Titans-Bills: Five Under the Radar Storylines from the Hall of Fame Game

Blaize PenningtonCorrespondent IAugust 10, 2009

CANTON, OH - AUGUST 9:  Kerry Collins #5 of the Tennessee Titans passes the football against the Buffalo Bills during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game at Fawcett Stadium on August 9, 2009 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

There are many headlines about Tennessee being watched this offseason that everyone knows already: Who will be Kerry Collins' backup? Will the Titans have a more explosive offense? Who will be the third running back?

All of these headlines are very interesting, but there are a few points that slip by the news articles.

1. Defensive Line Schemes

I paid close attention to the defensive line in this game. I'm not sure if it was because it was a preseason game or if it is the new scheme, but players were playing multiple positions.

I saw Jason Jones at defensive tackle, left end, and right end. I saw Jevon Kearse move over to left end and Kyle Vanden Bosch play right end. William Hayes played many different positions as well.

2. Blitzing

It was intriguing to see the Titans blitz a cornerback on the first defensive play of the game. It seemed they planned on being more aggressive this year. Then they decided to back off and let the front four do its work again.

The Titans' run defense has obviously improved this year, while their pass defense seemed to be lacking. Regardless, the most impressive stat was that the defense did not give up a touchdown all game.

3. Kick Returns

Ryan Mouton was given his chance to be the kick returner this week. However, his production was less than impressive. The Titans brought in Mark Jones to return kicks, and I wonder how long it will be before he gets his shot.

4. Third Receiver

With the third receiver spot up for grabs on the team, no one really stood out tonight. Paul Williams grabbed the only receiving touchdown but was less than impressive the rest of the game. Lavelle Hawkins wasn't thrown to very often, even though he was in pretty much the whole game.

5. Williams vs. Mouton vs. McCourty

Depth at cornerback is being decided. All three of these guys got a shot this week at proving they deserve to be on the team.

Cary Williams was not very impressive and missed a lot of open field tackles. However, he made a very good fourth down pass breakup, if that's what you would like to call it.

Mouton showed fantastic coverage skills but also had some trouble wrapping up receivers. He showed his speed on a deep pass in which he drew offensive pass interference.

Jason McCourty showed good zone coverage but was beaten many times on the short comeback routes. He made up for it with his interception that sealed the game.

There are a few other developing stories in the preseason, such as the tight end depth chart, but I will have to get to those when we get a chance to see more games. The Titans are definitely looking good this preseason, and one can only hope it continues.


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