The Titans (2-1) conclude their preseason slate by hosting the Saints (2-2) at LP Field. Here are four things to watch.
OFFENSIVE CONTINUITY?: Titans coach Mike Munchak said he is inclined to leave offensive starters in a little longer than normal in the fourth preseason game because he wants the offense to have more snaps to develop better continuity.
Second-year pro Jake Locker will be making his third start of the preseason, second at home and second since being named the Titans’ starting QB for 2012. Locker went 11-for-20 for 134 yards and threw two touchdowns last week against Arizona. First-round pick Kendall Wright won a one-on-one matchup with Patrick Peterson and caught a well-thrown pass for a 10-yard score. Locker also hit Nate Washington with a short pass on a wide-open crossing route, and the speedy receiver finished the play for a 28-yard TD.
The Titans, however, had five first half possessions go three-and-out in the first half and want to control the football longer.
KICK RETURNS: The Titans suffered a significant loss against Arizona when 2010 Pro Bowl return man Marc Mariani suffered a broken leg that ended his season. Mariani had handled kick and punt return duties as well as an expanded role at receiver.
Darius Reynaud, who has had a good training camp and preseason, is next in line. Reynaud returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown in Tennessee’s preseason opener at Seattle. Reynaud, who was out of football for the entire 2011 season, could secure a roster spot with a solid performance.
NEXT UP AT DT: Starting defensive tackles Sen’Derrick Marks and Jurrell Casey will not play because of minor injuries. Karl Klug, who led the Titans as a rookie in 2011 with seven sacks will play, but probably not much. That combination will increase playing time for second-year pro Zach Clayton and 2012 third-round draft pick Mike Martin.
LAST CHANCE: All teams must cut rosters from 75 to 53 by Friday, so Thursday’s games will be the final opportunity that players have to impress their coaches or personnel departments with other teams. Munchak said it is unlikely that a single performance will unseat another player with a strong body of work, but players who are on the cusp will be playing extremely hard.