Game Review: Who's Helped... Who's Hurt...

Players are pleading their cases - not just for calls like Marc Soumah (left) - but also for their jobs. David Carducci provides the first analysis who who helped and who hurt their causes with their play on Saturday night.

WHO HELPED HIS CAUSE?

C.J. JONES: The rookie wide receiver helped his bid to replace the injured Frisman Jackson, catching an 11-yard pass for a first down, then taking a reverse 12 yards for another first down midway through the fourth quarter. He also made a leaping catch on a slant from Nate Hybl. The pass was behind Jones, but he adjusted in the air to make the 6-yard grab.

ORPHEUS ROYE: The veteran defensive tackle continues to do everything Gerard Warren was supposed to do (that line comes courtesy of Terry Pluto), providing a consistent interior pass rush and being one of the few bright spots against the run. After watching the Titans go through the Browns' No. 1 defense like a hot knife through butter on the opening possession, Roye quickly changed the tone of the defensive effort by sacking Steve McNair for seven-yard first-down loss to kick off possession No. 2.

ALVIN McKINLEY: Butch Davis loves consistency, and Alvin McKinley has been just that. McKinley, who has dominated opposing offensive linemen in one-on-one drills during camp, forced a fumble on a sack of Neil O'Donnell in the second quarter.

MICHAEL LEHAN: The rookie cornerback showed he could fill a need at gunner with a great play in punt coverage early in the first corner, stopping Titans return man Jason Simon cold.

ANTONIO GARAY: The sixth-round pick made some nice plays, including a third-down run stuff late in the fourth quarter that gave the Browns their late chance at a win.
 

WHO HURT HIS CAUSE?

STEVE HEIDEN: A dreadful night both in the passing game and running game by Heiden continues to raise red flags with the Browns' thin tight end position. Heiden missed a block as William Green was stopped for no gain on 2nd-and-5 on the Browns' opening possession. He dropped a 1st-and-5 pass from Tim Couch on the second possession, then dropped another from Holcomb on 3rd-and-3.

LEWIS SANDERS: He isn't going to beat out Anthony Henry for a starting cornerback position if he continues to allow third-team wide receivers to blow by him down the sidelines. Titans backup-to-the-backup Tyrone Calico - a rookie from nearby Middle Tennessee State - dropped a sure touchdown early in the third quarter, but not before leaving Sanders in the dust on a long pass down the left sideline. Another Sanders mistake was covered up by Chris Gardocki, whose punt at the end of the Browns' second possession bounced sideways and out of bounds at the Titans' 1. Standing all alone at the 1-yard line with his back to the end zone, Sanders watched Gardocki's kick sail to him, but instead of catching the punt, he watched it bounce at the 2.
Of course, Butch Davis praised Lewis Sanders for his play.

ANDRE KING: He helped turn what could have been a slightly above average day for Tim Couch into a slightly below average day. According to Butch Davis, King slipped on the turf on what had appeared to be an overthrow by Couch on the third-down play that spoiled the Browns' opening series. King's big blunder was a drop of a Couch throw inside the 5-yard line on third down early in the second quarter. The play could have gone for a touchdown, but instead the Browns were forced to settle for a field goal.

BILLY BLANCHARD: The rookie running back looked good on a fourth-quarter run that should have picked up a first down near midfield. Unfortunately, he allowed defensive tackle James Atkins to strip the football at the end of the run.

KEVIN McLEOD: After being replaced as the No. 1 fullback by Aaron Shea in the starting lineup, McLeod was treated like a rag doll by the Titans defensive linemen when he entered the game as William Green's lead blocker late in the first quarter. Green was stopped for no gain on 3rd-and-1

JEFF FAINE: He has already been handed the starting job, but Faine's debut at center was anything but promising. In the third quarter, Faine looked like a matador as backup defensive tackle James Atkins blew by him to tip a Josh Booty pass. That pass was intercepted. Fellow rookie Rien Long also embarrassed Faine in the second quarter, blowing by him to drop James Jackson for a 5-yard loss.


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