The Titans finished the preseason 2-2, and after starting the 2009 season 0-6, they look to get off to a better start in 2010 when they host the Raiders in the season opener on Sunday.
The Raiders, much like the Titans, are sort of a wild card going into 2010, as a number of offseason changes have their roster looking quite different as they try to return to respectability.
Despite recent years of turmoil in Oakland, the Titans are not sleeping on the Raiders.
“They’re a very talented team,” head coach Jeff Fisher said. “They’re very unpredictable. It’s hard to predict what we’re going to get, so we have to be prepared to adjust.
“We’ve just got to prepare. Practice, prepare, take a professional approach to implement the gameplan each day on the practice field. Get the young guys ready to play.”
One of those young guys is rookie and 16th overall pick Derrick Morgan, who missed most of the preseason with a calf injury. He impressed coaches with limited playing time as the preseason wore down, and he’s excited to play meaningful football for the first time in eight months.
“You’ve got that kind of game feeling in you this week, so I’m excited to get out there and make some plays,” Morgan told Mike Keith of titansonline.com. “Right now, I’m just trying to go out there and just make something happen. We’re going through the gameplan and just kind of getting focused in on who I’m going to be going against, and kind of the scheme the Raiders run offensively, so there’s really another level of focus going into this week.”
Veteran wide receiver Nate Washington, entering his second season with the Titans, is also not taking the Raiders lightly.
“It’s a big challenge,” said Washington. “These guys coming in here this week are kind of an underrated team. These are guys that kind of get overshadowed by their off the field mischief. But we understand that this is a good team coming in here.
“This is not a team that you’re going to overlook. This is not a team that you’re going to treat less than anyone else. We understand that we really have to prepare this week to come out and get a job done, so that’s what we’re going… and a lot of guys understand that.”
Washington caught 47 balls for 569 yards and six touchdowns in his first season with the Titans in 2009. He started 15 games, and looks to emerge as quarterback Vince Young’s go-to guy in 2010.
The Titans host the Raiders in the season opener on Sunday at 12 p.m. CDT.