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, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans remain winless through three preseason games with a brand-new coaching staff busy trying to fix issues on offense and defense.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota and his No. 1 wide receiver Corey Davis had trouble connecting on not one, but two third downs. Both Mariota and Davis tried to take the blame for the miscommunication in a 16-6 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday.
On Sunday, first-year head coach Mike Vrabel tried to absolve both Mariota and Davis by taking the blame himself.
“Up until this point, I haven’t done a good enough job making sure that both those guys know where each other’s going to be on every single route,” Vrabel said.
“And I’ll make sure that that happens because the guy throwing the ball and the guy catching the ball those are the only two guys that really at that point in time matter.”
Mariota had driven the Titans to touchdowns on two of their first three drives this preseason.
Yet both the quarterback and the Titans offense managed just 52 yards in the first half with Mariota sacked twice and intercepted once. Mariota finished 5 of 8 for 43 yards.
Davis, the fifth overall pick in 2017 and first wide receiver drafted , has yet to catch a pass in a preseason game. A hamstring injury kept him out of the preseason last year, and he has not caught a pass in his two games this preseason.
The Titans are installing a new offense Robert Thomas Jersey
, Mariota’s third going into his fourth NFL season. They had a chance for a big play on the opening drive on third-and-8 when Davis ran toward the end zone based on coverage with Mariota throwing to where the quarterback had expected his receiver to be. Mariota overthrew Davis on third-and-6 across the middle on their second drive.
Vrabel said the Titans will be relying heavily on both Mariota and Davis this season. Vrabel called it unfortunate that there was some uncertainty when Davis was uncovered.
“It’s important that Corey and Marcus are on the same page,” Vrabel said.
Along with trust, the Titans need much more consistency. Mariota hit Tajae Sharpe with an 11-yard pass on third-and-10 to keep the first drive moving. Derrick Henry converted a third-and-1 on the same drive that ended in a punt.
The Titans went three-and-out on the next two drives before Mariota threw across his body and was intercepted to end his fourth and final drive.
“Consistency is going to be something that’s important,” Vrabel said.
The Titans also have issues to clean up on defense where cornerback Adoree Jackson was beaten on the Steelers’ lone touchdown, a 32-yard pass. Linebacker Jayon Brown was flagged for hitting a defenseless receiver, though Vrabel has asked the NFL to clarify the penalty he thought was lowering-the-head-to-initiate contact.
Penalties remain an issue with Tennessee flagged nine times for 51 yards, improvement from a week ago when the Titans were penalized 11 times for 134 yards in a loss to Tampa Bay.
The Titans wrap up the preseason Thursday night by hosting Minnesota (2-1). Vrabel’s focus is on fixing issues while trying to continue healing as many players as possible before opening the season Sept. 9 at Miami. A total of 12 Titans didn’t play in Pittsburgh, including six starters.
“We just got to find out who’s going to be ready for us on a short week Jaleel Scott Jersey
,” Vrabel said.
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MONDAY, May 7
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, N.Y. -It has never been easy being a sports fan in Buffalo, where losing – and the way the NFL’s Bills and NHL’s Sabres have lost – has been as customary as the winters are long and wings spicy. The teams’ most notorious moments even have names for them, be it the Bills’ ”Wide Right,” or Sabres’ ”No Goal.” And yet, a renewed sense of hope has arisen in this rust-belt city after the Bills selected quarterback Josh Allen in the first round of the draft, and the Sabres won the NHL draft lottery over the span of three days. By John Wawrow. UPCOMING: 950 words, photos by 3 a.m. Monday.
TUESDAY, May 8
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The Commission on College Basketball recommends high school basketball players be allowed to hire agents or advisers to help them weigh the pros and cons of turning professional. The commission also proposes that basketball players who declare for the draft but aren’t selected be allowed to retain their college eligibility. Those proposals are similar to NCAA rules governing baseball. Former TCU baseball star Evan Skoug said his experience with an adviser was invaluable in his draft process. UPCOMING: 900 words Cortez Kennedy Jersey
, photos by 3 a.m. Tuesday.
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