Titans seek better mentality on D at start

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans' first-team defense has given up long touchdown drives to open both preseason games so far, a development that seems pretty discouraging.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt thinks the way the first unit responded said good things, however, and doesn't seem to have any major concern.

None of what's unfolded is directly attributable to the Titans holding anything back, he said, though the defensive package will be a little different in a regular-season game.

As for the first-team defense in New Orleans after an 80-yard, 16-play touchdown drive by the Saints ...

"(The defense) responded after that first drive in the last game, and with the exact same players on the field, they got off the field a couple of times," Whisenhunt said. "We've just got to do a better job at the start of these games. I think everybody gravitates to that first series, which is the sensationalism of it, but if you look at what they did after that, they did respond better.

"It's a preseason game. I think we've got to do a better job of starting. Our mentality's got to be better this week. We played two good offenses. I think one of the points is that both of those teams have very good offensive skill players. They've been in the same system for a number of years, so they're going to be efficient, and we weren't. When we did it the right way, we were able to stop them. I think that's just what we have to continue to work on."

The Titans allowed four third-down conversions on that opening drive -- a third-and-4, a third-and-10, a third-and 1 and a third-and-6.

Those amounted to half the Saints' third-down conversions for the entire game.