Bri

Titans IDPs

199 posts in this topic

I thought I'd post some thoughts for you IDP fans

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Antwaun Woods is clearly the Titans best NT and got the start last night. He's been praised throughout camp and spring. He did well last summer and then was curiously put on the PS. He played excellent in week 17 and it was a big "where has he been all year" feeling watching him then. Regardless, he's been excellent so far and was disruptive last night too. He was named the starter late last week on the same day JRob was holding tennis racquets to obscure Mariota's vision. JRob was right there, so it's assumed he must have given his blessing. Casey called him a beast and unblockable. Mularkey seemed to praise him every day last week.

Sylvester Williams, the big free agent signing, hasn't done well. With the Broncos he was solid in 2015 and poor in 2016, so he was curiously paid a lot after a poor season. He played one snap while THREE others played nose and then he got into the game much much later. He is significantly far down the depth chart and/or Lebeau's confidence chart.

Angelo Brown was excellent against the 4th string Jets and has been beating up the Titans 3rd string in camp. He needs and deserves time against a higher group. When he gets that, then we'll know where he stands. If you google draft reviews of him, they are extremely favorable. He had an injury in 2015 and ....seriously can't understand how he went undrafted. He too is a beast.

Karl Klug is coming back from an achilles. He is playing in camp, but sat out last night. He's a fan favorite and coach's favorite. It is entirely possible Sylvester doesn't make it. His cap hit is somewhat tolerable if they cut him before week one. He becomes more expensive after that. Don't forget he's gotta make the team, without that it's signing bonuses and other stuff that could go against the cap. Too many people think players are expensive the moment they're signed, when truly it is after week 1.

The Titans have been worst, second worst, and second worst the last three years against runs up the middle. Opposing RBs averaged nearly 6 ypc each year. Beasts Woods and Brown are such a welcome sight.

Avery is a stud, but the other ILB could absolutely be a new player too. Nothing you know about Lebeau is that he's going to tolerate 6 ypc. 

Woodyard is/was a captain, but he was 2nd string behind Spence for six weeks last year. He had coverage issues and was a step slow(as most older LBs become) to the runner. It IS possible he is replaced but more likely he gets into a time-share with someone again.

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Aaron Wallace looked bigger and meaner last night, seriously. He was clearly given the freedom to be one of Lebeau's roaming LBers and he was excellent. When he was stuck in a traditional role later in the game, he was just OK. There was a noticeable drop off. 

Jayon Brown is fast. He's gonna make ya say 'look at him' when ya see him. He replaced Orakpo and hit receivers behind the LOS and RBs. He covered the TE a few times right away. Lebeau has had S covering the TE in his trickery type sets. I've actually been debating if he's technically a safety or LB when he's covering the TE. Last night, a Jets TE shifted to the backfield and Brown went way deep just like a S. The idea is to free up Byard to roam, they'll use Brown on the TEs this year. Byard is a budding star and he made a few plays last night too. This was the plan the Titans have spoken of and we saw it last night. As far as his coverage, I'd criticize Brown for not looking at the ball a couple times, while complimenting him for absolutely smothering the TE. He just blanketed them. ASF is a fine first test for a rook and Brown handled him well.

Both Brown and Wallace have played all four positions in camp. Brown did not play ILB last night. His college critique is that he can't shed blockers well, so I was anxious to see how he'd do at ILB. To reiterate, basically Wallace rocked as Avery and was meh as Woodyard. Wallace played Morgan's OLB spot once and got to the QB. 

These two played well and have a UCLA connection with the Titans OLB coach. Still though, the Titans only have one spot they could earn and that's Woodyard's. They ain't beating out Orakpo, Morgan, or Avery. The one spot where they have a shot at, Wallace was meh and Brown didn't play it. So this needs to be pushed off to "we'll see next week." All in all thoroughly impressed by the UCLA boys.

Dodd didn't play much (which is curious for a guy that needs experience) and put his hand in the dirt when he did. Walden played a good amount and largely put his hand in the dirt too.

Carraway looked just like he's been described. He has picked up coverage skills and is clearly more useful than Dodd and Walden. Carraway is a former college DE and can certainly put his hand in the dirt and get to the QB. Last night he was one of those impressive guys that doesn't make any plays. He held his spot against the run like a disciplined LB which shifted the runner inside. He blanketed the TE later in the game, so no pass was thrown. IDK if he even had a tackle, but I noticed him. In the post game presser, Mularkey singled him out too. For a first game ever at OLB, that was pretty impressive. I figure when he's comfy, he'll be even better. I think he's a lock for the PS and it also looks like he could bounce Dodd off the team. Carraway certainly throws a monkey wrench into the LB depth.

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Thanks for the info.  Any thoughts from anybody on Cyprien?  He was my top DB last year, but a change of teams/schemes etc., means question marks on whether or not to keep him at a high price.  

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Logan Ryan stunk last night. No nice way to put it. He got burned and then burned again and was pulled before he had a chance to get it right. He has been excellent and a superbly professional guy. His quotes are like they came out of some manual or somesuch. Anywho, he was bad.

Adoree didn't do anything noteworthy. He barely played the slot in college and played it for a few snaps last night then shifted outside. He got burned and was a step late. He has an incredible ability to use his athleticism and react to the ball. He can't use that in the slot. He's gotta adjust his game and the Titans have been working with him on that. I think he was out there for a return or two, but both teams punters stunk. They'd punt like 30 yards and the ST unit was already there when the PR caught it. They didn't have a chance at a return.

McCain played the slot and outside. He did fine, not impressive, but fine. Jets were busy picking on the other two so I wouldn't say he was tested much. Sims continues to blanket WRs. I'm not sure if the Jets passed toward him last night. 

Lebeau wants all of his corners to play all three roles and he wants to be able to switch them every play if he wants to. Sims doesn't do well in the slot. Otherwise, they have been doing this in camp and we saw it last night too. That makes it tricky for the QB and OC of the opposing team to plan on a matchup to exploit.

Byard was a step slow on a couple bombs and I'd give him an F as an outfielder. Otherwise he played very well as expected. He tackled well and even got into the backfield a few times. He looked like he did last year and the budding star he should become. He's gotta stop thinking on the bombs though. Just see it and start running, no pause to think.

Denzel Johnson, who played excellent in their scrimmage, went into the game and shut that stuff down. He looks like the backup FS and he was a highly rated UDFA when they signed him. He's made the switch from SS to FS just fine, he's even got some smack to him as a tackler. I like that with the deep routes. It's got an intimidation factor when the S does that.

Searcy played a lot last night and not with the ones much. He was the second SS and third FS, then something of the organizer/coach on the field for a bunch of the 2nd half. Cyprien seems to be the clear starter at SS although Searcy started in their scrimmage.

 

 

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The Titans have had this push toward DBs that can play both S and CB as depth. We totally saw that last night and it was extremely impressive.

Curtis Riley has improved dramatically. I had heard so but didn't believe it. He bulked up and now truly looks like a guy that has been in the last two camps with them. 

Kalan Reed is a zone corner but Lebeau prefers man to man. He was a pretty highly rated CB the Titans got curiously as Mr Irrelevant the year before. He had a nice summer last year, but struggled whenever they went man. Basically, he's great at reading and reacting, but following a WR he couldn't do. I thought "switch him to S" and the Titans have done that this offseason. He's been solid as a depth S in camp. Last night he played both CB and S very very well. Two or three times in the backfield and he laid some smack on the RB. The guy was also "150 pounds wet" and a noodle the year before. His bod looks more like an NFL player now. 

Jeremy Boykins was a former highly ranked HS recruit that kind of wallowed around in college, playing with his twin brother(Eagles) and didn't really make a name for himself. He can play S and CB. He's 6-1 to 6-3 depending where ya look. I mentioned the HS stuff because the athleticism is clearly there. Measurables wise, he's impressive and you can see why he was a four star recruit. Still though he did little in college. 

On two plays last night, you could totally see what Lebeau is "up to" with his backup DBs. Kalan Reed was over the slot while Boykins was behind him as a S, Reed shoved the slot WR out of the way, the WR came back to the ball and Reed nailed him. The two of them are seen debating, pointing, then on the other side of the field, Boykins is at CB and Reed is at S. The Jets through a quick WR screen and Boykins got there to break it up. 

The other Titans CBs that were signed as depth free agents can't play both. DJoun Smith and couple others. They've covered well in camp and got some praise, but Boykins, Reed, and Riley offer some clear flexibility with the roster spots and seem oh so useful right now. I'd keep them over the depth CBs. Back to Denzel, he's been impressive but he hasn't played CB like these guys. I wonder there. I don't think Johnson will clear waivers. He was too highly ranked of a UDFA and has gotten praised too much. I don't think they can successfully put Denzel on the PS

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12 minutes ago, worrierking said:

Thanks for the info.  Any thoughts from anybody on Cyprien?  He was my top DB last year, but a change of teams/schemes etc., means question marks on whether or not to keep him at a high price.  

He didn't play too much. They usually play a half in week two. He'll be roaming like Lake/Woodson/Polamalu so I wouldn't worry about stats for IDP at least initially. Remember, the knock on him is that he can't cover but is an absolute beast in the run game. As of now, he is pulled on 3rd for Jayon Brown. That could hurt his value for IDP. 

Taywan Taylor keeps burning him in camp, so I wouldn't say he's improving at coverage either. They're working on it, but as of now I wouldn't say it looks good. They also have DaNorris Searcy as the backup SS. He's been solid for them for years and Buffalo before. They'll have zero qualms of pulling Cyprien on third down when it's a likely passing situation as it usually is. 

I don't think he "gets it" but is instead a year long project for their DB coach. I would try and guess what his stats will be for first and second downs if I had him in IDP. 

The horrific Jets WRs destroyed the Titans secondary last night. Lebeau is going to blow them all up in the film room. If they had played well, maybe they could be tolerant of Cyprien learning. Since the unit stunk against bad WRs that they should have oWned, I don't see tolerance coming from Lebeau. I think Cyprien's gonna have to wait til next year or maybe he improves during the season. 

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The Titans played a whole lot of 4-3. Not maybe it's a 4-3 or Lebeau is up to something, but a crystal clear 4-3 where the DTs are to the side of the nose and the ends are opposite the Ts with their hands in the dirt. They switched from a 3-4 years ago so this was a whole 'what's going on' issue for me. I'll post screenshots in an article I'm writing later today. I'd guess 20-25 snaps in a 4-3. A real good amount in the first half and with the first and second DL.

The rest of the game was like last year 3-4, a 4-3 ish look but truly just a LB standing up, 5-2, and even sometimes where there were just two or three linemen. The rest of the game was typical Lebeau, but wow was the first half a shocker.

To start Antwaun Woods, Austin Johnson at end, and Casey at end. They were fine and all impressive. Casey got a penalty on a sack that had me crosseyed. I still don't know how he did something wrong there. Woods continued to be a beast, but he didn't play much. It was like "yep you look great, cmon out" as if he's some privileged star. He went back in later for a few short yardage plays, but yeah no doubt he rocks and they love the guy.

The 4-3 sets were interesting. DE Daquan Jones was as a DT and he did pretty well. Angelo Blackson did eh as a DT too. They shifted and they subbed. I still hate Johnson and Casey inside and that didn't change last night. They're so athletically marvelous it's absurd to put them inside. Johnson has been a NT in college, but since day one I've been saying he's a freak like Casey, put him at End. The Titans have done so. Last night he regularly got past the Jets starting T, but the T recovered in time. For a first game as an end, that's fine and impressive, but he's gotta finish it up. Sometimes, I could tell he was being mister discipline and redirecting the runner inside, but most of the time it was like he pulled up when he could have made a huge play. He's certainly someone to pickup in IDP. I do realize what I'm saying when I say he's an athletic freak like Casey and he is. No big man should be that fast and mobile. 

Blackson didn't do anything. He too was a college NT that was moved to end and now to this DT spot. He is so athletic he caught a TD pass in preseason once. He doesn't look it on the field though. He stands OL up and holds his ground. That's it. There's no moves and sometimes no effort to even get past the lineman. Spin, push him, swim, do something! Last night was like his whole career for me. Yeah he's athletic but who cares if he doesn't utilize it. 

Abdesmad went in for Johnson and Casey some. He is still a fine sub. He'll probably continue to be inactive/active each week because he's just too far down the depth chart, but that Canadian can really get after the QB. He's noticeably heftier/bigger and maybe that'll help him in the run game. He sat for a while then came back in like a whole half later. When he came back in, same thing, he got after the QB well. He'd be quite a player if he learned to play the run well and didn't get pushed around on those plays. 

Klug didn't play and Jones did NOT play DE. IDP folks gotta make a mental note of that. He had some snaps at NT and DT, not DE despite being the Titans starting DE the last two years. I'm telling ya, that's Johnson's job now.

The Titans have two excellent UDFAs in Angelo Brown(mentioned above) and DE Cameron Robbins. They both rocked against the Jets 4th and 5th string. I don't know if they can beat out guys ahead of them, but they are clearly better than where they rank against other teams units depth wise. Robbins played mostly DE but a bit of NT too. How good? The Jets ought to cut their 4th string C and LT. I don't know that either can clear waivers now.

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Thanks Bri...great stuff as always!

Edited by JoeSteeler
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A few things. I completely messed up on Kevin Dodd. He was in on 37 snaps. I had said how I saw him, he left, and then Carraway went back in. Dodd switched to playing a DE role and I apologize, I goofed here. IDK how it's possible but clearly I did.

Mularkey is always making (wha?) moves during camp. He benched Antwaun Woods to give Sylvester a chance against the Panthers this week. That makes no sense after praising him last week, saying he earned it, AND letting Woods play minimal like starters do. I don't like gifting positions or opportunity like that. Make Sylvester earn the spot from Antwaun, don't give him jack. I'm not concerned with this change. Woods and Brown are absolute beasts. Sylvester's play is nothing like them.

He also blamed Byard for a couple Logan Ryan bad plays. I didn't get that. The FS was help over the top. The CB ran alongside the WR and got burned. It was clearly man. No way that's on Byard, as he spoke.

Watching a second and third time, DaQuan Jones was bullied around at nose tackle, but when they did their 4-3ish set and put him in front of the guard, he was very effective. I don't know that he made many plays on a stat sheet, but he got good push and battled really well. A DT that can knock his guy back a step and hold him there is useful.  (He did play end a little bit, I did catch that the 2nd time. He was like last year, very unexciting. ) 

 

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I watched the game two more times. (As I stated in the Titans thread) I was dead wrong on Dodd. He came out, but went over to the other side a play later. He played 37 snaps. He didn't cover much at all. Mostly with his hand in the dirt or standing at the LOS. 

Jones had 4 snaps at DE that I counted, rest was Johnson and it still seems like Johnson's job to lose. 

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Thanks for the in depth notes. It sounds like there will be some fantasy gold for DT-required leagues if this front is a 4-3. 

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On 8/18/2017 at 8:27 AM, Flying Elvis said:

Thanks for the in depth notes. It sounds like there will be some fantasy gold for DT-required leagues if this front is a 4-3. 

It wasn't this week. Last week it wasn't predictable either. Lebeau has put one LB with both hands down plenty of times. It was just he seemed to fall in love with this last week and he started having them NOT lineup opposite the C but in the gaps. 

This week was more of his 3-4 and 5-3 look that we're accustomed to. The outside linemen may or may not have their hand in the dirt so it's almost opinion whether they are linemen then. 5 guys on the line and rushing in, call em' what ya want.

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I didn't notice Denzel this week, but it is hard to see the deep safety with camera angles sometimes. Searcy was deep if Byard was roaming. That was new and he wasn't supposed to be doing that this year. Cyprien played a bunch, but I felt like he rushed around the left tackle on half of his snaps. For a short time, I didn't get to gauge Cyprien.

Brown was blockable by a FB, as was Wallace. The Panthers adjusted and those two struggled to shed the FB.

Wallace should have had two sacks as a standup end. He didn't wrap up on one, the other he got.

Kalan Reed and Jeremy Boykins played well, struggled, then recovered very nicely. If they can finagle two spots for them, I think they make it. The Panthers caught Reed sleeping with less than a minute left, he made a play on the next pass though so....just a dopey young mistake. Game wasn't over.

Logan Ryan slapped a fumble free and Adoree picked it up. A couple times, Adoree was able to stop and reach back to slap a ball away. He does this often and ya gotta see it. His momentum is going forward but somehow he can reach back and in front of the WR to deflect it. It doesn't "sound" special, but....when ya see it.

Sims was sharp again. He isn't losing that starting spot as long as he is shutting down starting WRs and/or keeping them to low #s. I know we all projected Jackson there, but that's not happening.

McCain seems fine in the slot but is getting burned outside. And that is the common critique of him, for his career, too. I would moreso envision Ryan and Jackson flip flopping who is on the slot and the other outside spot with McCain going to the bench. Sims stinks in the slot, so he's not moving.

Williams was terrible this week. Woods played a bit and even had a snap at DE. It looked so odd to see his big bod at end, but the Panthers were clearly showing a run in that direction. DeAngelo Brown was good again. He got pushed into the DE and fought back, pushing the DE in the back, propelling him toward the QB for a sack. I love the fight in that third stringer. I totally would be fine with Woods at NT and Brown as his backup. 

Mehdi, speedy canadian, kept getting ridden well past the QB by the T. They're aware of him I guess. Cameron Robbins has two solid weeks. Solid is just fine for a DE. 

Twice, I noticed one down lineman and I think four times there was just two down linemen. Lebeau likes his new depth at LB and that seems to be his 3rd and long D. It's one or two guys down and a gang of guys a foot behind them. Are they rushing? Covering? I swear I can hear Lebeau giggling when they line up like that. 

CMC was fantastic and right up the gut where I said the Titans were weak last year. Along with Williams, I expect the ILBs to hear about his running plays on Monday. They didn't even touch him on 3-4 runs and we don't need the safety getting him well downfield. I was looking for Avery who wasn't in. I'm not sure who the ILBs were then, but they were toast.

 

 

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Tajae Sharpe was brought off of PUP and the Titans cut Mehdi to make room. I was surprised by that. He'll sign elsewhere or get a tryout or whatnot. He only gets after the QB well, but that has some value.

PK quoted Sylvester saying that the other NTs deserve Mularkey's praise and I(Williams) need to prove myself.

Yesterday, Mularkey said they will not keep three NTs. He was asked and his answer was pssh like no way.

PK thinks Sylvester makes it. I do not.

I have asked of this "guarantee" http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/tennessee-titans/sylvester-williams-12308/ and been told it's only if he makes the roster. The word guarantee is too strong there and not what ya think. Others say he's locked in.

I see it as cutting him costs them 1mil, his signing bonus. When he is on the week 1 roster, then he costs them 7mil.

I just don't see how ya pay a guy 7 mil that is getting beaten out by two UDFAs

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13 minutes ago, Bri said:

Tajae Sharpe was brought off of PUP and the Titans cut Mehdi to make room. I was surprised by that. He'll sign elsewhere or get a tryout or whatnot. He only gets after the QB well, but that has some value.

PK quoted Sylvester saying that the other NTs deserve Mularkey's praise and I(Williams) need to prove myself.

Yesterday, Mularkey said they will not keep three NTs. He was asked and his answer was pssh like no way.

PK thinks Sylvester makes it. I do not.

I have asked of this "guarantee" http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/tennessee-titans/sylvester-williams-12308/ and been told it's only if he makes the roster. The word guarantee is too strong there and not what ya think. Others say he's locked in.

I see it as cutting him costs them 1mil, his signing bonus. When he is on the week 1 roster, then he costs them 7mil.

I just don't see how ya pay a guy 7 mil that is getting beaten out by two UDFAs

Contract Notes:

$7M fully guaranteed at signing (signing bonus + 2017 salary + 2017 roster bonus)

$2.5M of 2018 salary fully guarantees in March 2018

2017 Roster Bonus: $2M (guaranteed)

Looks like it's locked in.  His signing bonus of $3M has already been paid and roster bonus has probably already been paid, those are usually doled out in June or so.  They are just a way to get around spreading the signing bonus over multiple years but still give the player "now money".

edit:  The $1M Signing Bonus you are seeing for 2017 is just this year's pro-rate of the $3M he got.  They spread that evenly over the three years of the contract. 

Edited by Hankmoody

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So you think he will cost them 3 mil to cut?

If I understand you, 3 mil to cut and they do owe him 5 if he makes the roster BUT only 1 of that 3 will go against the cap this year.

Another point is this air that they have to spend a ton of money on their quality young talent. As such, they have to be careful with the other contracts. Cutting Williams and taking on the chin this year seems to fall in line with this too. 

The Titans are well under the cap and have been for years, but Mariota, Conklin, Lewan, Spain, Avery, and Byard are gonna scoop up all of that. 

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They paid him $3M in signing bonus.  $1M counts against the cap each of the next three years.

They guaranteed him his 2017 $2M roster bonus - it may have already been paid but it's guaranteed either way.

They guaranteed him his 2017 salary of $2M

That's a $7M cap hit if they cut him.  He's currently only counting $5M against the cap so they would take an additional $2M cap hit.   They would also have to write him a check for whatever $ they guaranteed him but have not yet paid, so $2M or $4M depending on the status of the Roster Bonus.

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Mularkey went from praising Austin Johnson's development one day to watching the tape of practice and doing it again the next. He keeps saying how he plays with violence. It's funny how much I like that word to describe a DE. 

FBGs and some sites still list him as a backup NT. He is absolutely not. He's still battling Jones for his DE spot and it seems he's got a clear edge now. He has to not mess it up these next two weeks and then I think the job is his.

The Titans have never had a decent DE opposite Casey. They've put Orakpo at the line to give them a pass rushing presence opposite him. If Johnson can play as well in the regular season, this is a very big deal for this defense. 

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You think there is enough there to roster Jayon Brown on a PS?  I know he's smallish but that doesn't affect my judgment on LBs.  Does he have enough chops that he looks like he'll be more than a D down&distance/ST guy?  When I hear that he can't disengage from a FB that concerns me.  O linemen will lock onto him and maul him in an every down scenario if that's the case.

 

.

Edited by Bronco Billy

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5 hours ago, Bronco Billy said:

You think there is enough there to roster Jayon Brown on a PS?  I know he's smallish but that doesn't affect my judgment on LBs.  Does he have enough chops that he looks like he'll be more than a D down&distance/ST guy?  When I hear that he can't disengage from a FB that concerns me.  O linemen will lock onto him and maul him in an every down scenario if that's the case.

 

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He is making the roster and going to be playing, no doubt. He makes stuff happen and is really active running around everywhere. His speed is surprising too.

I do think he's a part time player. No matter how good he looks, he's not beating out Orakpo or Morgan. He is better in coverage but some coverage downs they blitz those two. His spot should be ILB but Woodyard has a tentative hold. Aaron Wallace has looked real good too. The two UCLA guys look so good it's really difficult to predict how much they'll play, ya just know they are definitely getting in.

Brown's college play was real good. IIRC he replaced Myles Jack and many were impressed. His issue was shedding blocks though. The Titans corrected some issues with him in the spring and complimented him on how coachable he was. He had no issues shedding blocks in camp, but then Carolina's FB brought the issue up again. I think you can have some confidence that the Titans are aware and have coached him through it, but your concern is proper because he's not over it completely yet.

For deep IDP I would definitely roster Brown and Wallace. As long as it's a deep roster and you can wait N see, they are that type of FF player. They've shown they can produce, ya just gotta wait and see what the coaches do. On the other side, Morgan and Orakpo are not young. The future looks good for them.

In 2017, Brown might get you a big play like an INT or FR but if he's not in regularly then he won't get the total stats to use him on your FF team.

Wallace I'm hesitant on but he could very well play enough to get you those stats. As an ILB, he usually looks tough. Woodyard getting run over and throwing in the tough guy seems like a nice option. Wallace is in on all of their 1 and 2 down lineman sets they use on 3rd and long. He did the roamer Polamalu role for a quarter or so and did very well. Wallace has done enough well that he can spell pretty much anyone and get snaps. 

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Wallace earned a day off

Kudos to the young player on that. Only veterans get that privilege

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Mularkey played many players at NT today. During the presser, he said he was trying different players to see what works best. They all stunk, but Jones was the best of that group.

Woods came in late and had the beastliest of beast plays. He pushed two Bear linemen backwards and to the right. When he got near the RB, he jumped on top of him. After the game Mularkey praised Woods and said he was limiting his snaps as he does with Morgan, Orakpo, Casey etc. Mularkey is STILL wishy washy with giving the job to Woods. It's frustrating.

Sylvester Williams stunk, got pulled, went back in, and stunk again. The Bears pushed him back a few feet on a passing down. He landed on his feet and was like "heh oh well" and ran after the RB. It was so odd.
DeAngelo Brown was double-teamed on every snap he was in on late. He didn't allow a RB by him, but didn't get any stats either. 

Carraway was impressive and he played a ton today. He was in with every group including the 1s. He's intelligent and you can just tell he's thinking out there. He allowed two passes to the TE but he absolutely smothered the TEs and it was one of those times where ya say "there's nothing more we could do." 

Dodd was either at the LOS standing up or with his hands in the dirt. I never noticed him off the LOS as a traditional OLB. He overran the play sometimes and made a decent rush some others. The RT spun him in a complete circle once. The inexperienced DE can not do anything but chase the QB. As an OLB, this has not changed. He can't cover and can't hold his ground on running plays.

Riley sat

Kalan Reed wasn't so good today. In a game where many stunk, he wasn't as bad as other stinkers.

Trawick did well tackling as a FS but didn't do well against the pass as an outfielder.

Denzel Johnson was the same "holy cow he is fast" FS. The Titans tried everyone at FS today and Cyprien, Searcy, and Byard all had issues being the outfielder. Not Johnson though. Johnson blitzed once and Trubisky shook him. He flew in and missed him but my goodness was he there fast. Every down is not a deep passing down, but I firmly believe the Titans have to have him deep on those. I'm starting to be afraid of Mularkey's crazy cuts. This guy should be a key piece and he is clearly the only outfielder they have. I think he was trying the others to be sure they could cut Denzel. Now that they stunk, hopefully they keep him. He won't clear waivers.

Austin johnson was poor at NT and didn't really do well at end either. It was his first bad game. His presence at DE is likely why they tried Jones at NT though.

Neither Smith did well.

The Titans did their trickery again with the depth players shifting who plays CB and S between plays. I love that!

Boykins pulled a groin and got burned deep. I didn't notice him otherwise.

Logan Ryan got the complimentary ignorance of the opposing QB

Adoree stunk and they picked on him.

After Adoree stunk, McCain was pulled and Adoree went into the slot with Sims outside. Sims already had a firm grasp on the starting spot. This game was just to give Adoree some experience. McCain didn't do well either. I still think McCain could go from starter to cut. I know it's odd, but he keeps getting burned each week and they love the duality of the CB/S hybrids they have.

Aaron Wallace was said to be sitting with an earned day off. Pregame they said it was a back injury. Wallace said his back isn't bad at all, but he'll go with what the trainers say. Sooo think of him sitting however ya want, but it still seems to me like a tip of that hat is needed for the young guy earning a day off.

Brown shed some blockers well and some he didn't. The Bears have some good TEs and their FBs aren't bad either. This was progress. He showed some study habits and broke up two plays that were successful the week before- one was for a 4-5 yard loss.

Klug got pushed around a bunch but did also win a few battles. He swatted a pass on one. He's Klug. Ya know what ya got there. Same with Casey.

Woodyard was always late to the runner and didn't cover well when a back was right in front of him. Avery was going to his side and...I'm so sick of Avery having to make up for a weak ILB playing next to him. Woodyard got a sack as the Bears forgot to pick him up. That's to Lebeau's credit, but geesh people will surely make it like Woodyard played well now.

Curtis Riley didn't play, should be fine

Orakpo and Morgan were fine. They have barely played this preseason. All of this Brown and Wallace and Dodd talk has left them largely unnoticed. Don't forget the Titans have two gems at OLB.

Darius Jennings made another catch as a WR and was in one three snaps late as a S. I love the versatility of this guy and he should make the PS as a jack of all trades type that is useful to have around.

The Bears OL did really well and they were bullies in a real good way. It was a bad afternoon for the Titans. The Bears only had 19 points, but they shot themselves in the foot on some drives. Don't read into that that the Titans held em' or anything. It was a bad performance.

I think Mularkey is itching to make some cuts. I wonder if all coaches are. Waiting til the last minute seemed like a good idea, but now it feels like "it's time" for some.

**********

I think we will not be privvy to it, but Sylvester and Dodd getting cut is a discussion they are having. Carraway and Brown look way too good to cut and/or expect to clear waivers. Searcy and (offense) Tajae Sharpe would be logical trade bait.

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Mike Mularkey has been involved in the cuts since day one, so since Whisenhunt. He has always seemed bonkers. I like the guy. Like everyone else, I was quite negative about him taking over, but he's been candid, forthcoming, and his decisions are easy to follow. Cutdown day is different.

The news has always given me a "you did what?" type feeling. 

We had Munchak and Washburn for 11 years. Two of the best OLine and DLine coaches in the NFL, nevermind NFL history. Cuts were always simple and obvious. It's been so odd to have a guy like Mularkey follow them. Every "ya gotta be kidding me" guy that was kept is no longer in the league and every one that was "how could you do that" has been a starter for them. 

Perfect example is Quinton Spain. He was fantastic in preseason, cut, and now arguably the best G in football. In 19 starts, he's allowed 2.5 sacks and the Titans get 6.05 yards per carry running behind him. It was 2015, when they had the worst team in football and the worst line. They cut him after an excellent preseason with the 2nd unit. 

I'm not talking about no names that are judgement calls and coaches see them in camp, gotta defer to them. I'm talking leading rusher in preseason, guy that pancakes others, corner that intercepts a ball most games or maybe intercepts two and has two just go through his hands....real obvious ones 

It's been such a bizarre experience dealing with Mularkey's cuts

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Expected starters- The Titans have come out and said they won't announce defensive starters. Yes, a reporter corrected them that they have to put out a depth chart, but Mularkey said 'you guys wants that, I don't.' When asked which corners would start, he said he will decide when he sees which players the offense sends on the field. Sooo when I say "starter" I mean "play the most" or "play first and second down."

Ryan starts opposite Sims with McCain in the slot. Adoree will play a ton. Ryan had zero snaps in the slot this summer, but don't be fooled. He is their best slot corner if they need to shut down a guy like TY. Adoree has struggled in the slot, and McCain had a horrible summer, but the Titans seem determined that those two will get it done.

Adoree is an athletic freak. I haven't seen a corner like him in years. He's wayyyy more athlete than cornerback, but they'll fix him up. I feel comfy guaranteeing at least a few interceptions because some QB couldn't believe he could stop on a dime and recover how he does. He is something to see and he sent me to PFR wondering how Deion did as a rookie. He's gotta take his lumps though and it could be brutal at times this year. He's special though, sooo special.

The Titans have changed their NT every year since Whis and always put these quicker guys that can be pushed around. As a result, they always are one of the worst against runs up the middle. Daquan Jones is the probable starter at nose. He was last year's end. Sylvester Williams had a bad summer. He looks at his surgically repaired ankle often and I swear he has an issue with it. 

Antwaun Woods was fantastic this summer. He is Mularkey's odd cut this year. He was the starter week one of preseason and played best throughout. He is on their practice squad and one reporter already got Mularkey to say that he could be on the active roster week one. Who cuts someone and then says you might play them week one? Mularkey said that's what the PS is for, to call people up that you need to fill in. As I said above, he is absolutely bonkers with cuts.

Austin Johnson should start opposite Casey. I still think Austin will have a surprisingly good year. 3-4 ends don't rack up the stats, so...for a 3-4 end.

The LBs are the same with two caveats- Aaron Wallace and Jayon Brown are excellent backups that they have no qualms about putting in. They both have played all four LB positions this summer and the roamer safety on first and second down. It's not worth debating if Polamalu/Lake were a LB or S on first and second down...that role- up at the line, with freedom to roam. 

Wallace and Byard were easily the best roamer.

This summer was supposed to be Byard's development as an outfielder FS. He didn't do very well. He just proved to be a better SS than Cyprien and Searcy which we already knew. Teams threw deep on Cyprien or Searcy when Byard was at the LOS and it's big concern of mine. Denzel Johnson was best this summer as an outfielder, but he's on the PS now. I really wonder if they won't be beaten deep early in the season and then activate Denzel. This would destroy Cyprien's value. For now, it's Byard and Cyprien with the Titans alternating which is deep to try and confuse Ds ...although it seems pretty obvious at the snap and I don't get that notion at all.

I think we circle back to the weak NT play and Woodyard being an older LB. They feel the need to play a S near the LOS to stop the run rather than address the issues. 

Suppose Marshawn starts killing them up the middle- I would expect the subs to be Klug at NT and Wallace at Woodyard's spot.

I don't know how long it will take but if the middle continues to be weak, Woods will "have to" be brought up

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It doesn't sound like Sims will play. Adoree would start in his place. Brice McCain has been yuck so I wouldn't be surprised if they use Curtis Riley or Kalan Reed. The switching from S to CB and CB to S presnap worked real well this summer

Jayon Brown is their guy to cover someone like Jared Cook. If they played someone else this week I would imagine he'd get a usual backup # of snaps. If he's got a high snap count after this game, I'm not sure that you can rely on that for week two and on. Nothing's changed on him, just a matchup with Cook

I'd look for a ton of nickel and their 3 S look from last year.

The Raiders deep ball is the huge worry as is Marshawn up the middle.

Mularkey made a negative comment about Dodd not playing ST while the other LBs do so I'm leaning toward him being inactive

The Titans have 11 LBs so they can hold up to Marshawn's pounding he dishes out. The Raiders LB depth is more suspect and I wonder if they can hold up against Henry/Murray or if those two can run all day in the fourth Q. Big backs should be a royal pain for the first full game for both teams. 

Mularkey spoke a lot of Aaron Wallace this week. I think he is primed to steal someone's spot or make them play 5 LBs or something...he's gonna force their hand somehow.

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Great stuff.  I've been a Byard fan since he was drafted.  Definitely a big-time ballhawk with some upside to be a consistent tackler as well.

Also love Brown.  I think his size could be an issue but the team loves him and he may be one of those rare "smallish" LBs that produce regardless.  I already had him on my list of guys to watch for Week 2, dependent on snap count and production in Week 1.  We'll see if he makes the cut. :)

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MFL (via Roto) currently has Austin Johnson listed as a DT. That could be a crazy good value-add off the wire for anyone that has DT required, since he's noted here as playing DE. 

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9 minutes ago, Flying Elvis said:

MFL (via Roto) currently has Austin Johnson listed as a DT. That could be a crazy good value-add off the wire for anyone that has DT required, since he's noted here as playing DE. 

Oh, nice one.  I have a league where I'm looking for a DT.  Currently have Kenny Clark there, but shopping around.  

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26 minutes ago, Flying Elvis said:

MFL (via Roto) currently has Austin Johnson listed as a DT. That could be a crazy good value-add off the wire for anyone that has DT required, since he's noted here as playing DE. 

Thanks. Is he starting/in line to get significant snaps?

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Based on what Bri has been posting here, there's a decent chance he's a starting DE. It sounds like Mularkey is feeding the press a bunch of . . . well, malarkey . . . about what the depth chart will be this year. To me, this is a great speculative add that costs nothing right now and has the potential to be a situation similar to Kerry Hyder last year. Hyder lined up as a DE most of the season but had a DT designation so his points were skewed in leagues with designation-adjusted scoring. 

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Thanks for all the great info, Bri. I have Byard as my DB5 (we start 4), so I'm curious to see if he's as good as I've read in other places that he should be. 

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On 9/8/2017 at 0:43 PM, JoeSteeler said:

Thanks. Is he starting/in line to get significant snaps?

yes, absolutely

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On 9/8/2017 at 0:51 PM, Flying Elvis said:

Based on what Bri has been posting here, there's a decent chance he's a starting DE. It sounds like Mularkey is feeding the press a bunch of . . . well, malarkey . . . about what the depth chart will be this year. To me, this is a great speculative add that costs nothing right now and has the potential to be a situation similar to Kerry Hyder last year. Hyder lined up as a DE most of the season but had a DT designation so his points were skewed in leagues with designation-adjusted scoring. 

One paywall site lists him as the starter. 

Here's some text elsewhere:

Austin Johnson progress

Titans coach Mike Mularkey raved about the progress of defensive lineman Austin Johnson earlier this week.

On Friday, Johnson said he feels much more comfortable heading into his second NFL season, and it’s paying off.

“I just feel a whole lot better about the defense, and how to play it,’’ Johnson said. “And I’m more comfortable in the games from the experience I’ve had. I feel better about the technique, and playing at a consistent pace.”

Johnson started at defensive end in Saturday’s game against the Panthers. He has two tackles in two preseason games.

As a rookie, Johnson recorded 15 tackles, a half sack and a tackle for a loss in 10 games.

Johnson has worked both at end and inside on the team’s defensive line.

“He's playing fast, he's playing physical,’’ Mularkey said of Johnson. “He's holding the point very well. The violence in his game is getting better, it has since he's been here. I've been pleased with the way that he's played.”

***************

Jason Wolf didn't say it but did say Jones at NT

Casey, a two-time Pro Bowler, received a contract extension and is primed for a big season. Jones has been seeing time at nose tackle, as well. Klug returned from Achilles surgery. Johnson, a second-round pick last year, is a valuable part of the rotation. King was acquired from the Chiefs on Friday in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2018. He’ll provide depth.

**********

His scuffle with Matt Kalil, Panthers LT

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/nfl/carolina-panthers/nfl-blog/article167732982.html

**************

Another way, Titans depth chart lists him as backing up Jones at end and then lists Sylvester Williams at nose. That at least clarifies him as an end.

Williams has been terrible. He was (literally) pulled from every preseason game so there's no reason (for him to be on the roster, Mularkey is bonkers) to expect him to do well all of a sudden. He looks down at his ankle and ya know it's bugging him. He gets no leverage and pushed around. Hence...all the Jones at NT talk. Jones played more NT than End as preseason(for the starters) closed out

Edited by Bri
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On 9/8/2017 at 11:27 AM, nirad3 said:

Great stuff.  I've been a Byard fan since he was drafted.  Definitely a big-time ballhawk with some upside to be a consistent tackler as well.

Also love Brown.  I think his size could be an issue but the team loves him and he may be one of those rare "smallish" LBs that produce regardless.  I already had him on my list of guys to watch for Week 2, dependent on snap count and production in Week 1.  We'll see if he makes the cut. :)

You can't judge Brown on snap counts. The Raiders have a good TE that will require him on the field more. Maybe you think of him as good TE weeks and lesser TE weeks?

Week one snap counts won't help you much just as is

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I've told ya all summer about CB/S switching. It will be interesting if they do this during the regular season.

To reiterate-

For one play, often third and long, the CB and S switch. The Titans have two safeties deep and they each take a side as an outfielder.

The switch is on one side of the field, not both. The QB in preseason only threw to the switched side twice. Every time he pointed out the switch and went away. 

Pretty good trick if it splits the field in half for 3rd and long

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10 hours ago, Bri said:

You can't judge Brown on snap counts. The Raiders have a good TE that will require him on the field more. Maybe you think of him as good TE weeks and lesser TE weeks?

Week one snap counts won't help you much just as is

Do you think his usage will be this limited?

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28 minutes ago, Hankmoody said:

Do you think his usage will be this limited?

I think he's saying he expects him to play a rather high amount today to be deployed to cover cook but to not come out of this game expecting that to be the norm, he's expecting an elevated number today

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