Minus two stars, Titans D-line shined

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz knows there aren't many people who could name the four defensive linemen the Titans sent out as their starting unit Sunday.

For the record, left to right: Jevon Kearse, Tony Brown, Jason Jones and Dave Ball, with rotation help from Jacob Ford, William Hayes and Amon Gordon.

Minus the injured Albert Haynesworth and Kyle Vanden Bosch, the Titans showed off depth and development they hammered Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, hitting him eight times, sacking him five times, forcing four fumbles, recovering two and helping prompt two interceptions.

Jones was exceptional, with 3.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and three tackles for a loss. The second-round rookie out of Eastern Michigan had been working, when healthy, as the third tackle behind Haynesworth and Tony Brown.

He was Haynesworth-esque on Sunday.

"There were a lot of people who kind of looked sideways at us when we drafted not only Chris Johnson, but Jason Jones and William Hayes," Schwartz said. "Well, that's why we drafted them."

"Kyle and Albert, we need those guys back, those are big-time players for us... This is a really, really good group of guys, it's a diverse group. We know what we are, we have a system, we try to have guys with an eye toward it... We've been able to overcome a lot of injury situations this year. A lot of the credit there goes to [general manager] Mike Reinfeldt, because this team is not built to say, 'Hey, we're good as long as we don't get any injuries.' This team was built by Mike to say, 'When we get injuries, we're still going to be good.' And I think that's a huge, huge difference for us."