Titans head coach hopes to calm rookies’ nerves before first NFL preseason game against Jets.
George Walker IV/ USA Today Network – Tennessee
Five observations from the Titans’ 7-3 preseason opening loss against the Jets on Saturday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Mariota absorbs first hit since breaking leg
Marcus Mariota played just two series in his return from a broken right leg, with both resulting in punts. The franchise quarterback took a sack from Leonard Williams and popped right back up. Mariota rolled to his right and hit Rishard Matthews for a 15-yard gain on the Titans’ first play. He completed 2 of 3 pass attempts for 15 yards and a 78.5 passer rating. He also scrambled for 6 yards. A third-down completion to Delanie Walker was wiped out by an offensive pass interference call against Eric Decker.
Logan Ryan burned deep
The Titans are going to need better performances from Logan Ryan, their biggest free agent acquisition, who was burned on the Jets’ first possession by undrafted second-year pro Robby Anderson. Anderson hauled in a 53-yard pass from Josh McCown before Kevin Byard made the tackle at the 2. Charone Peake caught a 4-yard touchdown pass to give the Jets a 7-0 lead. LeShaun Sims started on the outside, opposite Ryan, with Brice McCain in the slot.
The Titans returned all five starters from an offensive line that rated among the best in the NFL last season. But protection was an issue all night long. Mariota took an early sack and Alex Tanney was hit often. The Jets racked up eight sacks, 11 quarterback hits, and forced Tanney to fumble.
Rookies of the night
Fifth-round rookie inside linebacker Jayon Brown contributed a team-high four solo tackles in the first half, including a couple of great plays in the open field. The tally also included Brown dropping Romar Morris for a loss of 2 yards late in the second quarter. Third-round rookie receiver Taywan Taylor had three catches for 50 yards, including a 42-yard gain on a deep pass from Tanney. It was originally ruled a 67-yard touchdown, but Taylor was ruled down on review.
Josh Kline gets work at center
Starting right guard Josh Kline replaced Ben Jones at center, with Tanney at quarterback in the second quarter. Undrafted second-year pro Tyler Marz replaced Kline at right guard, with the three other regular starters — Taylor Lewan, Jack Conklin and Quinton Spain — still out there. It was surprising to see Marz get the call there instead of Tim Lelito.
Titans open practice schedule
Monday 6:55 – 8:55 p.m.
Wednesday 9:15 – 11:30 a.m. (with Carolina)
Thursday 9:15 – 11:30 a.m. (with Carolina)