As the Titans wait for the first defensive player taken in the 2005 draft to emerge as a playmaking cornerback, they've turned to another rookie corner to play opposite Pacman Jones.
Reynaldo Hill, a seventh-rounder out of Florida who was selected 212 picks after Jones, recorded his second interception of the season in his first start as part of the base defense against Oakland on Sunday.
Hill is the only Titan with two interceptions, and he is now officially the starter on the left side, replacing Andre Woolfolk. Woolfolk, the team's top draft pick in 2003, will play as the nickel back once his balky hamstring lets him return to action.
"We've got Reynaldo out there right now who is making plays," coach Jeff Fisher said. "When you get somebody out there that is making plays, you stay with him."
"... He has a very short memory, which is very important at that position, and he's been able to recognize things and has played the way you want him to play. He has been aggressive, has made plays."
In recent weeks, Hill had taken over on the left in the nickel package, with Woolfolk moving inside. Hill made his first NFL interception at Arizona on Oct. 23, returning it 22 yards. He followed that up with by jumping on a Kerry Collins pass just before halftime and taking the ball 52 yards for his first career TD.
Woolfolk has been inconsistent, and the Titans expected more from him in a season in which they've replaced both starting cornerbacks from 2004 - Samari Rolle, who was cut in a salary cap purge and went to Baltimore, and Andre Dyson, who went to Seattle as an unrestricted free agent.
"I am definitely feeling more confident the more I am out there, whether it's
in practice or in games," Hill said. "Hearing 'Good job' from the coaches, I
build off that because they let me play. If I do my job, then that is a good
thing. They tell me every week to keep doing what I am doing."
TITANS PLAYER NOTES:
- QB Steve McNair (back spasms) will be followed closely all week, and
there is a good chance he won't practice Wednesday, based on coach Jeff
Fisher's assessment of his status on Monday. McNair is 5-2 in his career
against Cleveland with seven TDs and five interceptions.
- QB Billy Volek has never played against Cleveland, but it's possible he
could play this week if Steve McNair's back spasms are a problem through the
- RB Chris Brown had his best game of the season with 97 yards and a TD in
the loss to Oakland last week. But through eight games he hasn't hit 100
yards in a game, and Sunday in Cleveland the Titans may look to split up the
carries more in Travis Henry's second game back from a month-long
- RB Travis Henry got just one carry in his first game back from his
month-long suspension. It remains to be seen if the Titans are going to try
to let Chris Brown get into a rhythm or if Henry will get more carries at
Cleveland in his second game back.
- FB Troy Fleming could return Sunday at Cleveland after missing three
games with an ankle injury.
- WR Drew Bennett (left thumb) won't play at Cleveland, but the team is
optimistic he'll be able to play on Nov. 20 against Jacksonville, after the
- WR Tyrone Calico suffered a strained calf against Oakland and didn't
play after getting hurt. Jeff Fisher is unlikely to reveal details of the
injury because he won't want Cleveland to know the extent of the Titans'
limitations at wide receiver. There will be an indication depending on
whether Calico practices Wednesday.
- WR Brandon Jones (knee) is questionable for the Titans game in Cleveland
after sitting out the Titans loss to Oakland. The Titans will probably rate
him a game-time decision.
- WR Courtney Roby figures to get a lot of chances in Cleveland, even if
Tyrone Calico (calf) and Brandon Jones (knee) are back.
- WR Roydell Williams figures to be in line for his most action yet, with
Drew Bennett out and Brandon Jones (knee) and Tyrone Calico (calf)
questionable for the Titans game in Cleveland Sunday.
- TE Erron Kinney is second only to San Diego's Antonio Gates in
receptions by a tight end with 39, but he's yet to score a touchdown this
season. He could be in line for even more catches if Ben Troupe is limited
or out with his ankle injury.
- TE Ben Troupe suffered a high ankle sprain against Oakland and is
expected to be listed as questionable by the Titans when their injury report
comes out Wednesday. If he's out or limited, Erron Kinney and Bo Scaife will
likely get even more chances in the passing game than usual.
- K Rob Bironas is 14 of 17 on field goals but missed an extra point in
the first half of the Titans' loss to the Raiders. Jeff Fisher said Bironas
had some trouble in warmups, then overcompensated on the PAT.
- PR Pacman Jones had two big returns last week, but an 82-yard TD was
called back by a controversial penalty. Cleveland is the league's worst team
at defending punt returns, which should make for an interesting special
- CB Reynaldo Hill is the only Titan with two interceptions this season
and he has won the Titans starting spot on the left side. Andre Woolfolk
(hamstring) will serve only as the nickel back once he's healthy.
- CB Andre Woolfolk (hamstring) has lost the left starting cornerback job
to rookie Reynaldo Hill. If healthy, Woolfolk will return to work as the
nickel back at Cleveland on Sunday.