Titans Host Cardinals in Preseason Home Opener

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans (1-1) play their preseason home opener this week, welcoming the Arizona Cardinals (1-2) to LP Field (capacity 69,143).  Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CDT on Thursday, Aug. 23.

THE BROADCAST

This week's game will be televised to a national audience on ESPN.  Chris Berman will handle play-by-play duties, while Trent Dilfer will provide analysis.  Rachel Nichols will report from the sidelines.  In the Nashville market, the ESPN broadcast will be carried by News 2 WKRN.

The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will broadcast the game across the Mid-South with the "Voice of the Titans" Mike Keith, color commentator Frank Wycheck, sideline reporter Cody Allison and gameday host Larry Stone.

NEW-LOOK LP FIELD

When fans enter the stadium Thursday, they will experience a new-look LP Field.  Earlier this offseason the team began nearly $27 million worth of improvements to the stadium, which originally opened in 1999.

New high-definition video screens that are four times the size of the previous screens have been erected in the north and south end zones. They measure 157 feet wide and 54 feet high, which make them the largest HD video screens in the world among those built in outdoor stadiums.  They are the NFL's second-largest video boards, behind only the screens measuring 160 by 72 at Cowboys Stadium.

Additionally, the stadium upgrades include new high-definition LED "ribbon boards" along the east and west sides of the stadium, a new 800-speaker distributed sound system, new high-speed elevators to the upper deck, a music stage in the north end zone, and fan-friendly hospitality areas.

LAST WEEK AT TAMPA BAY

The Titans played their second preseason game last week at Tampa Bay.  Their success in the running game combined with a strong defensive performance lifted them to a convincing 30-7 victory.

Running back Chris Johnson scored two of the team's three touchdowns.  He twice found the end zone on 14-yard runs and accounted for 46 of the team's 216 rushing yards in the game.

Second-year quarterback Jake Locker, the eighth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, received the first preseason or regular-season start of his career.  Playing for the majority of two quarters, he completed four of 11 passes for 21 yards and also helped set up a touchdown with a 21-yard scramble.

The incumbent quarterback, 14-year veteran Matt Hasselbeck, started all 16 games for the Titans in 2012 and passed for 3,571 yards.  At Tampa Bay, he led two drives and completed four of five attempts for 29 yards.

On the other side of the ball, the Titans forced two turnovers, recorded four sacks and allowed only 81 yards against the Buccaneers.  Defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks forced a fumble on a sack, and cornerback Chris Hawkins notched an interception.  Tampa Bay's net passing total was minus-one yard.

THE CARDINALS

The Cardinals already have played three preseason games this month.  They lost in consecutive weeks at the hands of the New Orleans Saints (17-10 in the Hall of Fame Game) and Kansas City Chiefs (27-17) to begin their schedule, but last week they bounced back with a 31-27 win over the Oakland Raiders.

Arizona enters its sixth season under the leadership of Ken Whisenhunt, who already has accumulated more wins than any other head coach in franchise history.

Like the Titans, the Cardinals have competition for their starting quarterback job.  Kevin Kolb, acquired via trade from the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011, started nine games in his first season with the club.  He also started two of the three preseason games this year.  He is challenged by third-year signal-caller John Skelton, who notched seven starts in 2011 and was with the first-team offense two weeks ago against Kansas City.

No matter who throws the passes, the Cardinals have one of the NFL's top receivers, six-time Pro Bowl selection Larry Fitzgerald.  He has 9,615 receiving yards since entering the NFL in 2004.

COMMUNITY BABY SHOWER

This week, the Titans are teaming up with Nurses for Newborns Foundation (NFNF) for their Annual Community Baby Shower Drive at LP Field.

The collection of baby items will take place prior to the start of the game. Gates open at 5 p.m., and Nurses for Newborns will have volunteers stationed at the seven charity drop sites around LP Field to collect donations. Donations will be accepted until 7:15 p.m.

Titans' fans attending the game are asked to bring selected baby items to help mothers in need throughout Middle Tennessee. The baby items most needed include: Diapers sizes 2-5, baby wipes, baby bottles, sippy cups, baby formula, blankets, baby electrolyte solution, clothing, infant Tylenol or Motrin, infant thermometers and saline nose drops.

Nurses for Newborns Foundation of Tennessee was founded in October 2001 by former Titans player Fred Miller, who went on to play for the Chicago Bears before retiring, and his wife, Kim. The Millers gave nearly $2 million to the program, believed to be the largest gift ever given by an NFL player to a non-profit at that time.  The Tennessee Titans are proud to continue the work of Kim and Fred by helping raise awareness in the community and bringing hope to at-risk babies and their families through the drive.

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