Skip to main content

Roster Cuts Could Begin Monday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Head coach Mike Munchak said the Titans may begin cutting players as early as Monday, as NFL teams must trim their preseason rosters from 90 players to 80 players by Tuesday and from 80 players to 53 players by Sept. 3.

The Hall of Fame offensive lineman remembers how difficult cuts can be from the perspective of a former player and position coach and anticipates it will be even more difficult in his first time as a head coach.

"It's going to be tough because you know how important this game is to these guys and how hard they have worked and for a lot of these guys it's their dream, this is what they want," Munchak said. "You are hoping a lot of these guys have an opportunity somewhere else or even back with us in some capacity."

The Titans will closely watch the waiver wire, evaluating available players they feel can improve their roster, or place on the developmental eight-man practice squad after the final roster cut-down.

Munchak said he intends to personally speak with each player who does not earn an initial roster spot.

"I don't think you ever want to tell someone that you are going to have to let them go and they don't fit into what you are doing here for whatever reason," Munchak said, "but I think I will want to talk to each of them and at least explain to them why we are having that conversation and that I appreciate what they did while they were with us."

FINAL TUNE-UP: Munchak said that quick turnarounds and the fact that Tennessee hosts New Orleans in the regular season means both teams will be cautious with starters and what they show each other on Thursday.

The Titans visit the Saints at 7 p.m. Thursday in the fourth and final preseason contest for both teams.

Tennessee improved to 2-1 in the preseason Saturday with a 14-13 victory over the Chicago Bears, who outgained the Titans 416 yards to 220 in a game that starters played into the third quarter.

New Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck completed 12 of 22 passes for 135 yards. After missing receiver Nate Washington on two deep routes early, the veterans connected on four straight completions for 66 yards, and Hasselbeck overcame several drops by Titans receivers.

Rookie running back Jamie Harper scored a touchdown from 9 yards out to cap an 80-yard drive before halftime, and rookie defensive back Tommie Campbell returned an interception 90 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.

"The big positive for us is what we have done overall on defense as far as not allowing the points," Munchak said when asked to assess the team's performance in its "dress rehearsal" against the Bears. "(Saturday) was a lot of yards, a lot of time of possession, but very few points, and that's why we won the football game. We made plays at the end to win.

"At halftime it was 10-7," Munchak continued. "For as lopsided as it was in every category we were right there with an opportunity to, if it was a regular game, to win the game in the second half like we did. There were a lot of positive things going on. I think we have had the least amount of points given up on defense, I think turnovers are good and we have handled the ball very well. I think we have five takeaways and one turnover in three games, so we are doing some of those things nice."

Chicago gained 11 first downs, possessing the ball for 12:32 of the opening quarter, and held the Titans' offense to six plays in that span.

Munchak hoped for more offensive reps for first teamers Saturday, but said he will not leave his starters in for a long time at New Orleans. He said Hasselbeck and receiver Kenny Britt, who is expected to play for the first time this preseason, will need to work on their rhythm in practices before and after Thursday's game.

Tennessee, which opens the season Sept. 11 at AFC South divisional foe Jacksonville, hopes Britt will be completely recovered from a hamstring and quadriceps injury. The Titans also hope to have a deal worked out with Chris Johnson, who is holding out for a new contract, or at least his backup from 2010, Javon Ringer (hip pointer), back for the season opener against the Jaguars.

Related Content

Fan Zone

Titans + Nissan Stadium App presented by Verizon

Titans + Nissan Stadium App presented by Verizon

Stay up to date with team and stadium news, concert and event announcements, stream live Titans games and more!

Tennessee Titans Marketplace

Tennessee Titans Marketplace

A one-stop shop for Titans memorabilia, autographed items and more!

Tennessee Titans Email Newsletter

Tennessee Titans Email Newsletter

Get Titans news sent straight to your inbox.