Green Bay Packers’ Five Downs: Packers vs Titans with Titan Sized

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 13: Quarterback Marcus Mariota #8 of the Tennessee Titans slides after a rush during the first half at Nissan Stadium on November 13, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 13: Quarterback Marcus Mariota #8 of the Tennessee Titans slides after a rush during the first half at Nissan Stadium on November 13, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

Dairyland Express checks in with the FanSided Blog Titan sized to preview the Green Bay Packers versus Tennessee Titans preseason matchup.

Joining us for the Week 1 preseason edition of Five Downs, is the Tennessee Titans’ FanSided site, Titan Sized. Matias Wodner, the Site Expert, is up for the first three questions. His partner in crime, Wil Lomas, joins us for the last two to preview the Green Bay Packers first preseason game.

It’s time…it’s football time!

Dairyland Express: The trend nowadays, keeps most key starters out of game one of the preseason. What Titans position battles should Packers fans pay attention to on Thursday night?

Titan Sized: Even if the starters don’t play on Thursday night, the Titans’ young wide receivers will be battling it out all evening to try to make a good impression. After Rishard Matthews and Corey Davis, no receiver is entrenched in any way for any specific type of role in regards to the receiving corps. Young, lesser known players like Deontae Burnett and Darius Jennings have shined in camp and will be looking to make a good impression. The two receivers who would likely be penciled in as the third and fourth receivers, Taywan Taylor and Tajae Sharpe, haven’t really caught anyone’s eye in camp and also need to ball out throughout the preseason to earn targets once the regular season hits.

Dairyland Express: How comfortable is it knowing Derrick Henry is the primary running back after the retirement of DeMarco Murray?

Titan Sized: For much of last year, fans were calling for Henry to start ahead of Murray, ever since the beginning of the season. Throughout the season, Henry severely outplayed Murray, but the main reason for that was because of Murray’s consistently nagging injuries. Henry has performed well when given the chance, but he isn’t the monster a lot of casual fans believe he is. He’s a home run hitter disguised in a massive power back’s body. If Henry can improve his pass protection and pass catching ability and be willing to take what the front 7 gives him, Titans fans will not have many gripes about their young stud.

Dairyland Express: The Mike Vrabel era will officially begin on Thursday night. This honestly seems weird, as it feels like he just played in the NFL. What excitement is a younger Belichick pedigree coach bringing to music city?

Titan Sized: It definitely feels weird on our end, too! I think most fans are more excited about the fact that the previous coaching staff is gone, and more modern offensive and defensive schemes will be implemented. Vrabel coming from the Belichick tree doesn’t have much bearing, in my opinion, but his personality and attitude is infectious. Along with an innovative OC in Matt LaFleur and accomplished DC in Dean Pees, the Titans finally seem to have one of the best and most well-rounded coaching staffs they’ve ever had.

Dairyland Express: From a distant AFC South point-of-view, what is it like to watch Aaron Rodgers? Is he the amazing player that the green and gold faithful make him out to be?

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Titan Sized: “I love Aaron Rodgers, he is my favorite non-Titans QB when I am looking at what games I want to watch each weekend. Even when the offense isn’t crisp he makes every game fun to watch because the way he plays is just so entertaining. It makes me jealous to see because you have managed to have nearly three full decades of MVP level QB play and the Titans have had 2 years in that time where you could make any kind of case that they have even a top-5 QB.

Dairyland Express: Has Marcus Mariota lived up to expectations so far? How do you foresee his future with the Titans playing out?

Titan Sized: “Marcus Mariota has been exactly what I expected so far, the issue is that he hasn’t had a linear progression. Ideally you would want him to steadily get better as he adapts to the NFL and in the win-loss column that is what you would see. But he has had ups and down including a stretch where he was the leader of the best offense in the NFL for part of 2016 and then when he came back injured and just couldn’t get the himself or the offense in rhythm. There is no doubt he is a franchise QB in my mind but for this team to take the next step he is going to have to show it consistently.”

Thank goodness football season is upon us. Give the guys at Titan Sized a follow on Twitter by clicking on their name. Good luck to those guys in a quickly improving, AFC South.