The Tennessee Titans concluded their preseason slate tonight against the Chicago Bears.
It was the last game for many roster bubble guys to show why they deserve to make the roster, and for some, another chance to audition for teams around the league.
There was a lot of quality competition tonight, which means plenty of winners and losers.
Let’s jump right into it.
Loser: Clarity on the starting right tackle
Throughout camp, we never really received any sort of clarification on the starter at the right tackle spot. We’ve seen Ty Sambrailo receive snaps there, David Quessenberry, as well as newcomer Kendall Lamm.
But even with those guys receiving snaps, the mystery continues regarding who’ll start there in week one.
Quessenberry got work before Lamm and Sambrailo, so maybe that should give us a hint on who’ll end up being the winner of the competition. Either way, a sea of confusion still surrounds this spot, which isn’t good since week one begins two weeks from tomorrow.
Winner: Mekhi Sargent
Sargent has been one of the big talking points around Titans camp, mainly because of his performance through the team’s first two preseason contests. He had a chance to solidify his recent play and he didn’t disappoint.
The former Iowa back once again ran hard, bringing a physical presence despite his size being on a bit of the small side. He left the game early with an injury, so there’ll have to be some monitoring done regarding that development.
Either way, I think he’s done enough to make the roster, all that’s left for him to do is to wait and see if he’ll get that dreaded phone call most roster bubble players receive around this time of the year.
Winner: Logan Woodside
Coming into tonight’s game, Woodside was probably fighting Matt Barkley for a roster spot. After tonight’s game, it looks like Woodside has won the war.
He, like Barkley, didn’t get off to a hot start. But what separated him from Barkley was the fact that his play improved as the game went along.
Woodside led the offense on a few scoring drives, avoiding any bad mistakes in the process. He did throw an interception, but that was a result of pressure getting to him and disrupting the throw. He could’ve felt the pressure on his blind side a little better, but I don’t think anyone will fault him too much for the outcome of the play.
As it stands, Woodside is likely to retain his role as the Titans’ backup quarterback. He’s earned it, despite many people — including me —pointing out his lack of suitability for the job.
Loser: Matt Barkley
After an impressive performance last week in Tampa Bay, the veteran Barkley had a chance to snatch away the backup quarterback spot from Logan Woodside with another decent performance tonight.
However, Barkley couldn’t recapture the magic he found last week, putting together an uninspiring performance against the Chicago Bears.
Barkley’s night was somewhat miserable to say the least. Whenever he led the offense, the unit couldn’t really move their way down the field. Even when they managed to do so, Barkley killed one particular drive with a boneheaded interception that would’ve made you scratch your head in confusion.
With this game in the books, it looks like Barkley will be one odd man out between him and Woodside. It’s unfortunate for a guy that was on such a high last week, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles in this cruel, cruel league.
Pat on the helmet: Khari Blasingame
Blasingame’s roster spot is as secure as it can be.
But that roster spot assertion didn’t stop the fullback from making an impact tonight. He received a couple of carries and even broke off a 50 yard catch and run to cap off his rather unexpected busy night.
He’ll be the team’s starting fullback this fall, but he made sure to let the coaching staff know he’ll be ready for some action if the team needs him to receive any.
Welcome Back: Taylor Lewan & Rodger Saffold
With tonight being the last preseason game on the schedule, it was a good time for some veterans on the team to get some warm up snaps in preparation for the regular season.
Both Lewan and Saffold haven’t seen a lick of playing time so far, but that changed tonight as they played about a series and some change. They’ll be a heavily relied on duo on the left side of the Titans’ offensive line this fall, so them getting into the groove of things was definitely an encouraging, yet expected sight to see.
Winner: Ola Adeniyi
Adeniyi is seen as more of a special teams ace, but he’s shown his prowess as a pass rusher through the team’s first three preseason games.
I personally was impressed with his game, as he showed a variety of moves to get to the quarterback, something I;m sure Mike Vrabel and his staff will value moving forward.
Right now, he’s competing for edge rusher snaps, so showing off his skills as a pass rusher for depth purposes can’t hurt at all.
Now here’s a guy: Javian Hawkins
Hawkins had been in camp with the Atlanta Falcons, but was subsequently released after a couple of uninspriring preseason performances this month.
He was picked up by the Titans this past Thursday to serve as an extra body at running back because of Jeremy McNichols going on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, and he made the most of his opportunity.
He ran hard all game long, even scoring a touchdown.
He won’t make the roster, but I thought it was good to see a guy like that make the most of his opportunities after just being signed by the team.