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Titans Play Vikings in Preseason Opener Saturday at LP Field

Posted Aug 8, 2011

The Titans and Vikings kick off the 2011 NFL preseason Saturday (7 p.m.) at LP Field.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans (0-0) open their preseason season schedule this week, hosting the Minnesota Vikings (0-0) at LP Field (capacity 69,143).  Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 CDT on Saturday, Aug. 13. 

Download Titans Weekly Game Release

The Titans and Vikings earned identical 6-10 records in 2010, and each team will take the field with a markedly different appearance from one year ago.  The changes include new head coaches, assistant coaches and quarterbacks who are hoping to make a quick impact and reverse their team’s recent fortunes.

THE BROADCAST

The game will be televised regionally on the Titans Preseason TV Network, including flagship WKRN-Channel 2 in Nashville.  Cory Curtis will handle play-by-play duties, while former Titans running back Eddie George and former Titans defensive end Kevin Carter will provide analysis.  Dawn Davenport will report from the sidelines.  A full listing of preseason affiliates is available on page 2 of this release.

The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will broadcast the game across the Mid-South with the “Voice of the Titans” Mike Keith, color commentator Frank Wycheck, sideline reporter Cody Allison and gameday host Larry Stone.

A NEW BEGINNING

Since the conclusion of the 2010 season, the Titans have undergone significant transformation.  Owner K.S. “Bud” Adams, Jr. announced in February that Mike Munchak would take over as the 16th head coach in franchise history, replacing Jeff Fisher, whose tenure began in 1994.

Munchak, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, enters his 30th season with the organization.  In a 12-year playing career (1982-93), he started 156 regular season games (seventh in franchise history) and earned nine Pro Bowl invitations.  He then spent three seasons (1994-96) as an offensive assistant/quality control coach before taking over the offensive line in 1997.

Munchak heads a 19-man coaching staff, of which 14 members are either new to the team or have a different role from 2010.  Both coordinators¬—Chris Palmer on offense and Jerry Gray on the defensive side—were hired by Munchak early in the offseason. 

General manager Mike Reinfeldt and his staff have done their share to inject the roster with new talent.  Perhaps most notably, the Titans have two significant additions at quarterback. In April, they used the eighth overall pick in the NFL Draft to select Washington quarterback Jake Locker, who passed for 7,639 yards and 53 touchdowns during his four-year college career.  The Titans then acquired former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck on the first day of the unrestricted free agent signing period (July 29).  Hasselbeck has passed for 29,579 yards and earned three Pro Bowl berths in 12 previous NFL seasons (Green Bay 1999–2000, Seattle 2001–2010).

Other free agent signees for the Titans include defensive tackle Shaun Smith (with Kansas City in 2010), tight end Daniel Graham (Denver), linebacker Barrett Ruud (Tampa Bay), cornerback Frank Walker (Minnesota) and safety Jordan Babineaux (Seattle). 
       
THE VIKINGS

Like the Titans, the Vikings have many new pieces in place heading into the preseason.  After serving as interim head coach for the final six games of 2010, Leslie Frazier was hired on a full-time basis in 2011.  Frazier, a former defensive back with the Chicago Bears and a 12-year NFL coaching veteran, initially joined the Vikings as assistant head coach/defensive coordinator in 2007.

With the departure of quarterbacks Brett Favre and Tarvaris Jackson this year, the Vikings drafted Christian Ponder and traded for Donovan McNabb.  Ponder, a Florida State product, was selected with the 12th pick in the draft, just four spots after the Titans’ Locker.  McNabb spent 2010 with the Washington Redskins after 11 years with the Philadelphia Eagles (1999–2009).

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