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Notebook: Titans Prep for Different Personnel, Similar Personality from Jets

Posted Sep 25, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — There’s been just five regular season games since the Titans last hosted the New York Jets, but both teams have undergone extensive personnel changes to their offenses and defenses.

The Titans made multiple changes to build around QB Jake Locker, who led Tennessee on a 94-yard winning drive last week against the Chargers. The remade Jets visit LP Field at 3:05 p.m. Sunday.

The logos and color schemes of the uniforms are the same in film study as they were in December, but the Jets’ probable starters include seven different offensive players and six different defensive players from the starting lineup New York deployed in 2012.

Tennessee’s probable starting lineup for the 3:05 p.m. (CT) start time has six differences on offense and four differences on defense from the Titans team that took the field a year ago.

“I see a different team. I think they’ll see a different team with us,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said. “With Mike (Munchak) coaching, he’s taken that team to his identity. He’s a Hall of Fame guy, a tough guy, and they’ve put a huge emphasis on upgrading that offensive line. When you look at (Andy) Levitre coming over from the Bills at left guard, and they draft (Chance) Warmack in the first round as right guard, and you’ve got the two bookend tackles, that’s a heck of an offensive line he’s got there.”

While the Titans are preparing for the different personnel, they are anticipating a similar personality, particularly on defense, of previous teams coached by Ryan.

“Rex is still calling their defenses and he’s still in control,” Titans QB Jake Locker said. “They’re still very similar with the style of defense that they are. There’s some different faces over there for sure but they’re doing a lot of the same things. They show you a lot of different looks. They will bring pressure, but a lot of times they’re trying to get you to focus on what’s going on at the line of scrimmage and get you consumed with that.”

BRITT RECOVERING FROM HIT: Kenny Britt did not practice Wednesday because of soreness to his neck and ribs, but said his plan was to hit the field for some activity Thursday.

Britt suffered a hard hit and awkward landing on his head when he went up for a pass. It was part of a frustrating day for Britt that included a drop on the first play of the game, a false start penalty later that drive, a tough call when officials ruled he made an illegal block while Kendall Wright was shifting all over the field, and a no call of what the Titans believe should have been flagged as pass interference when Britt tried to catch a ball in the end zone.

The home crowd booed Britt after the drop and penalty, but cheered after he got up from the scary landing and went to the sideline. Britt said he understood the displeasure and appreciated the support.

“I probably blocked (the ovation) out because I was so mad about getting hit,” Britt said. “We’ve got great fans and I appreciate that. They can be vocal at times. They pay for tickets to see us perform, and when we do bad, I know it hurts them as much as it hurts us, but we’ve got a great fan base.”

Munchak said Britt Britt was “a lot better than he was on Monday and Tuesday.”

“We’re hoping tomorrow he can start getting active and workouts and things and then by Friday is a full-go,” Munchak said. “I assume he will (play Sunday), but right now it’s hard to tell.”

FLAG FOOTBALL: The Titans were hit with 10 penalties in the first half against the Chargers and finished with 11 for 116 yards, and the Jets were assessed a whopping 20 penalties for 168 yards against the Bills Sunday.

The Titans want to clean up the penalties they had on offense, defense and special teams this week, and Munchak said Monday that he thought the blocked field goal by Bernard Pollard on the final play of the first half helped Tennessee’s players avoid harping on the number of penalties and carrying them over into the second half.

“Last year we were fourth in the league in least amount of penalties, and this year we aren’t even close,” Ryan said. “We’re 32nd and we’re closer to 33 (out of 32 teams in the NFL). It’s an embarrassing stat to us, but I think it also shows how resilient our team is. When you look at it, we turn the ball over a great deal this year, yet we’re not yielding; we’re not yielding points, we’re not yielding to that. We have the 20 penalties to overcome last week, yet we still won. I think when you look at our team it’ll be fixed no question, and I’m sure Mike will as well. There will probably be very few penalties this week.”

The 20 penalties in one game tied (with Tampa Bay in 1976 against Seattle and Oakland in 1996 against Denver) for the third most in NFL history. Brooklyn (1944), Chicago (1944) and San Francisco (1998) share the record with 22 penalties in a game, but Tennessee set the NFL record for yards penalized in a game with 212 against Baltimore in 1999.

SWORDSMAN: The sell-out crowd for the Titans’ home opener saw Titans/Oilers franchise great Frank Wycheck hoist and wield a stainless steel sword before spiking it at midfield. Wycheck, the former tight end who serves color analyst for Titans Radio, was the honorary 12th Titan to fire up the crowd at LP Field.

The video above shows Wycheck’s swordsmanship.

INJURY UPDATES: David Stewart (calf), Delanie Walker (toe), Patrick Bailey (hamstring), Sammie Hill (ankle), and Shonn Greene did not practice Wednesday. Greene will not play against his former team.

Munchak said Stewart is likely to practice Thursday, and Walker, who was in a walking boot Monday, “should do some practicing” Thursday, and the Titans will likely wait until Friday before seeing if Bailey and Hill can do more.

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