|QB play not very impressive without Vince Young|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 12 August 2007 12:42|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -Coach Jeff Fisher insists he was just enforcing the rules. He wasn't sending a message that no one, not even Vince Young, is above them.|
Benching Young did prove how much the Titans need their quarterback on the field, not the sidelines.
With Young punished for missing curfew, the Titans struggled to move the ball in the exhibition opener against Washington. They went three-and-out twice and got inside the Redskins 20 once before settling for a field goal that was wide right.
The only good thing was a 6-0 lead that disappeared when the Redskins scored twice in the final 74 seconds to pull out a 14-6 victory Saturday night.
Fisher said Sunday that Young will start Friday night at New England but won't play any more snaps than previously planned.
``He had a number of starts last year and won some games for us. Really improved,'' Fisher said. ``The disappointing thing for me is he didn't get to play. He's fine, believe me. We don't need to discuss it anymore. He'll be here in the morning, and we're moving on.''
This is the second straight season Fisher has benched a player for the exhibition opener for violating team rules. Last year, it was rookie running back LenDale White for spitting on a teammate in practice.
Young missed the team flight to Philadelphia last November, caught another flight, made curfew and started the next day in a game the Titans won.
This time, Kerry Collins started and played the first half. The Titans led 3-0 at halftime, which would have been 6-0 if not for rookie John Vaughn's missed 27-yard field goal attempt.
The Titans held the ball for more than 15 minutes and rolled up 117 yards on six series. But they got inside the Washington 20 only once. That came on their best drive of the game, with Collins moving the Titans 54 yards over 14 plays before Vaughn's miss.
One time they went three-and-out, they should have gained a first down - except an official missed White being tackled by a defender who grabbed his face mask and yanked him down from the side. The Titans had to punt.
``There's benefits to preseason not only for us but for the officials,'' Fisher said. ``It's their first game back. There's going to be mistakes, and there were.''
The Redskins crowded eight defenders up to the line, and it worked in the first half. The Titans rushed 17 times for 38 yards, a paltry 2.2-yard average. Rookie Chris Henry fared better in the second half, rushing 12 times for 42 yards.
``We made a play, and then we would shoot ourselves in the foot,'' starting running back Chris Brown said. ``So we just have to put a whole drive together.''
Fisher said White likely will start at New England as the Titans rotate running backs. White had six carries for 12 yards, while Brown had nine carries for 19 yards.
``I'm not discouraged early in the game by no means. The numbers didn't reflect much production, but when you look at the tape ... we're doing different things other than what we did early against the defense,'' Fisher said.
Receiver Eric Moulds, signed just before camp opened, was disappointed at not having the chance to work with Young in a game. Fisher was asked if he was concerned that Young lost valuable playing time with his new receivers.
``No, that didn't factor into my decision. I imagine probably 55,000 people were disappointed he didn't play as well,'' Fisher said.
Having Young dressed wouldn't have helped at the end.
The Titans trailed 7-6 and got the ball back with 1:14 left with a chance to drive down and win the game. But rookie center Leroy Harris struggled with snapping out of the shotgun. The ball got by Tim Rattay and was recovered in the end zone for a Washington touchdown.
Harris, their fourth-round pick out of North Carolina State, has struggled snapping in practice.
``There's no better way to work through that than to put them in game situation,'' Fisher said. ``We're going to continue to work at that.''
50% Bonus for New Players
Are You Ready for Hoops?
Get Your Message In Front of
Thousands of Sports Fans Now
Live Odds, Scores, Injuries
And More - 14 Day Free Trial!
Easiest Time to Play is Now!
Nearly 66% Lifetime