Behind Enemy Lines: Bucs-Titans Part I

Matthew Postins and Jimmy Morris begin their pregame breakdown of the Buccaneers-Titans matchup, discussing Albert Haynesworth's injury status, the plan for the Titans' running game and whether Vince Young will bounce back from last Sunday's subpar performance.

Matthew Postins, I've watched the Titans-Falcons game twice now and came away thoroughly impressed with Albert Haynesworth. First, what's the nature of his injury and is there a chance he won't play on Sunday? Second, how does his presence inside impact what the Titans do defensively?

Jimmy Morris, Haynesworth has a sprained ankle. I don't think there is any chance he will miss Sunday's game. What the Titans have been able to do defensively this season has been based around what Albert has done inside. He has been blowing up a lot of run plays by being in the backfield almost before the quarterback even gives the ball to the running back. On passing plays he is getting a push up the middle that forces quarterbacks to move outside the pocket. That is making life a lot easier on the guys in the secondary. MP: Vince Young threw three interceptions last week. We've heard Jeff Fisher compliment Young's development, so is this just a hiccup or a sign that he's still a young quarterback that can be goaded into mistakes?

JM: I think it is both. Vince has, for the most part, played remarkably well in his 17 starts as the Titans' starting quarterback, but he is still a young quarterback. He is still going to make some of the mistakes that young quarterbacks make. He will bounce back this week.

MP: It seems like linebacker Keith Bulluck is playing at a higher level this year than in recent memory. If that's the case, what's the cause for his surge in play?

JM: I think the surge in his play is because of the energy of the team. Vince Young has brought a lot of energy to this team. The entire defense is playing better than it has since 2000. For the past few years Keith Bulluck has felt like he had to make every play on the field because of how bad the players around him were playing. This year he has confidence in the guys playing around him so he is free to play his role. He excels when he only has to play the part of one man and not eleven.

MP: Here's a random stat ? Fisher is 12-1 in his last 13 meetings with NFC South teams (dating back, presumably, before the start of the NFC South in 2002). Any explanation for that?

JM: It has just been the luck of the draw for the Titans. They most recently played the NFC South teams in 1999 and 2003, years where they were 13-3 and 12-4 respectively. They have just been matched up against the division in years they had a really good team.

MP: The running back situation, to me, seems sort of a mess. Is there a sense that one of these two guys will eventually take the job, or are they going to continue to share carries? And how does that affect the continuity of the running game?

JM: The plan is for them to continue to share the carries. They are very different backs with different running styles. LenDale White is a bruising running back that can pick up tough yardage between the tackles. Chris Brown is more of a speed guy that can get to the corner. The combination has worked well thus far. The combination of Brown and White adds up better than Brown or White by themselves.

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