Don't blame suspension for Young's effort

Saturday, August 18, 2007 at 8:44pm

Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher credited most of quarterback Vince Young’s struggles in the first half of Friday night’s 27-24 preseason victory at New England to a number of factors, but not Young being inactive the week before for a curfew violation.

Young completed just 5 of 17 passes for 102 yards and was sacked four times. Those numbers would have been worse had an outlet pass to tight end Bo Scaife not been turned into a 44-yard gain.

“I don’t think that has anything to do with it,” Fisher said of Young missing the preseason opener against Washington last week. “He’s played his share of games, regular season games and he’s having a good camp.”

Fisher alluded to the rain in Foxboro, Mass., as well as the Patriots using elaborate schemes considering it was a preseason game.

“I think it was just a combination of things. It was the weather, the surface, the people in his face,” Fisher said. “The approach the Patriots took defensively was a unique approach. They brought people [to pressure] almost every down from different places, dropped different people out in coverage. Again, we went into this game with a very basic game plan and we had not put ourselves in a position to try to take advantage of those things.”

Young was not happy with his performance, even though the Titans rallied to win in the second half with backups for both teams playing.

As for what positives he took from the game, Young said, “Nothing at all right now. As for myself, [there are] different things out there I think I could’ve done better. Overall, the game is going to come to me. It’s going to get better and better, just like last year. I’m all right.”

INJURIES: Backup fullback Jonathan Evans suffered a sprained ankle in the game and could miss some time, according to Fisher. Also, tight end Cooper Wallace will miss a few days because of a knee sprain.

Fisher also indicated that several Titans players who missed Friday night’s game could return to practice this week, including LenDale White (ankle), Reynaldo Hill (groin), Mike Otto (knee) and Jamie Petrowski (legs). Tight end Ben Troupe, sidelined for nearly two weeks with a foot sprain, could return as well. Troupe’s previous foot problems have the Titans exercising care in that regard.

NO SWITCH: Michael Griffin’s two interceptions in Friday night’s game has Fisher staving off any talk of Griffin moving to free safety anytime soon.

Griffin, the team’s first-round pick, is making the move from college safety to NFL cornerback. Also, Friday night incumbent free safety Lamont Thompson had an interception as well, and Fisher said that Calvin Lowry, who started against the Pats, played well also.

“There is going to be a need to play more than just four defensive backs,” Fisher said. “There always is the nickel packages. We are just happy right now with the depth. We are half way through the preseason games, and we still have some decisions to make, but I am confident that the games will help sort those out for us.

“He had two interceptions at the corner spot. One was a very, very good play. He’s made a lot of plays out there. He’s getting better. So I have not considered moving him to a different position at this point.”

Fisher said it is possible Griffin could get a first-team look at cornerback in the preseason.

OOPS: Running back Chris Henry, who started in place of the injured White, had a missed blocking assignment that caused Young to take a hard hit from safety Rodney Harrison in the game. Henry rushed for 15 yards on eight carries.

“It was a tough read, but he did miss it, however. He had to do a read and he stepped up and just lost track of Rodney,” Fisher said.

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