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Six Things That Stood Out

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Six Things That Stood Out for the Titans in Saturday Night's Preseason Win Over the Cardinals


NASHVILLE – The Titans rallied to beat the Cardinals 26-23 in the preseason finale on Saturday night at Nissan Stadium.

Here's a look at six things that stood out from the contest:

Malik Willis Strides

I get the sense Malik Willis is getting tired of talking about Malik Willis. Don't get me wrong: Willis is as polite as they come. Heck, during his post-game press conference on Saturday night he made sure a reporter wasn't offended by the tone of one of his answers after the game. Willis was good, of course. Willis played his best game to date on the field as well, as he threw for 131 yards and a score while running for 79 yards, including a 50-yard run. "I think it was probably like a B-minus," Willis said as he evaluated himself. The QB's teammates complimented him plenty, however, including back-up Logan Woodside. "Malik has earned the opportunity to go in there and play," Woodside said after the game. "He played a heck of a game tonight, and he got us in a position to go in there and win the game. I've seen a lot of growth and maturity out of him, and he has been a guy I've loved being around. I'll support him any way I can. He made some great throws, and he ran the heck out of ball tonight, too."

Woodside Deserves Props

Woodside deserves a lot of credit after Saturday night's win. Woodside was a spectator the first 56:07 of the game before entering the contest with the team trailing 23-19. But Woodside stepped in and completed 5-of-9 passes for 43 yards while engineering a 12-play, 75-yard drive, and then on fourth down he tucked the football and ran it for nine yards and a touchdown to give the Titans the win. "I thought it was fantastic," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said of Woodside. "I thought he was excited about going in there, and he has earned the right to go in there and win. Guys responded … and he scrambled when it opened up." Woodside said he was excited about the opportunity. "It definitely didn't feel like a preseason game," Woodside said. "It was great to get out there, and credit to the guys. … I just tried to get the playmakers the ball when I got the chance."

An Interesting Night for Burks

It was an interesting night for first-round pick Treylon Burks, who caught a pass from Willis on Tennessee's first offensive play, and then caught another on the team's next drive. Burks, however, left the field after his second catch, and headed into the locker room. The team announced his return as questionable because of a wrist injury, and as Burks stood on the sideline for a few series holding his helmet, it was easy to question whether he'd return. But, sure enough, Burks re-entered the game, and he even caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Willis. Burks had a small brace on his right wrist in the locker room after the game. "It is always frustrating when you get hurt," Burks said. "But always believe in your teammates, coaches and God. … I just want to make (my teammates and God) proud and make the fans proud and just keep doing what I'm doing."

Woods Makes Debut

Titans veteran Robert Woods has made great progress, one step at a time since joining the team back in March. On Saturday night, Woods did something he hadn't done previously: Suit up and play in a game. Woods started at receiver against the Cardinals, and he made one catch for three yards before trading his helmet in for a baseball cap. Woods said earlier in the week he doesn't think about his surgically repaired knee any more, and he's now cleared another hurdle leading up to the regular season. "We're just trying to do what is best for everybody to get them ready for the regular season," Vrabel said of Woods.

Ryan Stonehouse and Brett Kern

Titans punter Brett Kern has been one of the team's most popular players in the past decade, but in the locker room on Saturday night, he found himself facing questions about his future. Time will tell what happens at the punting position in the coming days. Kern said he feels he hit the ball well in camp while also complimenting Stonehouse. "I told (Ryan): I have been in the league a long time, and I've seen about three or four people my entire life hit a ball like he does." Stonehouse handled the punting duties on Saturday night, and it's safe to say he let it fly. Stonehouse punted seven times for a 49.4-yard average, including a pair of punts of 64 yards and three downed inside the 20. "I feel like each game I have improved," Stonehouse said, "and I think that's what I'm going to continue to do."

Ugo Amadi Returns to Nissan Stadium

It's been a whirlwind of a month for new Titans defensive back Ugo Amadi, who the team acquired in a trade just a few days ago. Nine days before that, Amadi had been traded to Philadelphia from Seattle, where he played his first three NFL seasons. But on Saturday night, Amadi found himself back at Nissan Stadium, where he played as a kid during his Pop Warner days. "When I played as a six-year-old, I was a lot smaller," a smiling Amadi said. "But as an adult, while I am young in my career, it was unbelievable. I couldn't believe I was out there (tonight) representing the city. It was a blessing." Amadi, who prepped at Nashville's John Overton High, was credited with two pass break-ups and a tackle. "I had a lot of family here," Amadi said, smiling bigger. "I kept seeing them on the Jumbotron during the game. I just couldn't believe that I am actually home, and everyone is out here rooting for me and the city."

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