Pre-Game Recon With Music City Miracles

This week's edition sees BRB catching up with Jimmy, proprietor of SB Nation's blog about the team whose players willingly cash checks signed by Lucifer.  That's right--we've been here before, and we're going there again:

1.  The mob isn't really pushing for Vince Young to be benched, is it?  I mean, the guy is the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year.  He's looked pretty ugly for most of this season, but he's still the franchise, is he not?  Can you fathom any way that Fisher & Co. would pull the plug on the VY Era this year?  Or even next year?

MCM:  Vince has the mob split.  There are some people that really believe this team should go with Kerry Collins.  Collins is 1-0 as a starter this season, just in case you forgot. (Ed. Note:  Touche, Jimmy.  Touche.).  Then there are the more intelligent fans who realize that any second-year QB in this league is going to have to go through growing pains.  The Titans knew Young would be a project when they drafted him, and if you were to give Jeff Fisher some truth serum, I think he would say he was shocked at how well Vince played last season.

There is no way the Titans pull the plug on Vince this season.  He is still the franchise, and they realize that benching him now would do more damage to the organization in the long run than it is worth.  The only way I see them pulling the plug on him next season is if through 10-12 games his numbers look like they do this season.  That won't happen though.

2.  Tennessee's decision to draft Chris Henry last year struck me as a fairly clear indication that the brass wasn't sold on LenDale White.  And after being handed the starting gig and appearing to hit his stride, White seems to have run right into another rough patch.  Well, maybe I'm being too kind.  Is it a rough patch?  Or is the verdict in, and "LenWhale" has been found guilty of sucking beyond comprehension?   If not for Chris Henry's suspension, do you believe he'd be getting the majority of the snaps this week?  Regardless, do you think the Titans enter camp in July with Henry penciled in as the No. 1 RB and LenDale penciled in to manage the night shift at a Nashville-area House of Pies?

MCM:  The jury is still out on LenDale.  One thing is for sure, though...he has got to lose at least 10 pounds, and probably more like 15-20, this offseason.  Right now he just isn't getting to the holes quick enough.  He can push a pile, but at his current weight he is always going to be a running back that averages about 3 yards per carry.  That won't get it done.

I don't know what to think about Chris Henry.  He has all the physical tools he needs to be a really good running back in this league.  The problem is that his field vision still needs a lot of work.  He ends up just running into guys' backs a lot of times when the hole isn't where it was supposed to be.  He does have the ability to hit the home run.  LenDale can only break a big play if the Titans put burgers in the end zone.

3.  Given how the Titans have looked since he went down, I think it's safe to say that Albert Haynesworth may well be the most valuable player at any position on any team in the NFL.  It's no exaggeration to say that it's night and day when he's not in there.  Of course, you know that.  So here's the question(s).  First and foremost, do you expect Haynesworth to start on Sunday?  And second, given his clear impact on the Tennessee D, doesn't The Morning Star, I mean, Bud Adams, HAVE to do everything in his power to keep Haynesworth in Nashville?

MCM:  I expect Haynesworth to start on Sunday.

The organization is scared to give Haynesworth a long-term deal with a lot of guaranteed money because of his history.  Unfortunately, as you mentioned, the Titans cannot afford to let him walk away.  They have a top 5 D with him in there and a bottom 5 D when he isn't in there.  The Titans will more than likely franchise him for 2008 in hopes of working out a long-term deal.  I just have a big fear that he will go Adrian Beltre on the Titans if they break the bank for him.

4.  When your squad visited Houston in October, you did not have to deal with Andre Johnson, and Matt Schaub was knocked out of the game fairly early.  Do you anticipate any change in defensive philosophy or scheme this time around, particularly given 'Dre's presence?  Speaking of, how do you foresee the Titans covering Andre Johnson?  Single man coverage?  Man with safety help?  Zone?  Who should Texans fans expect to see opposite our No. 1 offensive weapon (last week's game at Cleveland notwithstanding)?

MCM:  The Titans blitzed more early in that game than they have all season long.  I don't see them being as willing to sell out on a blitz because they don't want to leave any of their corners on an island with Johnson.   The Titans base defense is zone.  I think that is primarily what they will use to stop Johnson.  They don't have that shut-down corner that allows them to take a receiver away.  

As for whom you should plan to see opposite your #1 weapon, it depends on what side he lines up on.  The Titans corners play sides.   They don't do much matching-up at all.

5.  You know the drill...in the words of the immortal Herm Edwards, PUT YOUR NAME ON IT:  The final score of Sunday's game will be Houston ???, Tennessee ???.  Bonus Question:  Where his soul should be, K.S. "Bud" Adams, Jr. has (A) a cold, black void; (B) a swirling vortex of darkness that would suck in even the purest of souls; (c) canine fecal matter; or (d) a framed picture of him giving the bird to the City of Houston.

MCM:  Houston 24, Tennessee 28.  As for the final question, I must go with "D."

Many thanks to Jimmy, who I hope gets a chance to see his boy Vodka Collins in action again on Sunday after VY's sixth INT of the game.  As always, you can see my answers to his questions here.  

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