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"Finish" the Focus as Titans Enter Final Week of Training Camp

Posted Aug 19, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans returned to work Monday for the final week of training camp with the word “finish” in every player’s mind.

Tennessee moved the ball well at Cincinnati Saturday but too many offensive possessions didn’t yield points and too many third-and-longs the Bengals faced didn’t lead to punts.

“That’s the word for the next week: finish,” Damian Williams told Titans Radio’s Cody Allison as he was walking off the field after the Titans lost 27-19 to the Bengals. “We moved the ball really well. I don’t think they really stopped us. I think we stopped ourselves.”

Tennessee made six trips inside the Cincinnati 30-yard line but had 12 points (two field goals, one touchdown and an unsuccessful two-point conversion) to show for the efforts.

Five of those trips resulted from possessions of at least eight plays:

—11 plays for 54 yards (field goal)

—four plays for seven yards (missed field goal)

—13 plays for 75 yards (missed field goal)

—eight plays for 42 yards (missed field goal)

—eight plays for 51 yards (field goal)

—13 plays for 62 yards (touchdown)

The one that didn’t, however, followed a turnover created by Jurrell Casey’s sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery, and the lack of converting advantageous field position shifted momentum back to the Bengals.

“When you have the momentum — when you get the turnover — you almost give it back to them when you kick a field goal, whether you make it or miss it,” quarterback Jake Locker said. “Just by kicking a field goal, it feels like a win for them. We need to find a way to get in the end zone.”

The Titans’ defense created multiple third-and-long situations but allowed Cincinnati to convert six of 13 third downs. Each of those conversions required at least five yards to avoid punting.

Strong safety Bernard Pollard owned up to the two tackles he didn’t make that would have given the ball back to the offense.

“All we’ve got to do is make the tackle, and I was on two of them, and that can’t happen,” said Pollard, who added that the Titans will continue to work on technique.

“We’ve got to get sound with it. This is what the four games are for: to kind of hone-in on what we’re going to be doing, how we’re going to do it,” Pollard said. “We just didn’t make the tackle, and I take that blame. I’m a veteran. I’ve got to fix those mistakes. I take pride in my tackling and when you come in high like that, these receivers are skilled enough to get you off of them with a little tap or a little stutter.”

Free safety Michael Griffin, who delivered a big hit to prevent Mohamed Sanu from scoring after Sanu slipped from Pollard’s grasp said he was pleased with the way Pollard accepted responsibility. Griffin said the Titans will continue to work this week in preparing to host Atlanta at LP Field Saturday when Tennessee’s starters are expected to play into the third quarter.

“We’re right there. It was a play here, a play there and little things you’ve got to correct,” Griffin said. “The play is a third down, so if you make the tackle, we’re off the field and they’re punting, so it’s a small fix. Hopefully we don’t let that small fix turn into a big fix. We’ve got to work hard at what we messed up and go from there.”

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