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Titans Cut QB Simms, S Rolle to Reach 53

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Titans decided on Saturday to keep rookie Rusty Smith over veteran Chris Simms as the third quarterback behind Vince Young and Kerry Collins.

They also released safety Myron Rolle, a Rhodes scholar who took a year off from football to study at Oxford.

The Titans confirmed Saturday that they had released 20 players and placed veteran linebacker David Thornton on the reserve/physically-unable-to-perform list as he continues to recover from hip surgery.

Linebacker Gerald McRath also goes on the reserve/suspended list for the first four games.

Simms was cut on the day his younger brother, Matt, started for the University of Tennessee three hours east. Simms signed with the Titans in April, returning to the team he spent 2008 with while building back his strength before signing with Denver for 2009 and starting one game with the Broncos. He was a third-round pick in 2003 by Tampa Bay and is 7-9 as a starter.

The Titans used a sixth-round draft pick to take Smith out of Florida Atlantic, and the coaches love his footwork and strong arm. Smith will have time to develop behind Young and Collins, who is heading into his 16th NFL season.

They kept undrafted rookie running back LeGarrette Blount, while releasing veteran Samkon Gado.

Defensive end Raheem Brock also was cut. He was signed during training camp after visiting with Houston, but starter William Hayes is expected to be recovered from his sprained right knee in time for the opener Sept. 12 with Oakland. The Titans also waived veteran cornerback Tye Hill, signed March 30 to add experience to a secondary shredded by opposing quarterbacks last year. Hill was a former first-round draft pick with 24 starts and five interceptions in his four-year career. He spent much of the preseason injured.

Also released were defensive ends Eric Bakhtiari and Chris Harrington; fullback Jed Collins; receivers Paul Williams and Dominique Edison; defensive tackles David Howard and Joe Joseph; offensive tackles Michael Toudouze and Nevin McCaskill; running back Alvin Pearman; tight ends Steven Pfahler and Sean Ryan; and linebacker Patrick Trahan.

Center Kevin Matthews, an undrafted free agent, also was cut. The son of Hall of Fame lineman Bruce Matthews is a prime candidate for the Titans' practice squad.

Rolle is another possibility for the practice squad if he decides he wants to keep playing football before going back to school to become a neurosurgeon.

The Titans' roster is likely to change in the next couple days as team officials scan the waiver wire. They

have only four cornerbacks right now and need more depth there and at linebacker.

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