By Chris Lambos
Young Pays Dividends; Rookies Stock Rises
Since yours truly has taken over as Nashville Past & Present’s Tennessee Titans writer, we have all witnessed progress being made by our hometown NFL organization. No one can deny that the Titans improvements that were noticeable in their 27-13 win over the Green Bay Packers in this past Thursday night’s preseason action.
Think back, if you will: Remember all of those mistackles in Dallas? How about Vince Young? Did we not find ourselves a little curious as to what Patrick Ramsey had to offer after Young’s first interception on his first drive of his first preseason game?
Fast-forward to September 3, 2009: The offense has discovered NFL-caliber talent in WR Dominique Edison (R), 6th-round pick out of Stephen F. Austin and RB Javon Ringer (R), 5th-round pick from Michigan State. Edison led all Titans receivers with 5 catches for 90 yards and 2 TDs. Ringer, who has dazzled us with Barry Sanders-like cuts and shows promise in the return game has passed Chris Henry on the depth chart to backup Titan ‘Smash & Dashers’ LenDale White and Chris Johnson.
But it is Vince Young’s game that has risen from the ashes. In the 5th and final game of the 2009 preseason, Young took the field at the 3:56 mark of the 1st Qtr. and took the Titans from a 3-3 tie to a 20-3 lead before surrendering the position to Patrick Ramsey early in the 3rd Qtr. His first possession included a 33 yard strike to Lavelle Hawkins and a 23 yard scramble. After forcing a Green Bay punt, Young went back to work with a 14 play 80 yard drive that found Young enginerring a balanced attack of passing (Young to Edison on a deep middle for 29 yards) running and scrambling (12 yards, the final 6 for a TD).
Young finished 7 of 12 for 85 yards and 1 passing TD. He also ran for 38 yards on 5 carries and another TD.
Ramsey finished the game for the Titans. He posted similar passing numbers to Young going 5 of 8 for 82 yards and a TD. Ramsey’s TD strike came at the 9:29 mark of the 3rd Qtr. on a 31 yard pass to a busy Dominique Edison.
What did we learn from this game?
1) Vince Young might be back to his 2006-07 self.
2) Chris Henry might make the roster with a few +10 yard rushes and continual good play on special teams.
3) Dominque Edison has exceeded expectations and should contribute much to the Titans offense.
The NFL regular season kickoffs with a Thurday night matchup between last season’s best NFL record team (Tennessee Titans) and the Super Bowl champ Pittsburgh Steelers. This game is guaranteed to be a heated matchup after the Titans rolled over the Steelers in Week 16 of the 2008 season.