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News » TONY GROSSI'S SCOUTING REPORT


TONY GROSSI'S SCOUTING REPORT


TONY GROSSI'S SCOUTING REPORT
What: Browns vs. Tennessee Titans


Kickoff: 1 p.m. Sunday, LP Field, Nashville, Tenn.

Record: 11-1.

Last game: Beat Detroit, 47-10, on Nov. 27 in Detroit.

Coach: Jeff Fisher, 131-105, 14th year.

Series record: Browns lead Houston Oilers / Tennessee Titans, 33-27 (counting postseason).

Previous meeting: Browns won, 20-14, on Nov. 6, 2005, in Cleveland.

League rankings: Offense is 18th (sixth rushing, 24th passing), defense is fifth (12th rushing, fourth passing) and turnover differential is plus-13.

Offensive overview

They hammer the ball on the ground, alternating a 240-pound downhill runner with a speedy breakaway specialist, and don't make mistakes in the passing game. Their 12 giveaways on offense are tied for third-least in the NFL. Much of that has to do with quarterback Kerry Collins, a 14-year veteran who took over for the troubled Vince Young in Game 2. He still has an above-average arm and has decent accuracy. The receivers and tight ends are just average and are carried by the running game. The foundation is a good offensive line that is third in lowest sack percentage. Rookie back Chris Johnson has the only speed on the unit and is second among NFL rookies with 958 rushing yards and a 4.7 average. In short-yardage and goal-line plays, big LenDale White (13 touchdowns) has been hard to stop.

Defensive overview

Coach Jeff Fisher is a prodigy of former NFL coach Buddy Ryan, but he doesn't run the old "46" defense much anymore. The Titans are very vanilla on defense and just let their front four dominate, led in the middle by right tackle Albert Haynesworth (8.5 sacks). Thirty of the team's 34 sacks have come from linemen. They don't blitz a lot even though their linebackers have the speed to be good at it. The secondary has been outstanding, led by cornerback Cortland Finnegan, a 2006 seventh-round draft choice with speed and attitude. Finnegan has five interceptions, including one for a 99-yard touchdown return. Safeties Chris Hope and Michael Griffin have four picks apiece. Because the Titans often play with a lead, opponents throw almost 60 percent of the time.

Special teams overview

They're still coached by Alan Lowery, the author of the kickoff throwback play in a 1999 playoff game - certainly the most famous special teams play in franchise history. Kicker Rob Bironas could return to the Pro Bowl. He's 24-of-27 in field goals with a long of 49 and is third in kickoff touchbacks. Punter Craig Hentrich is 19th in gross average (43.3 yards) and net (37.1 yards). Chris Carr is equally good in kickoff and punt returns. The Titans are susceptible in kickoff coverage, ranking 30th.

Players to watch

Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth: The 6-6, 320-pounder is a wrecking ball in the run defense but also a penetrator in the pass rush. His 8.5 sacks lead the team and match the best among NFL tackles.

Running back Chris Johnson: After posting a blistering 4.24-second 40 clocking at the NFL combine, the rookie has produced more eye-opening stats in his first season: 958 rushing yards, a 4.7-yard average, and seven touchdowns.

Running back LenDale White: Having the best NFL career so far of the USC national championship triumvirate, this big north-south runner is effective in short yardage and is tied for the league lead with 13 touchdowns.

Injury report

DT Jason Jones (foot), has missed the past three games.

Small world

Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was a Browns scout from 1993 to '95. . . . Titans running backs coach Earnest Byner played for the Browns from 1984 to '88 and 1994-95. . . . Titans college scout Phil Neri was Browns director of college scouting from 1999 to 2004.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 4, 2008

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Jamal Lewis Name: Jamal Lewis
#31
Position: RB
Age: 28
Experience: 9 years
College: Tennessee
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