The Titans took another step towards completing their 2022 pre-season by concluding their second pre-season game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Like every game, we’ll have some lucky winners and some unfortunate losers. So let’s get right into it
Winner: Teair Tart
This past week, Titans defensive line coach Terrell Williams said Teair Tart has to be more consistent. Tonight against Tampa, it looked like Tart heard the message from his position coach loud and clear.
Tart was regularly in the backfield tonight, mostly as a run defender stuffing run plays and making life a bit easier for the Titans’ defense. He basically played the part he was supposed to play, which is a congesting defensive lineman that helps the other front seven operations run more smoothly.
Tart is still in the running for high quality playing time along the Titans’ defensive line. But performances like tonight will help Tart edge closer towards permanently securing those highly desirable snaps.
Loser: Touches for Treylon Burks
Burks has been steadily developing throughout camp. But what has remained missing is the overall impact in a game setting.
Tonight — like his first pre-season game against the Baltimore Ravens — the lack of involvement was evident for Burks, something the Titans would rather not continue to face head on.
However, Burks’ lack of touches isn’t really indicative of what Burks has done with his snaps. He’s gotten open quite a few times, but the quarterback play hasn’t been good enough for Burks to consistently see the touches he needs.
The Titans’ have tried to throw him the ball. Like tonight, when Burks got two good quality targets from both Malik Willis and Logan Woodside. But those two targets resulted in an incompletion and an interception, which I’m sure the Titans aren’t too happy about.
The Titans will continue to give Burks the reps, and will continue to throw him the ball. Now it’s all about the quarterbacks being able to find ways to consistently give him the football. We could see more of that next week if Ryan Tannehill receives some snaps, but it’s not a guarantee he plays, so at this point it’s nothing more than a toss-up.
Burks needs more targets and more chances to have the ball in his hands. Not only for his sake, but for the Titans’ sake as well.
We’ll see if that comes to pass next week during the Titans’ pre-season finale.
Winner: Reggie Roberson
Roberson didn’t play in the Titans’ pre-season opener last week. But tonight he got a chance to play, and he made the best of his opportunity.
He finished the night with four catches for 47 yards on five targets. These numbers aren’t blockbuster, but for a rookie trying to make the roster, they’re pretty valuable.
Roberson still has an outside shot to make the roster. But if he can keep stacking good practices and game performances like tonight, he’ll give the Titans a something to think a little extra about.
Loser: Logan Woodside
Woodside’s status as the Titans’ QB2 has been put under fire this pre-season, with Malik Willis pushing hard for the spot throughout camp.
The former Toledo Rocket tried to fend off Willis last week, but failed to do so by throwing two costly interceptions. There was hope from Woodside that last week was just an outlier, but that wasn’t the case, as another poorly thrown ball led to another interception.
Woodside’s QB2 status and his case for a roster spot on the 53 man roster dwindles with each passing poor performance, and barring some miracle, it really looks like he might lose it after the pre-season finale next week against the Arizona Cardinals.
It would be a shame for Woodside, Titans coaches have loved since his work ethic and knowledge of the offense. But with Willis pushing as hard as he is, and Woodside playing poorly, time might be up for Woodside.
Winner: Rashad Weaver
Last week, Weaver made his return to action and reminded Titans fans just how much he loves the pre-season.
This week was no different, but unlike last week, Weaver made an elite, noticeable impact in multiple facets defensively.
Overall, his performance was outstanding, as Weaver finished with a sack, two quarterback hits — one of which led to an interception — an impressive tackle for loss, and a heads up fumble recovery after the ball was popped out by Lonnie Johnson Jr.
If Weaver can carry this type of play into the regular season, then he’ll serve as a very important rotational pass rusher in sub packages. Which is something the Titans lacked consistently last season as they suffered through a multitude of injuries at the position.
Loser: Dillon Radunz
Radunz was trending towards being the starting right tackle for the Titans’ season opener against the New York Giants.
He may very well still end up winning the job, but he didn’t do himself any favors tonight against Tampa Bay. He wasn’t penalty free, his pass protection was very underwhelming, and he was more of a liability than a positive on a night where the Titans’ offensive line looked outmatched in the first half.
And with Nicholas Petit-Frere stealing the start at right tackle tonight, this performance certainly didn’t help Radunz’s case either.
Radunz might still be the Titans’ opening day starter at right tackle. But it’s apparent he has some things to work on before the Titans can truly be comfortable with him starting.
Winner: Kyle Phillips
Phillips has consistently received praise from his teammates throughout camp for his ability to get open as a receiver.
But after tonight, he’s going to receive praise for giving his offense a hand by giving them good field position due to his punt return capabilities.
Phillips had three good returns tonight, with one of them going for 35 yards after some nifty moves by the former UCLA product. Although his first one was a bit of a scare, as Phillips returned the punt at the Titans’ own one yard line. But he returned it to the the Titans’ 26 yard line in the end, so it wasn’t all bad.
Phillips has been battling to secure the top punt returning spot, but with the way he played tonight, one can only assume he’s taken a giant step forward towards doing just that.