Titans’ high-powered offense looking to gel fast ahead of Cardinals matchup
The Tennessee Titans stroll into Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals with perhaps the best trio of skill players in football: wide receivers Julio Jones and A.J. Brown, along with running back Derrick Henry.
That is more than enough of a reason for any defense to be concerned, but looking at it from a Titans perspective, a series of events in training camp and the preseason have led to those wideouts plus quarterback Ryan Tannehill lacking the proper amount of time to gel.
As ESPN’s Turron Davenport outlined, the recently acquired Jones injured himself at the start of camp, and once he was back, Tannehill was on the COVID-19 list. The signal-caller returned to practice on Monday, one of four total practices for him and Jones to figure out each other’s rhythm.
While Tannehill and Brown have spent the last two seasons together, the pass-catcher missed lots of time in the summer having cleanup surgeries on both of his knees and was also missing from practice earlier in the week.
On top of all that, Tennessee has a new offensive coordinator in Todd Downing.
Davenport told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo that the communication between that group has been great and that factor leads to a lack of worry from his perspective.
“They don’t have any concerns whatsoever,” he said Thursday. “I think it’s going to take a couple of shots. They may miss a big opportunity for a huge play but I don’t think that’s it’s really going to impact them as much as it seems like it will because they’re working extensively to get on that same page.”
Tannehill said that communication is necessary.
“There is a lot of work to do still with [Jones],” Tannehill said. “We have talked through a lot of looks, and seen on tape other guys take the reps and talk through the spacing and the timing. Now it is just a matter of getting out there and doing it in person and making that connection.”
Jones preached the importance of consistency in repetition.
“It’s very valuable just going out there and creating that chemistry,” Jones said. “We have to keep working on it, getting our timing and getting better. Just for me, being at the right route depths. Getting in and out of breaks. Things like that. That’s how you build trust with this game. The consistency. Doing it over and over.”
Davenport said it best in that he’s curious about it, and that speaks for how it will be an area of Sunday’s game that we will be watching more than usual. If there are any signs of growing pains, it’s certainly something that would benefit the Cardinals.