Munchak likes early gains in Titans' run game
After talking about wanting to pound opponents for the past few months the Titans ran for 92 yards in the first quarter Thursday night against Washington and averaged 13.1 yards per carry against the Redskins. The numbers are helped by Chris Johnson breaking loose on a well-blocked play for a 58-yard touchdown. But free agent signee Shonn Greene added five carries for 32 yards and capped a 61-yard drive with his own 19-yard score.
"That's what we're hoping to be all about, what we'd be able to establish and we did that," Munchak said Friday.
"We have to be a team that we're going to do it if it's there. If we think it's there, we're going to run the ball and take over on the line of scrimmage. We may run it 10 times in a row if that's what it takes to win, or we feel we can take a game over."
Tennessee lost Thursday night's preseason opener 22-21 to Washington, but the Titans weren't at full strength at least with the run game. Right tackle David Stewart resting a sore ankle as he works his way back from the broken right leg that ended his season last December. Rookie right guard Chance Warmack, the No. 10 draft selection overall, also made his debut too.
Tight end Delanie Walker, one of 17 free agents signed for his skills both at blocking and catching, remains on the physically unable to perform list recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this summer. Munchak said they hope to have Walker available for the third preseason game Aug. 24 against Atlanta.
Left guard Andy Levitre was the Titans' first free agent signing in March, and he played approximately 14 to 15 plays.
Now Munchak says he's real excited and wants to see Warmack and Stewart in a game together after finally getting Levitre and left tackle Michael Roos together. He saw good run lanes, linemen leading screens and trapping.
"We saw a lot of versatility in what these guys can do this year and with the type of backs we have and a quarterback that is mobile and can take advantage of that play action, we have a lot of things, we feel, that will open up as we get into the season," Munchak said.
Locker wasn't asked to do much against the Redskins because the run game was working so well. The quarterback was 7 of 11 for 58 yards and was sacked twice. The Titans also gave up touchdown drives of 64 yards or longer to three different quarterbacks, so they have plenty to work on before visiting Cincinnati on Aug. 24.
But Johnson's touchdown was a perfect example of how well the Titans blocked. The line pushed the Redskins to the right with tight end Craig Stevens making the final block to free Johnson up with only rookie Bacarri Rambo between him and the end zone.
"That was very well blocked and he makes that last guy miss, and that's what you preach," Munchak said. "When you create in the box there's only one guy for him to make miss and he did that. It was very well executed, and we came back on the next drive and did the same thing."
Johnson called the early results very encouraging after the game.
"It's just a situation that we want to continue to get better and better every week," Johnson said. "We know we're doing a good job, but we don't think we're there yet."
Munchak said LB Colin McCarthy (right hamstring) will not play against Cincinnati. Rookie OL Brian Schwenke may return to practice this weekend. He has not practiced since aggravating his left hamstring July 27. ... K Rob Bironas is expected to play against Cincinnati after missing Thursday's opener with a sore back.
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Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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