Both players have looked good in the preseason. The Titans drafted Henry with the intention of using him as a rookie, so we're expecting a fairly run-heavy game plan, at least until the Titans fall behind. Henry has a lot of upside as an attrition play if anything were to happen to Murray.
In seven possessions, the starters have produced two field goals. Carr has completed 60 percent of his passes, but for only 82 yards.
"I joke around a lot," Carr said. "Sometimes people are going to be mad at me for certain things in the preseason."
Carr is a risk-taker by nature, but particularly in the preseason. Take his interception in last week's game against the Green Bay Packers, for example. His deep shot to Amari Cooper was a 50-50 proposition at best that Packers cornerback Josh Hawkins came down with.
Carr is ranked 14th on our list and has a pair of good receivers in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree and an emerging tight end in Clive Walford. The downfall to Carr is the Raiders invested in defense in the offseason so they may not have to throw as much. Still, Carr is worth considering as a second QB if your league requires that, and ranks ahead of guys like Matthew Stafford, Andy Dalton and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016, 6:09pm
Titans tight end Craig Stevens has decided to retire, a source confirmed to The Tennessean on Tuesday, less than three weeks before the start of the regular season.
Stevens, considered one of the NFL’s top blocking tight ends, was excused from the team’s last two practices for personal reasons. His decision took the Titans and his former teammates by surprise. The team has not yet confirmed the retirement.
The Tennessee Titans didn't have a single wideout catch more than 36 passes a year ago. We don't expect that to be the case in 2016.
Rookie receiver Tajae Sharpe put on another show in Saturday's 26-16 preseason loss to the Panthers, hauling in six passes for 68 yards as a consistent go-to target for quarterback Marcus Mariota. Sharpe now has a team-leading eight catches for 103 yards over two tilts.
"He makes it easy," Mariota said of Sharpe, per the team's official website. "He is a very versatile athlete, and he's done a lot for us already. He creates separation in and out of his routes and we are going to continue to expect these kinds of things out of him."
Sharpe has been all over our news feed throughout much of this camp. The fifth-rounder out of the University of Massachusetts has developed quickly enough to displace the streaky Justin Hunter and allow the Titans to deep-six the Dorial Green-Beckham experiment. Something to keep in mind, which the story also added, is teams aren't going out of there way to try and take Sharpe out of the game and he's no longer a secret. Still, he's projected to start on the outside opposite Rishard Matthews with Kendall Wright in the slot.
Monday, August 22, 2016, 9:07am
Week 2 of the preseason was an entirely different story. Saturday afternoon, Tennessee ran for only 96 yards, and RB Derrick Henry’s five rushes amounted to 31 yards.
“I still think he ran the ball with some power,” coach Mike Mularkey said. “I saw piles moving.”
“I thought they were a real test,” Henry said.
Henry’s longest run of the game was a 13-yard play up the middle on a first-and-5 at the start of the third quarter. He remains an interesting fantasy option behind DeMarco Murray, who struggled last year after a 392-carry year in 2014.
It wouldn't be a surprise to see the Patriots add a big, young running back to the mix, but they may want to wait until other teams trim their rosters. The Chiefs and Titans, for example, have several young running backs that are in danger of not making the 53-man roster.
The story was about the team possibly picking up recently-released Bills RB Karlos Williams. However Williams was passed by other Bills RBs on the depth chart and remains out of shape despite an impressive rookie season last year. However, the Pats are probably seeing the last year of RB LeGarrette Blount, so Williams could at least be a project guy for the future.
Trailing 10-0, the Titans got the ball for the third time and went no-huddle. It sparked the most efficient play from the first-team offense: a nine-play, 81-yard touchdown drive that culminated with a pretty touchdown throw and catch in the second quarter of a 26-16 loss.
Mariota faked a handoff, rolled right and threw on the move to Harry Douglas, who was heading for the right sideline beyond the pylon in the end zone. He caught it with safety Kurt Coleman in pursuit.
A week earlier, the Titans had success with the no-huddle against San Diego. They used it on their third possession, when Mariota made a good call at the line and adjusted the blocking assignment for Douglas and watched Murray take a handoff 71 yards for a score. Mariota said the offense seems comfortable running it, but for now it's going to remain a change of pace option rather than something the team uses all the time.
So which receiver – or receivers – might benefit from Green-Beckham’s departure, keeping in mind the Titans are not likely to keep five on the final roster?
As for the veterans, it clears more room for guys like 31-year-old Harry Douglas and 35-year-old Andre Johnson. It seemed unlikely the Titans would keep both veterans – and that still may be the case – but it’s easier to make a case for that happening now.
The DGB trade could also breathe new life into Justin Hunter, a 2013 second-round pick who – like DGB – has suffered from inconsistency. Another player who benefits is Tre McBride, the second-year player out of William & Mary who spent last season on the practice squad. He wasn’t receiving much attention at the start of camp, but has come on strong over the last few weeks.
From the Eagles side, one thing was pretty obvious in their first preseason game - they need WR help and Beckham has a chance to step right in and be an outside option, complimenting Jordan Matthews who plays the slot. Nelson Agholor wasn't impressive and Rueben Randle looked lackluster at best, so the door is open for a fresh start for Beckham. Beckham struggled his rookie season but did average 17.2 yards per catch with four TDs and had a solid points per target (1.18). However, he was again having a rough camp with the Titans and wasn't projected as a top-three WR, falling behind Tajae Sharpe for an outside spot opposite Rishard Matthews. He was recently singled out for running a bad route in the Titans perseason game which led to a Matt Cassel INT, so he was clearly in the Mike Mularkey doghouse. For the Titans, it's not a big return, but it opens the door for Sharpe to start on the outside with Kendall Wright in the slot. Sharpe's stock and ranking should climb with this news.
Creating a tough-guy mentality on offense was one of the goals for Ken Whisenhunt when he rejoined the San Diego Chargers as the team’s offensive coordinator.
Whisenhunt sought a more physical attitude running the football after San Diego averaged a league-worst 3.5 yards per carry last season. It’s one of the reasons the Chargers signed center Matt Slauson in free agency, who has added toughness to the group up front.
Chargers head coach Mike McCoy made running the football a point of emphasis in his team’s first preseason game against the Tennessee Titans.
Mission accomplished, as the Chargers finished with 115 rushing yards on 26 carries, averaging 4.4 yards per carry.
The story said all five starters on the O-line have been together for a good part of the offseason, which is a big help. Whisenhunt said he’s liked what he’s seen so far from Melvin Gordon. When Whisenhunt served as the offensive coordinator in 2013, Ryan Mathews had his best year as a pro, finishing with 1,255 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Whisenhunt believes that Gordon could have a similar season for the Chargers this year, according to the story. Obviously this is good news for potential Gordon owners who should be able to grab the back around the seventh round.
"He is doing well. He should practice (Monday)," Titans coach Mike Mularkey said Sunday afternoon. "We did a full evaluation of him and he had no symptoms today and should practice (Monday) night."
Sharpe had two catches for 35 yards, including a 31-yard reception from Marcus Mariota deep down the left sideline on the second play of the game. He was removed shortly thereafter and evaluated for a concussion. He has a chance to be an outside WR on the Titans according to reports we've seen through camp. Rishard Matthews would be the other outside WR with Kendall Wright in the slot.
There was little doubt about Derrick Henry's power coming out of Alabama, as the 6-foot-3, 247-pound running back repeatedly barreled through defenders last season en route to piling up 2,219 yards and winning the Heisman Trophy.
But was he elusive?
That was one of the few questions asked about Henry after the Titans selected him in the second round of the draft.
In the Titans’ 27-10 preseason win over the Chargers on Saturday night, Henry showed that he wasn’t only about running North-South, but that he also had the ability — and the footwork — necessary to elude defenders.
“He made a lot of those — a lot of those runs,” Titans coach Mike Mularkey said. “It was nice to see he had the ability to jump-cut and make things happen outside and really outrun defenders.
Henry wound up rushing 10 times for 74 yards and a touchdown. Much of that yardage — perhaps all of it — came against San Diego’s second-team defense, but that didn’t concern Mularkey, the story said. Henry seems like the option to own behind DeMarco Murray, but Henry currently has an ADP of the ninth round which isn't a cheap price to pay.
Every date of note has been set up as a hurdle for Titans WR Tajae Sharpe to come back to earth. The start of camp. The first day in pads. The scrimmage situation at the stadium. Sharpe hasn’t flinched yet.
He doesn’t run away from people, but he gets open enough, gets to the right spot and doesn’t drop passes.
“We’re basically just hoping once he gets into the game, all the stuff we’ve been doing, it just flows,” offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie said. “The biggest thing for us is to just get him in the game and he doesn’t have to stand there and think; he just plays. When they blow the whistle and the game kicks off, hopefully he can just go play, just go play, just go play. We’re hoping we can get it all going, we’re hoping it’ll happen.”
Based on an ESPN article from earlier this month, Sharpe will play the outside opposite of Rishard Matthews with Kendell Wright in the slot. Dorial Green-Beckham continues to struggle which has opened the door for Sharpe. While nothing is set in stone quite yet, this is something to watch when the Titans play Saturday night.
Derrick Henry really made his mark when the Titans scrimmage started. He was one of the offense’s biggest stars on Monday night, displaying the same bruising running style and nifty moves he did while leading Alabama to another national championship.
Henry got plenty of work last night behind running back DeMarco Murray.
“He’s a stud. He’s a stud,’’ Titans linebacker Brian Orakpo said of Henry. “He’s definitely going to continue to get better. He has a few things to work on as far as keeping his pads down low when he gets down to the goal-line and things like that, but overall the guy is going to be a stud in this league."
Murray is no sure thing fantasy-wise after the Titans traded for him from the Eagles after an unimpressive year in 2015. Murray was coming off a 392-carry season in 2014 with the Cowboys and some speculated he may not be the same after that large of a workload. Chip Kelly's system didn't really fit Murray's running style and that's what the Titans are banking on in 2016. However, Henry is next in line if Murray does show signs of slowing down.
Dorial Green-Beckham flashes and fades, flashes and fades.
How does a still-raw receiver such as Green-Beckham learn to not allow it to happen?
"That's spending extra time when nobody is watching," Mularkey said. "That's doing things when nobody is watching. That's in the classroom. I think it's just putting the work in without being directed by anybody. Doing it yourself."
I asked if Mularkey was suggesting DGB is not doing those things.
"I would do it more," he said. "I mean he does do it. I would do it more."
The author went on to say he can't imagine a WR with the size and athleticism of DGB doesn't make the team, but he's going to have to start putting in the work and earning the trust of the coaches and quarterback. It appears rookie Tajae Sharpe and Rishard Matthews are running ahead of Green-Beckham, according to the story.
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