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Notebook: Titans Supplement Scouting of Rams QB

Posted Nov 1, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Jerry Gray sat in front of the television Monday with a notepad and attentive ears.

The Titans defensive coordinator said he used Seattle’s 14-9 win at St. Louis as supplemental scouting material to go along with game film. Gray said he’s found it useful because teams sometimes share more information with TV broadcasters during production meetings than they would in normal media sessions.

“The announcers are giving you more tips than most people think because guys on that team tell you everything they’re going tell the announcers, so that helps us a lot,” Gray said. “You get a chance to see a few things the announcers say, jot them down and watch film the next day to see if it’s true. If it’s true, you’ll bank it up and if it’s not, throw it away and start over.”

Although he’s mined some information that way, Gray said, “I don’t tell them nothing. ‘We’re going to blitz every down.’ ”

Tennessee (3-4) is trying to snap its three-game losing streak when it visits St. Louis (3-5) on Sunday.

Kellen Clemens will be making his second start in place of Sam Bradford at quarterback. Clemens, a second-round selection by the New York Jets in the 2006 NFL Draft, will be making his 14th career start.

One of those came in 2007 when Gray was the secondary coach at Washington. Clemens was 23-of-42 passing for 226 yards with one TD and no interceptions in a 23-20 loss by the Jets.

“I knew he was trying to get a starting job there, so I know a lot more about him than people think from him just being in a Rams uniform: athletic guy, big strong arm, can make all the throws, really really smart,” Gray said. “That was thing the thing they talked about when he was young, and I’m pretty sure the older he got the wiser he’s gotten. The good thing is we got a week to see what he could do, and now our guys know what we’re telling them is true. He can make you miss, even in the pocket.”

Last week, Clemens was 15 of 31 for 158 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions against a strong Seahawks secondary. Clemens struggled in the first half, going 6-for-13 for 40 yards and a passer rating of 13.8 in the first half, but showed resiliency and led the Rams on a 96-yard drive in the final 5:42 of the game that gave St. Louis two chances to win the game from the Seattle 1-yard line.

“He’s a competitor. He found ways to try and extend drives by passing and running the ball,” Alterraun Verner, who is tied for the NFL lead with four interceptions. “To me, he was pretty smart with the ball. I thought he made some pretty good decisions. He’s a very capable guy and after that week, he’s probably going to have a little more confidence coming into this week and try to do a little more.”

SPEED THREAT: The Titans are well aware of the speed that Rams defensive ends Robert Quinn and Chris Long have coming off the edge.

“I think both these guys are extremely talented,” offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. “I think (Quinn) is probably the best pass rusher we’ve seen this year and we’re going to have to keep account for him. They’re tough in that dome with the noise and playing on that turf.

“Speed is what makes it go, but they have counter moves off it, especially (Quinn), and (Long) plays with great effort,” Loggains added. “If you’re not physical with him, he’s going to get after you.”

Quinn and Long had three sacks each against Seattle, boosting their season totals to 10 and 5.5, respectively, prompting Loggains to draw comparisons to past Indianapolis teams that had Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis on the edges of 4-3 alignments.

Titans QB Jake Locker, who returned to the lineup Oct. 20 against San Francisco after suffering hip and knee sprains on Sept. 29. He said his mobility has improved significantly.

“You’ve got to respect your opponents and understand they can change games,” Locker said. “They’re the guys that kind of get that defense going, they get the crowd going so finding ways to be productive against them is important because they are game changers. I have faith in those guys up front. They’ve done a great job for us all year.”

Quinn (illness) did not practice for the Rams Thursday or Friday.

INJURY UPDATES: Michael Griffin (quadriceps) returned to practice Friday but was limited. Griffin suffered the injury against San Francisco.

“It’s getting there. It’s getting to what it needs to get to,” Griffin said. “Would I say I’m 100 percent? No, but it’s getting there. I think I’m past the timetable of two or three weeks so we’ll see where it goes from there.”

Titans coach Mike Munchak said Griffin “did a lot with the scout team and a little bit of defense” and “moved around better than we thought” but is questionable for the game.

Griffin has never missed a game (103 regular season, two playoff contests) since his selection by the Titans in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft.

“That makes it a little harder,” Munchak said. “When (Michael) Roos missed his game (in 2012 to end a streak of 119 straight starts), it was hard. That makes it a little harder, but, again, if he’s not ready, obviously we’re not going to put him out there.”

Munchak said Moise Fokou (knee) is out, and David Stewart (shoulder) and Craig Stevens (back) are questionable. Click here for the full injury report.

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