) players against Minnesota, including starting quarterback Marcus Mariota and back-up Blaine Gabbert. Sixth-round rookie Luke Falk played the entirety of the 60 minutes and the offensive output suffered for it.
- Falk completed 13 of his 24 passes for 114 yards and put his team in position for a Ryan Succop field goal in the first quarter but was scatter-shot, at best, when it came to his accuracy. In Falk’s defense, he was sacked four times, was knocked down a total of 11 times by Viking defenders and was often under duress.
- “I think (Devin Ross) Rossy had him over the top and we just missed it,” said Vrabel of Falk at halftime. “We’re going to hit some more passes downfield. I think he’s done a great job in and out of the huddle, controlling it and getting us in the right play. We have to execute better. We can’t give up pressure. We can’t let these guys inside the pocket.”