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News » Tennessee Titans Inside Slant 2008-10-24


Tennessee Titans Inside Slant 2008-10-24


Tennessee Titans Inside Slant 2008-10-24
It's not like the Tennessee Titans defensive line needed a reminder of how important it is to get pressure on Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.


But they got one anyway when they arrived for meetings on Wednesday. Right on the wall of the defensive line meeting room was a Fathead cutout of the Colts star quarterback serving as a reminder to the Tennessee defensive line of how important pressure will be on him this week.

"He's over there staring at us. We've got him on the wall," defensive end Jevon Kearse said. "We've got a Fathead up there. It's just a reminder that we need to get real close and personal with him, just an early reminder."

Over the years, the Titans have not had a great deal of success in sacking Manning. They got to him twice for 12 yards of losses in the first meeting last year, but have not sacked him at all in five of their past six games against the Colts. Overall, Tennessee has just 11 sacks of Manning in 13 meetings with Indianapolis.

So, as an added reminder this week, defensive line coach Jim Washburn is laying out not-so-subtle reminders of Manning for his players.

The onus to get after Manning will be on the defensive line, because defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has never been a fan of excessive blitzes, especially when going against a tactician and film-study freak like Manning. Thus far, the defensive line has accounted for 16.5 of the Titans' 18 sacks.

"I'm just looking at getting after Peyton," said defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, who has already tied his career high with six sacks. "That's the whole key, just to get him off the spot to hit him as many times as possible, just to rattle him. That's our whole goal as a defensive front. You go in our room, and you see that Fathead of Peyton on our wall. It just got here today, so we're ready for him."

In fact, Titans players can't even get a drink of water in meetings without getting a reminder of how important it is to pressure Manning on Monday night.

"This is a special occasion," Kearse said. "As a matter of fact, we have a fridge with our drinks -- our Gatorades and our water -- in there, and we've got a No. 18 on that too."

With the Titans defensive line, when healthy, arguably as strong as it's ever been, they might be catching the 3-3 Colts at their most vulnerable. Not only is Manning coming off two knee surgeries on his left knee that have hampered his ability to move in the pocket, but the Colts offensive line, charged with keeping him clean, is bothered by injuries. Only right tackle Ryan Diem has started all five games on the line in the same spot and Indy is using rookies at both guard spots.

Said Haynesworth, "We've got a great defensive line and got a great defense, so we plan on getting pressure on him.

"He's not as accurate running and throwing the ball. He's more of a timing quarterback. He can (run), but he doesn't create things well when everything is going crazy."

SERIES HISTORY: 27th regular-season meeting. Colts lead the series 15-11. Indianapolis has owned the AFC South, winning it five straight seasons. The Titans did win 16-10 at Indianapolis in last year's regular-season finale, against a Colts team that had nothing to play for and rested Peyton Manning and other starters most of the game. The victory clinched a wild-card playoff spot for the Titans.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 24, 2008

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Dwayne Blakley Name: Dwayne Blakley
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