Behind Enemy Lines: Titans Edition

Pro Football Scope's Greg Arias takes time out to chat about the 2-8, albeit still fighting, Tennessee Titans, discussing Zach Mettenberger, Ray Horton's defense, among other topics.

1. When comparing Zach Mettenberger to Jake Locker, what does the rookie have that would make you more optimistic about him starting over the four-year veteran?

When Jake arrived in Nashville he struggled with his accuracy, Zach did not have that issue at all. He (Zach) has major arm strength and can make every throw without much effort. Jake's arm was not that strong then or now. As far as Zach going forward, he has the size that Ken Whisenhunt prefers in his quarterbacks, the arm and he has a bit of a swagger and confidence about him that is very noticeable when you talk with him. Both guys are smart, so that was not part of Jake's problems, but as for now it does seem like Zach has what it takes, as long as he continues to work hard, and even harder than he already does to be the best QB he can be.

2. You discussed Delanie Walker taking himself out over fears stemming from the severe concussion several weeks ago. How much does the offense change without his presence?

Before Monday night I would have said it would change a lot, but Chase Coffman stepped in and had a nice game in his absence. Yes, Walker is a huge part and is missed, but if the others at the position continue to perform it softens the blow. Now getting him back, if he comes back playing at the same level, and if Coffman can keep improving, then it can only help a young quarterback with more weapons.

3. Does Taylor Lewan, troubled as he is, have the potential to be the next Steve Hutchinson, given his early promise?

Taylor Lewan is one of the most interesting guys in the Titans locker room. He is not only a big, strong, physical kid but he is very smart and articulate and has a great sense of humor. He is a bit of a practical joker. The incident at Michigan was certainly unacceptable regardless of if one believes he did or didn't do what he was charged with, but that does not seem to be the person that he is even though it does define him to a lot of people. As far as Hutchinson, I think Taylor can and is becoming an anchor for this offensive line. So far this season he is grading out higher than some of his more veteran teammates. He also wants to be great but at the same time continually states that he is a rookie trying to get better and help his team, and he has fit into the locker room and been a positive addition.

4. In Ray Horton's all-out blitz scheme, is it fair to say that Jurrell Casey's the spark that makes the pass-rush go, or is the success of the rush more contingent in another area?

Jurrell Casey came into his own last season and most every team around the league knew about him. In Ray Horton's new scheme he is playing a different position but still providing the same consistent play. His sack numbers are down, but that is in part because he is receiving more attention and more double teams because of his performance. The blitzes are helping him because teams have to account for blitzing players and Jurrell is being left one-on-one. What he needs most is another pass rusher on the opposite side who will also command extra attention, then we will see just how good Jurrell can be without the need to blitz as much to help free him up.

5. Where does the primary weakness lie in the team's run defense?

That is a tough question. The front seven at times have been very good against the run but not consistently and certainly not late in games when they have been tired because the offense has not helped. The linebackers have at times been the issue as well, so it is the old saying about it being on the team in this one.

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