With all due respect to legendary defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, who has forgotten more defense than I will likely ever know, there is now reason to be somewhat concerned with the first team defense of the Tennessee Titans.
Entering the preseason there were questions about the Titans offense, especially the offensive line and just how good they could be and how head coach Mike Mularkey's "exotic smashmouth" offense would produce. Through three preseason games the offense appears to have answered most of their questions with positive reviews.
Please don't take those positive reviews or this writing as a endorsement that this offense will be one of the best in the NFL, but based on what we have seen so far, it is improved and it will likely not be the worst in the NFL in 2016. It's a step in the right direction at least at this point for a team that has been anemic at best in recent years.
At the same time people, including myself felt like the defense would be the strength of this team this season and could once again rank highly in team defensive stats this season because of the returning players and better depth behind them.
However, the first team defense through three preseason games has me now somewhat concerned.
While the first unit played better after the first offensive series against Oakland on Satruday night, the fact that the Raiders became the third team in three preseason games to drive the football down the field to score with ease on their first possession of the game.
It's troubling that the Titans defense is falling behind early by allowing long scoring drives early in the preseason. It is certainly something that is correctable, and perhaps when LeBeau and company begin actually game planning, that might make all the difference in the world.
However, it is still a concerning trait and one that will be worth watching on September, 11- not so much on Thursday in Miami in the fourth and final preseason game when many of the starters might not even play- to see if the first team can stem this tide of early scores on long drives by opponents.
There is no doubt that this team is better in most areas than one season ago. While they have upgraded the talent overall, there are still some concerning areas, and the most concerning at this point seems to be in the defensive secondary where players who struggled last season are now gone.
Blake struggled in that role last season and has once again in this camp. The Titans must find an answer to back up Cox. McCain and Jason McCourty at the corners whether it comes from one of the young players on the roster or in a waiver wire addition.
Finding a solution there and perhaps adding another pass rusher either to the line or linebacker corps would seem to be two things that general manager Jon Robinson might be most interested in looking for on the waiver wire in the coming days.
There could also be other areas of need for improvement and Robinson has said, and I believe him that he will look to improve the roster at every position in every possible move he can make. Still those two positions might make the most sense and bring the most immediate results to the Titans.
The next week will certainly be an interesting time for the Titans as they look to finalize the roster for the season opener. Until them, sleep lightly if you are at the bottom of the Titans roster because a change could still come.